As a homeowner, you need to have a bit of knowledge in plumbing. You can certainly use that knowledge especially when there’s a minor plumbing problem that you can fix all by yourself.
With that said, one of the most important skills that you need to learn is to determine the type of plumbing pipe you should use to fix minor plumbing problems. Using the right pipe type and dimension would be your first step to solve a plumbing issue and restore the normal supply of water into your home. A wrong choice may temporarily solve the problem but it will certainly recur later on and give you another round of worry, delay and expenses.
If you’re not sure whether you can solve your plumbing problem at hand, you should call a professional, like one of the commercial plumbing contractors that Denver homeowners prefer.
Here are the types of plumbing pipes that are commonly used in residential homes and commercial buildings:
1. Copper Plumbing Pipes
Copper plumbing pipes are durable because they resist corrosion. They can be used for both cold and hot water and they rarely produce leaks especially if they are fitted tightly. One advantage of using copper pipes for plumbing is they don’t pollute the water running through them. They are also recyclable, tolerant to heat, and expected to have a long useful life.
Copper could be the best plumbing material, but they are very expensive; so be sure that you can afford to have them installed in your home. In addition to the high price, the installation of copper pipes is labor intensive and they require additional fittings that need to be soldered when installed.
2. Galvanized Steel Pipes
Galvanized steel plumbing pipes are strong and durable, but they are rarely used nowadays because they are heavy and prone to internal corrosion which makes them prone to clogging over time. Corroded plumbing pipes have the tendency to release lead into the tap water which can be hazardous to your health. Many plumbing specialists like the plumbing contractors in Denver residents follow don’t recommend GI pipes for homes for obvious reasons. There are better, cheaper, lighter and safer pipes which are easily available anywhere.
3. Cast Iron Plumbing Pipes
Cast iron piping is not common but they can be found in older homes. They typically appear aged but despite this, they have a long useful life and their usefulness lasts until they are completely corroded. Cast iron pipes are usually used as sewer lines as they are heavier than other pipes.
4. Polyvinyl Chloride Plastic Plumbing Pipes (PVC)
PVC is a light material but they work very well for plumbing because they are much lighter than galvanized steel pipes. PVC pipes can be used for cold and hot water and they also do well when used as sewage.
PVC pipes vary in thickness and configuration because they can be used for different purposes. The pipes that are used to receive water from pressure tanks, for example, are thicker than the ones intended for sewer lines.
Aside from being lighter and cheaper, PVC plastic plumbing pipes are much better than GI pipes because they don’t corrode or accumulate rust internally, and it can withstand high water pressure. But they do have a downside because they tend to warp when water flowing inside them is too hot.
5. Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride Plastic Plumbing (CPVC) Pipes
CPVC and PVC have many things in common. In fact, both are made of the same basic elements, but there’s one thing that makes CPVC different - it has the capability to withstand a wider range of temperatures and they contain extra chlorine which makes them produce safer water.
Many DIYers prefer CPVC to PVC pipes because they are more flexible. But despite being considered the better type, CPVCs still have a disadvantage: They can’t be recycled and they have a tendency to split when frozen.
6. Cross-Linked Polyethylene Plumbing Pipes
Also known as PEX tubing or piping, the cross-linked polyethylene pipe is intended specifically for water supply lines. Many DIYers love to use this pipe because it is light, flexible and easy to install, and you can pass it around corners or pass through walls without seams if joints are not required. It is also resistant to heat and can be used for cold or hot water.
Despite its flexibility, plumbing professionals like the plumbing contractors Denver folks call for advice say it is not advisable to use PEX pipe outdoors because it has plastic layers that can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays. If installed indoors, the PEX pipe can be very effective. It needs little to no maintenance but it is quite expensive and requires a high initial cost.
Which Plumbing Pipe is the Best Then?
Each type of plumbing pipe is intended for specific purposes and each of them has benefits and disadvantages. If you are installing a new piping system, you should consider a lot of things. The long-term utilization of the material you use, the pipe’s reaction to extreme temperatures, and the complexity of the job when repairs are needed.
Of course your budget would be your primary consideration, but if your budget allows it, go for the plumbing pipe with a long useful life, less maintenance and less repair hassles.
Always make sure that your plumbing system is installed by skilled and reliable technicians like the commercial plumbing contractors Denver homeowners trust. It’s always important to have a long-term peace of mind, and that’s what you should give primary consideration.
If you need a professional HVAC service, you can get it by calling Prime Plumbing and Heating Inc. at (720) 542-8153.