Schedule an Appointment

Types of Plumbing Pipes

Having a reliable plumbing system is crucial for the comfort and efficiency of both homes and businesses. The success of the system largely relies on the choice of pipes. It’s essential to know about the different types of pipes, their appropriate applications, and their advantages and disadvantages. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various types of plumbing pipes you might come across in your home.


Copper Pipes

Copper pipes are universally regarded as the most reliable and long-lasting option for indoor plumbing. These pipes can be used indoors and outdoors as they resist corrosion and high temperatures. Water supply lines are most typically made of copper pipes. However, they’re pricier than other options and require soldering to join, which may need a professional’s touch.

PVC Pipes

PVC or polyvinyl chloride pipes are widely used in a variety of applications. They’re lightweight, inexpensive, and simple to operate because no soldering is required. PVC pipes are appropriate for high-pressure water applications, such as the home’s main water supply line. They cannot, however, survive hot water, restricting their utility in some situations.

CPVC Pipes

Pipes made of CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) are comparable to PVC pipes but can safely transport hot water. They are ideal for domestic hot and cold water distribution and are less difficult to install than metal pipes. CPVC pipes are also more flexible than PVC pipes, making them ideal for compact places.

PEX Pipes

PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) pipes are among the most flexible plumbing materials. They’re simple to install and may be snaked through walls and around corners without requiring joint connections, lowering the danger of leaks. PEX pipes are suitable for water supply lines but cannot be used outside due to UV light sensitivity.

ABS Pipes

ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) pipes are commonly seen in drain, garbage, and vent lines. They’re comparable to PVC pipes but more impact resistant, making them a better choice for underground applications. However, not all plumbing codes tolerate them, so verify local rules before using them.

Galvanized Steel Pipes

Once, people commonly used galvanized steel pipes for water supply lines. These pipes possess incredible resilience but can corrode and rust from the inside over time. This corrosion and rusting can lead to discolored water and decreased water pressure. Although more modern and efficient pipes have generally replaced them, certain older residences still have them.

What Is The Lifespan Of Plumbing Pipes?

Depending on the material chosen, the lifespan of plumbing pipes might vary greatly. Copper pipes, for example, can last for more than 50 years, but galvanized steel pipes have a lifespan of 20 to 50 years. PVC and PEX pipes, on the other hand, have a lifespan of 25 to 40 years. However, remember that these estimations might be modified by water quality, pipe maintenance, and usage variables.

Are Plastic Pipes Better Than Metal Pipes For Plumbing?

Both plastic and metal pipes have benefits and drawbacks. Plastic pipes, such as PVC, CPVC, and PEX, are less expensive than metal pipes and are easier to install. They are, however, less durable than metal and may not be appropriate for many purposes.

Metal pipes, such as copper and galvanized steel, are robust and resistant to high temperatures. They are, however, more prone to corrosion over time, more expensive, and installation might be more difficult. The unique requirements of your plumbing system mainly determine the decision between plastic and metal pipes.

How Do I Know If I Need to Replace My Plumbing Pipes?

You must know the warning signs to identify when to replace your plumbing pipes.

Frequent Leaks

Leaks are one of the most prevalent indications of malfunctioning plumbing pipes. If you’re often repairing leaks in your home, it indicates that your pipes are nearing the end of their useful life. Please don’t ignore these leaks; they could lead to more significant issues, such as water damage and mold growth.

Discolored Water

If the water coming from your faucets is brownish or reddish, this could indicate that your pipes are rusting from the inside. This corrosion can leach into your water, causing discoloration and even affecting the taste and smell of the water. This sign is prevalent on older galvanized steel pipes.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure is frequently a sign of a problem with your plumbing system. This could result from a minor clog or indicate more severe problems, such as pipe corrosion or a big leak elsewhere in your system.

Visible Pipe Damage

Inspect your home’s exposed pipes for signs of damage. Examine the surface for stains, dimpling, flaking, or other signs of corrosion. Additionally, if your pipes are particularly old, they may begin to sag, indicating that replacement is required.

Strange Noise

If you start hearing weird sounds from your pipes, such as pounding or gurgling, it’s time to call a professional. These sounds may indicate that an expert needs to inspect your pipes as they could be worn out or installed incorrectly.

What’s Next?

While this blog contains helpful information, consulting with a skilled plumber is always advisable. At Scott’s Plumbing, our team of experienced professionals is ready to provide expert advice tailored to your specific circumstances. Whether you need assistance selecting the right pipe, require installation support, or are considering a complete plumbing system overhaul, we are here to help. 

We recognize that each plumbing system is unique, so we take the time to examine your specific needs and deliver customized solutions. Remember that preventative maintenance and timely repairs can save you money and time. Don’t wait until a small plumbing issue turns into a major headache. Contact Scott’s Plumbing today for all your plumbing needs. 

Call Now