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What are the Different Types of Plumbing Pipes?

While you might not be a plumber, knowing the types of pipes used can help you make purchase decisions when making replacements. 
If you are planning to build a home or are in the process, it’s equally important to understand the various types of pipes as well. This will be central in helping you find the best piping for your house. 

Here are the common piping materials and their usage:

PVC Pipes

PVC pipes work well in cold places. They are excellent for potable water lines, drains, vents and sewerage systems as well. 
These can be configured to various thicknesses, depending on their intended use.  
PVC pipes are easy to install and provide a light weight option. 
Besides this, they are recyclable, making them good for the environment.

ABS Pipes

These pipes look like PVC pipes, only significantly softer and black in color. 
Despite being softer than PVC, ABS pipes are incredibly sturdy and great for use in colder areas.
They do, however, warp in certain temperatures and are often restricted by building code.

Cast Iron Plumbing Pipes and Galvanized Steel

Most cast iron pipes come with threaded joints and are heavier than all other pipes. It’s for this quality that they have become most preferred for underground water distribution. In most houses, the main sewer or drainage will often be made of cast iron.
Galvanized steel is today used for gas supply. You might find it in old houses, but it's no longer used for water distribution in new construction.

Rigid Copper Pipe

These are considered more traditional and are extremely popular for several reasons. 
Their top qualities include corrosion-resistance and durability. They also function great with both cold and hot water. 
Another plus for copper pipes is that they are considered much safer for water supply than PVC pipes. 
They do, however, come with some extra work as they need to be soldered together. They, at times, also require additional fittings.
On the downside, copper pipes tend to be pricier than most other pipe types.

PEX Piping

PEX pipes are quickly gaining in popularity for both business premises and residential buildings. These are color-coded, flexible plastic pipes that are easy to cut, lay and connect.
They are seen to be cost-effective as they require little maintenance. They are also strong and can remain leak-free for years.

Stainless Steel Pipes

You can get stainless steel pipes in both rigid and flexible varieties, depending on their intended function.
These should be a top consideration if you live in or near coastal areas and other places subject to corrosion.
Stainless steel pipes are also very durable and can be combined with other pipes using special couplings. This versatility makes them a favorite for plumbers and homeowners alike. 

Final take
This list should give you a better idea of the available pipe materials out there and help you make the best decisions for your house. If you are still unsure of which option to go for, a reputable contractor will undoubtedly be happy to help.

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