While there are several types of plumbing pipe materials, plastic and metal pipes are the most widely used in residential and commercial applications. Explore the different types of pipes and their uses, such as PEX, PVC, CPVC, polypropylene, copper, and galvanized steel to find out which is best for your plumbing needs.
If you need help with your plumbing needs, the friendly team at Titan Plumbing is ready to help. Our qualified professionals can provide you with the most reputable and reliable plumbing services in town.
Types of Plumbing Pipe Materials
As mentioned, metal and plastic are the two most commonly used materials for plumbing pipes. Plastic pipes include PEX, PVC, CPVC, Polypropylene, and ABS pipes, while metal pipes are copper and steel. Here is a closer look at some of these materials:
Plastic pipes are resistant to corrosion, relatively affordable, and easy to install. They are also not as noisy as metal pipes, can withstand high water pressure, and are resistant to high-impact damage.
Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride Pipes (CPVC Pipes)
These pipes are commonly used for household water lines. They are corrosion-resistant, lightweight, easy to install, non-toxic, and readily available in several sizes. You'll see them mostly in toilets and sinks. Sadly, CPVC pipes can deteriorate when exposed to the sun and can also rupture if the water they contain freezes.
Polyvinyl Chloride Pipes (PVC Pipes) And Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
These pipes are also frequently used for residential water lines due to their strength and durability. PVC and ABS pipes are mostly utilized as a means of draining water from plumbing fixtures and appliances. You may not see them since they are hidden away inside walls, under the foundation, and outside the house as components of the underground sewer line.
Cross-Linked Polyethylene or PEX Pipes
One of the most versatile types of plumbing pipes is PEX or cross-linked polyethylene. One big advantage of PEX pipes is their flexibility. As a result, they are very easy to install and can be used in a variety of plumbing projects. They are corrosion and leak resistant and are usually found in walls and under floors. These pipes are favored in residential and commercial settings. Because PEX pipes are flexible, they can contract and expand as the temperature changes. Similar to other plastic pipes already discussed, these pipes are also susceptible to sun damage and can deteriorate over time.
Metal pipes are the oldest type of plumbing pipes and are most often seen in older homes. While they may take longer to install, they can last a long time due to their durability and resistance to damage. Copper and galvanized steel pipes are the most widely used metal pipes.
Copper is the most common metal pipe material used in residential construction as it offers several advantages including its strength, corrosion resistance, and longevity. Copper pipes are used for both hot and cold water lines, and mostly to dispense water to appliances. On the downside, copper pipes can be expensive and difficult to install as they require soldering by an experienced plumber.
Galvanized Steel Pipes
Galvanized steel pipes are commonly used as underground or outdoor water pipes or in commercial applications due to their durability, strength, and longevity. Galvanized steel pipes are less expensive than copper pipes, but they corrode more easily and may obstruct the free flow of water. As a result, some building codes no longer allow the use of galvanized steel pipes for certain applications, although galvanization may help to reduce rusting of the pipe over time.
Cast Iron Pipes
Like galvanized steel pipes, cast iron pipes are no longer commonly used for plumbing projects due to their tendency to corrode. They can last a long time if properly maintained, but are prone to rust over time and may need replacing after several years of use. They are also loved for being quiet and heat-resistant. They were mostly used as sewer pipes but have largely been replaced by copper and PEX pipes.
It is important to match the type of pipe you’re looking for with the application it will be used in. Different applications require different types of pipes in order to ensure water runs safely and efficiently. Consulting a professional plumber is a great way to determine which type of pipe would be best for your individual needs.
What Are The Most Widely Used Plumbing Pipe Sizes?
The most commonly used pipe sizes in residential projects are the ½ inch and ¾ inch pipes. They are often used to connect plumbing fixtures such as toilets, sinks, showers, and tubs to the main water supply. Depending on the application and type of pipe being used, larger sizes can also be installed for additional flow capacity.
1/2 to 1-inch Pipes
These pipes are mainly used for smaller installations such as those in toilets and sinks. They can also be used to run hot water lines to showers, tubs, washing machines, and other fixtures. Most indoor plumbing uses pipes in the ½ to 1-inch size range.
3/4 to 1-1/2 inch Pipes
These are the most commonly used type of pipe for water delivery to residential and commercial properties. The main water pipe from the street to your home or business will usually be in the 3/4 to 1-inch size and then branch off to smaller lines as needed.
2 to 3-inch Pipes
Larger diameter pipes are typically used for outdoor applications such as water runoff or septic systems. These sizes are also commonly used in commercial buildings where a high volume of water is needed on a regular basis. Larger sizes can also be installed for increased flow capacity or for more heavy-duty tasks such as industrial applications.
It is important to understand the different types of pipes and their uses. Plastic and metal pipes are the most commonly used in residential and commercial applications due to their durability, affordability, and availability.
Contact Titan Plumbing For Professional Advice
Titan Plumbing is a full-service residential and commercial plumbing company. We have years of experience working with both traditional and modern plumbing solutions, meaning we can help you determine the best type of pipe for your specific application. Contact us today at (813) 680-2075 for more information about the different types of pipes available and to get a free estimate. We are committed to providing honest, reliable, and high-quality service and look forward to working with you on your next project. Contact us today to learn more about our services