Types of Residential Plumbing Pipes

Household plumbing, including your pipes and drains, are crucial components of home living. An excellent water system with reliable pipes ensures that your home has a constant supply of clean water and sanitary waste management.

However, all residential pipes are subject to wear and tear, even if they are made with high-quality materials that can withstand extreme pressure. Fortunately, these can all be remedied with maintenance and plumbing repair works.

As a homeowner, one way for you to ensure the quality of your residential plumbing is to choose excellent-quality pipes. Every pipe will have its own pros and cons, as they are made with a variety of materials.

Before you decide to lay the foundation for your dream home, learn more about the types of residential plumbing pipes here.

7 Types of Residential Plumbing Pipes

Plumbing pipes are mainly classified based on the material they are made of and what purpose they serve. Each will perform differently, depending on which part of the home they’ve been placed. To make sure you optimize they’re functionality, carefully plan out which pipes you’ll be using. Here’s a quick run-through of the pipe variety:

  • Flexi Pipe
Flexi pipes are common in bathrooms and kitchens

Flexi pipes are common in bathrooms and kitchens

Known as the flexible pipe, it is made of stainless steel, it is used as the connection pipe in appliances and fixtures like toilets, water heaters, and sinks. It can come in many forms and sizes, depending on your needs, and is average in terms of durability.  One of its disadvantages is that should not be installed on floors and walls and can be very expensive.

  • ABS Pipe

ABS stands for the chemicals it’s made of, namely acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or thermoplastic resin. The ABS pipe almost resembles a PVC pipe in structure and feel, but ABS is black and is more malleable compared to PVC. It is best used for bent and drain lines.

It’s fairly durable, but because it is made of black pigments, it can easily absorb heat from the sun and can easily warp and degrade under intense sun exposure. Due to this tendency, some government codes may prohibit its use. It’s best to check the regulations in your area. On the other hand, the materials and manufacturing for this type of pipe is cheap, making this variety cost-effective.

  • Cast Iron Pipe

Rigid and dark gray, modern cast iron pipes are counterparts to the vintage galvanized steel pipes. Both are equally durable, which makes them excellent partners.

Cast iron pipes are far more durable compared to galvanized steel and have more variety when it comes to form and sizes. However, one of its biggest disadvantages is its vulnerability to rust. Once these pipes have fully corroded, drain repair is no longer a choice and you’ll need to replace the entire plumbing system.

  • Galvanized Steel Pipe

Often found in older houses, these pipes are often used with cast iron pipes and are a result of a homeowner DIY-ing their project rather than hiring professional plumber services. Galvanized steel was first used in the early 1960s for water and gas supply.

Due to its anti-corrosive properties and durability, it remains a solid fixture in some old houses. It’s not as popular today, but you can still use it in your own home.

  • PEX Pipe

Often used in main water supply lines, PEX pipes are made of cross-linked polyethylene. The internal structure of this pipe allows the plastic to adapt to high amounts of water pressure while being flexible enough to be restructured and installed through walls, basements, ceilings, and crawlspaces.

It’s more affordable compared to other pipes and is often colour-coded, depending on the water temperature it has to carry. It comes in ½ and ¼-inch diameter varieties and is sold as red for hot water and blue for cold.

Different countries may have different codes for this kind of pipe, so try to ask for advice from drain service experts. They may also require a specific support structure for it to be installed in walls and ceilings.

  • PVC Pipe
PVC pipes are usually used for waste or sewer lines

PVC pipes are usually used for waste or sewer lines

One of the most common pipe varieties, the PVC pipe is made of polyvinyl chloride, which gives it its recognizable natural white colour. It’s usually used in waste lines and is lighter compared to other types.

Inexpensive and highly durable, it was one of the first pipes that replaced galvanized steel as a home standard in the 2000s. It’s easy to install and can be conveniently glued together with solvents and adhesives. It can also be fixed by sealants and requires fewer equipment and tools, making plumbing and septic repair a manageable task.

  • Rigid Copper Pipe

Entirely made of copper, this pipe variety has a signature shiny red-brown pigment, which is often used in home supply lines. It is highly valued compared to other pipes as it ensures higher sanitation and safety because it doesn’t seep any chemicals into the water. It is durable and easy to work with, but it can be quite expensive.

Picking the Right Pipe

One of the most efficient ways to choose the right pipe is to consider the following factors beforehand:

  • Cost
  • Purpose
  • Local government regulations
  • Safety
  • Practicality

Not every pipe will fit the bill. It’s best to consult plumbing experts so you can make an informed decision.

If you need residential plumbing repairs, service, and installation, contact Plumbing Authority Inc. Call us now at (647) 992-7473 for a free on-site estimate.