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TLDR: The best type of plumbing pipe is PEX Pipe or Copper Pipe due to their wide application of use, durability and use of non-toxic materials.
Ever wondered which type of plumbing pipe is best? At Al Coronado we get asked this question a lot. Since pipes used for plumbing can come in everything from metal to plastic, it's no wonder why it can be a confusing question - especially for people looking to do their own repairs.
We've gone ahead and covered the different types of plumbing pipe below and what situation you would use each in. Hopefully this well help you to understand which plumbing pipe is best for your needs.
One of the newest and biggest innovations in plumbing pipe is PEX (cross linked polyethylene) piping. Created in the 1980's but not used until the late 1990's in home applications, it is considered by many as the best plumbing pipe option.
PEX Piping can be snaked through a house and bent through high-beams or placed around corners in ways no other types of plumbing pipe can be. It rquires no adhesive and can withstand freezing conditions better than most other plumbing pipe types besides copper.
In most applications it is spliced into existing pipe (including copper), which makes it a viable choice for retrofitting old homes. Furthermore, there is no risk or known issues with using it for the transportation of drinking water, as seen with standard PVC piping.
PEX Piping Uses
- Retrofitting Older Homes
- Can Be Used For The Same Applications As Copper Piping
- In Tight Space Uses Where Corners and Angles May Cause Problems
For over 60 years copper piping has been the standard go-to in homes. This is due to the durability and lifespan of copper piping. In most scenarios a copper pipe can handle extreme temperature fluctuation and is resistant to corrosion. Because copper is a solid metal it is safe to use for the transportation of drinking water and will not cause debris. Because of this, copper is typically used in some applications and not others and is considered to be one of the best types of plumbing pipes.
One of the major problems with copper piping however, is the cost. Copper tends to be one of the most expensive types of plumbing pipe.
Copper Piping Uses
- Drinking Water
- Refrigerant and Water Lines
- Applications Requiring A Tight Seal
- Service Lines That Run Underground
Coming in second as an option for plumbing pipe is PVC (polyvinyl chloride). PVC is most frequently used in homes built after 2000 due to large use of application. It is versatile and extremely affordable, making it a great option for keeping the cost of re-piping down.
PVC is great for home application because it does not rust or corrode and will not need to be replaced unless it cracks or begins leaking. Another positive addition to using PVC for plumbing is that it requires no welding or metal work. Lastly, it is incredibly durable and will not bend under pressure, making it a great choice for high pressure water uses.
One of the main drawbacks and concerns with PVC piping however is that it can not be used for hot water delivery. When exposted to the extreme heat of water temperatures, the PVC piping will begin to warp and bend over time. In addition, PVC piping may also degrade or change in structure when it is exposed to UV light for long durations of time. Because of this, it is a great option for indoor and underground piping.
It's important to note. PVC is not rated for use of drinking water due to the compounds found in the material makeup of the pipe and their toxicity.
PVC Piping Uses
- Sink Drain Lines
- Toilet Drain Lines
- Shower & Bathtub Drain Lines
- Main Water Supply Line
- High Pressure Application
Another type of PVC pipe is CPVC pipe which has extra chloride added to the composition of the plumbing pipe. Mainly, the benefit is that they add extra durability and will not degrade with liquids, allowing them to be used as a safe option for transporting drinking water.
CPVC can be used in the same applications as copper piping but is considered a better option due to it's insulation. This prevents energy loss in hot or cold applications throughout the house. Another added benefit is that CPVC is more pliable than metal tubing, which allows for extra versatility.
CPVC Piping Uses
- Hot and Cold Water Delivery
- Drinking Water Delivery
- Waste and Water Disposal
As you can see there are many types of plumbing pipes and that their use comes down to the application in question. What pipe you choose is largely determined by what the project or job requires. If you have any concern or are questioning which type of plumbing pipe to use in your specific circumstance, we recommend contacting Al Coronado Plumbing. Our technicians are on standby to help you with your homes needs.
People Also Ask
PEX is the best plumbing pipe to use for cold weather, as it is more resistant to freezing water and can expand and contract as necessary with the fluctuations in temperature between seasons.
Plumbing estimates and on-site quotes should always be free and a mandatory requirement for many reasons. Any plumbing service that quotes you over the phone should be cautioned as the company will not be able to collect enough information to provide an accurate estimate.