A PLUMBER’S GUIDE TO RESIDENTIAL PIPING: THE PROS AND CONS OF FOUR DIFFERENT PIPING SYSTEMS

A plumber who installs and fixes plumbing systems for a living should have great knowledge of the various types of plumbing piping systems. In this blog, we will detail four types of piping systems that are common in the plumbing industry and detail each of their strengths and weaknesses.

Piping System No. 1: The Old School Galvanized Piping System

From the start of the 20th century, galvanized steel piping was heavily installed for indoor residential plumbing systems. One great advantage for the homebuyer is that this type of plumbing system is common to the every day plumber and has not changed with the times. Unfortunately, the major disadvantage about this system is its ability to corrode very quickly. As corrosion builds up in the pipes, they become less effective and start to block the flow of water/waste. Most of today’s construction associated with this system is for replacement of pipes due to corrosion.

Piping System No. 2: The Copper Revolution

Nowadays, copper is the preferred plumbing piping system. Much has been said about the benefits of copper such as its resistance to corrosion and its strength as a piping material. Copper is the standard for most building codes today. For the life of a system, copper is less expensive to maintain and does not involved costly fixes. But with all good things, there is a downside. Coppers relatively higher value attracts “copper thieves” who vandalize property by stealing the copper piping. This becomes prevalent in areas where new construction is taking place.

Piping System No. 3: The New Age of Pex Plumbing

Pex pipe is a bendable material made out of polyethylene. Most plumbers who advocate for this type of plumbing material state that pex is better able to handle extreme weather conditions at a far cheaper cost. Unlike copper pipes, the chances of pex pipe being stolen is minimal because of the relatively low value. A major disadvantage of this newer type of system is its inability to be an outside system and most, if not all, pex plumbing systems are inside.

Piping System No. 4: PVC: The “Middle Ground” Pipe

Polyvinyl chloride pipe, more commonly known as PVC pipe, entails all of the pros and cons of the piping systems described above. PVC pipe is one of the cheapest materials for budget-conscious plumbers and homeowners and has good strength. Major disadvantages include: susceptibility to melting at high temperature and the solvents used to connect PVC pipes has been known to be harmful for the environment.

In summary, a plumber who has knowledge of these four types of piping systems will make the right decision as to the appropriate type of piping system for the residential project to be built. You can find more info at the Drain Rescue
website.

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