If you plan on attempting a do-it-yourself plumbing project, it’s helpful to know the different types of pipes you’re going to encounter. This will help you perform the right repair technique and tools to use. If you are a new homeowner, these tips and information may also be helpful through the years.
Pipes in Older Homes
Copper, PVC, and/or ABS are piping materials used in newer homes built after the 1960s. For older homes, steel piping, and cast iron piping were the norm.
Galvanized steep pipe is very strong. However, it only has about a 50-year service life. If your older home has galvanized steel pipes, consider replacing the pipes rather than repairing them. Your plumbing contractor can help you make this call by performing a cost analysis.
Cast iron pipes were commonly used for DWV (drain, waste and vent stacks) in homes built before 1960. Cast iron is very durable. However, it tends to rust over time. Corrosion often leads to lowered water pressure and water quality problems. Like galvanized steel, if you are facing a pipe repair, consider replacing instead.
Pipes in Newer Homes
The first plastic pipe used in residential plumbing was ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene). Many areas don’t allow the use of ABS pipe in new construction any longer because the joints often loosen over time.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a plastic pipe that is commonly used for drain lines. PVC is unaffected by chemicals, it’s strong and seemingly lasts forever. PVC may be differentiated to ABS plastic pipe by its white or cream color, as opposed to the black color of ABS.
Copper pipe is often used for water supply lines, such as for your water heater. Like PVC, copper pipe resists corrosion, but it is more expensive. Two types of copper pipe are rigid copper and flexible copper. You’ll find flexible copper used for dishwashers, clothes washer and other appliances.
When you need expert plumbing services, contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing to schedule an appointment or for immediate emergency service. We’ve helped homeowners in Grand Traverse County and surrounding areas since 1980!
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about plumbing pipes and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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