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7 Major Types of Plumbing Pipes You Should Know About

7 Major Types of Plumbing Pipes You Should Know About

Denver PlumberEven if you are not a hardcore DIYer and always prefer to take help of professionals, you need to know something about the plumbing of your house because the knowledge can be of use to you anytime, if an emergency occurs and before you can call in professionals. One of the most basic things about plumbing is to know the various types of pipes so that you can know which is which and their uses. Here they are.

1. PEX

These are used for water supply line only. They are color-coded, flexible plastic piping and are a true help to do-it-yourselfers because they are easy to cut and join. They can also make 90 degree curves easily.

2. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVC pipes are used for vent and drain lines. They have been a big deal for the last some decades in the plumbing industry because they are lighter and simpler to work with than the old-fashioned galvanized steel pipes. Other than their usage for drain and waste pipes, they are used for stacks (pipes that stick up out of the roofline) and not as supply pipes. They are simple to install and need nothing more than a miter box, hacksaw and solvents that typically “glue” the pipe together.

The white surface of the pipes is clearly marked with diameters. If you cannot easily read them, you can determine with a sizing tool like Pi-Piper.

3. Rigid Copper

These are used for water supply lines and are used by professional plumbers like a Denver plumber or enthusiastic DIYers. Rigid copper can be easily cut with a special copper tube cutter or Skilsaw or hacksaw. Connection on the other hand is different since it needs an experienced hand to solder copper pipe together. You can buy extra pipes for practicing. Rigid copper pipes are perfect for water supply because they are not risky for health like PVC pipes.

4. ABS

These are used for drain and vent lines and resemble a lot to PVC pipes, except that they are black. ABS is actually the “older version” of PVC and has been almost removed from plumbing codes. While working with ABS it’s best to replace with PVC.

5. Flexible Copper Tubing

These are used for the final runs of refrigerators, water heaters etc. They are used for short runs. They can be cut easily with a hacksaw and bet to fit to around corners. Since they don’t tolerate high temperatures, they are not recommended for outside use.

6. Galvanized Steel

These pipes are popularly thought of whenever we think of plumbing. Each end of a galvanized steel pipe is threaded and thus individual pieces can be screwed into each other.

Though extremely strong, these pipes are rarely chosen for new home constructions and are not recommended for DIYers for using to run new lines.

7. Cast Iron

Old cast iron pipes are still seen in several homes. Though their exterior side looks aged, cast iron is still usable until it rusts totally.

So, as you now know which pipes are to be used where, you can take more informed decisions while buying them.

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