Plumbing pipes are generally divided into metal and non-metal types. The materials that are most commonly used for indoor piping are plastic, copper and steel.
Plastic pipes are extensively used pipes in modern plumbing systems. Plastic is highly flexible, durable, lightweight and easy to install. They can handle the pressure whether they are used in drain or sewer systems.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes are typically used for drains. They are used for cold water, since hot water will warp them. PVC pipes are usually white or gray and are less expensive than the metal pipes.
Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipes are capable of handling both cold and hot water. One way to tell the difference between CPVC from PVC pipe is that CPVC has a yellow color, thinner walls and they are more flexible.
Polyethylene (PEX) piping can also handle cold and hot water. PEX piping is very flexible and less likely to leak than metal pipes. It can be bought in flexible rolls, hard lengths or wrapped in aluminum to hold its shape.
Copper became the material of choice for water services around the country after World War II. Copper is a strong and high quality material for water lines. Though it is expensive, copper has a high corrosion and temperature resistance. However, aging copper pipes can develop pinhole leaks and can split under extreme low temperatures.
Galvanized steel pipes are integral the most versatile material of home plumbing systems. However, these pipes require the occasional repair. Galvanized steel is susceptible to accumulating calcium deposits, lime scale and other food particles.
Cast iron pipes are strong and have a long life. They are usually used for draining purposes. Some iron piping that is hundreds of years old still functions today. Both cast iron and PVC are typically used for large-diameter piping.
For centuries, lead pipes were popular for water transport. The word “plumbing” actually derives from the Latin word for “lead.” Today, it is known that lead in pipes can cause serious health problems. They are not used in modern plumbing systems.
If you have an older home, consider having your pipes and plumbing system inspected. You may have pipes that are in danger of bursting or that may be causing health problems for you and your family.
If you have a plumbing problem beyond your ability to fix or you have a plumbing emergency, call Go Green Express Home Services at (845) 253-4053. We provide residential and commercial plumbing services to Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Putnam and Rockland County, NY.