Plumbing Which type is right for you?
Pipe Used for Water
Pros: Does not rust, corrode, or degrade over time Very good for your home’s sink, toilet, and bathtub drain lines or vent stacks Often used for the main water supply line into your home Great at carrying high water pressure Inexpensive Very easy to work with Cons: Cannot handle hot water, can warp when exposed to hot water
Copper Pipes (Metal)
Pros: Proven standard for reliability since the 1960’s Not prone to leaks Durability: Fittings stay tight and sturdy Will not pollute your drinking water Old pipes can be recycled Long life span Heat Tolerant Cons: Price
Pros: Contains extra chlorine making it safe for drinking water Pipes are easy to work with it and can be used by DIYers Can be used for hot and cold water supply More flexible than PVC pipes Cons: Will split if it freezes Cannot recycle old pipes
Pros: Best for retrofits Extremely versatile – can snake through walls easily and can extend across house with one piece of PEX pipe Can be used for hot and cold water supply Very heat resistant Cons: Quality varies by manufacturer, but this piping has been approved for usage in some of the strictest environmental regulating states in the U.S.
Pipe Used for Electrical and Gas
PVC-C is inert to many mineral acids, bases, salts, paraffinic hydrocarbons, halogens and alcohols. It will not support combustion and is rated as self extinguishing. The low thermal conductivity of the material reduces moisture condensation on water lines, and will maintain the temperature of fluids with minimal insulation.
Black iron pipe used to be found in water lines, but has been much more popular for gas since the advent of copper, CPVC, and PEX. It is a great option to gas for two reasons. 1) It is strong, and 2) it is relatively easy to put together. Just like PVC, black malleable iron uses a system of pipe and fittings that fit together with compounds instead of welding. Despite its name, black iron pipe is actually made of a low-grade “mild steel” compound. This gives it much better corrosion resistance than traditional cast iron piping.
Galvanized pipe, which has a zinc coating that inhibits corrosion, is more durable than older pipes constructed of steel or iron. Galvanized pipes can last as long as 40 years and are suited for large construction projects.