The Different Types of Plumbing Pipes to Consider

Running beneath the floors, above the ceilings, and within the walls of your home are dozens of plumbing lines that are connecting all of your appliances and fixtures to your main sewer line (or septic system). But you knew that…

What you probably didn’t know is that there are multiple types of plumbing pipes your home can have, and each one of these materials has their advantages and limitations.

Here are some of the most popular types of plumbing pipes:

1) Copper

One of the most well-known materials, copper piping has been used for decades as one of the main materials for water supply lines (both hot and cold).

  • Can be easily cut with a saw to create the desired length of pipe.
  • The connection of pipes is more advanced as copper needs to be soldered together (not DIY-friendly).
  • Preferred to use for water supply lines over PVC, as it does not have the same health risks.

2) PVC

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes are a popular option for drain (waste) lines — never for water supply lines due to health risks.

  • Can be easily cut with a saw and the right tools.
  • Can be easily measured, as they are marked and labeled on the pipe itself.
  • The connection of pipes is fairly simple with the use of special solvents that act as a glue.
  • Preferred over galvanized steel because it is lightweight and easier to cut.

3) Galvanized Steel

When you think of plumbing pipes, you probably think of galvanized steel pipes (you can thank your childhood cartoons for that). You can usually find these pipes in older homes.

  • Each pipe has threaded ends and they’re screwed into the next one (along with fittings and joints).
  • One of the strongest plumbing materials.
  • No longer used in new home construction, and is only used for replacing already-installed galvanized steel plumbing.

4) PEX

This might be considered the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) plumbing material for water supply lines.

  • Plastic piping that is extremely flexible, allowing for it to fit almost anywhere — especially when the angles make it impossible for copper pipes to fit.
  • Perfect for DIY homeowners since it is easy to cut and join together.
  • Cold water lines are colored blue and hot water lines are colored red allowing the lines to be easily identified during future repairs or replacement.
  • Less expensive than copper piping and won’t have a risk of corrosion after years of use (in areas with highly acidic water).

When it comes to the plumbing pipes in your home, there are different materials used and it’s important to know which one is right for your home.

Whether you’re dealing with a small leak, a burst pipe, or a complete repiping — our professional plumbers can handle the job for you! You make the call and we’ll take care of the rest!