The 5 Main Types of Plumbing Pipes for Your Home Plumbing System

1. PVC Pipes

PVC is the common material used for water pipes. It’s plastic tubing is ideal for this kind of usage because it protects the water from rust and corrosion better than other types of pipes. PVC pipe is exceptionally hard, and therefore it’s quite resilient.  Unless they are damaged, PVC pipes will last for an indefinite period of time. PVC pipe is also able to withstand high water pressure. There’s a reason this pipe is known as a “main”. If you want to make sure your house stays as clean as it does right now, you should make sure to install it today! In addition to being durable and easy to install, the piping is also lighter weight, which makes it easier to work with than the more traditional galvanized steel options. PVC pipes are an inexpensive way to go, but they do have an inner lining that protects against sediment buildup and makes them more resistant to blockages.

One drawback of PVC pipe is that you can only choose from a few sizes. Another drawback is that PVC is not able to withstand very high temperatures, so it won’t work in places where it might be heated.

Though PVC piping meets all standards set by the American National Standards Institute, there are concerns that it may introduce polyvinyl chloride chemicals into drinking water, potentially causing respiratory and reproductive issues. When people are exposed to this chemical it can cause cancer or other health problems. It is for this reason that some states have banned PVC pipes from transporting drinking water.

2. PEX Pipes

Crosslinked Polyethylene (PEX) is an affordable plastic tubing commonly used for water supply lines. There are many materials that can be used as water piping. PEX is one of the most popular choices because it resists corrosion. PEX plumbing is a practical choice for professional plumbers because it’s flexible and easy to weave through walls, ceilings, basements, and crawl spaces. These are designed to withstand the pressures of your city’s water supply. Hot and cold water pipes are usually color coded for easy identification and organization so that they’re easy to find when working on the job.

3.  ABS Pipes

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) pipe is similar to PVC pipes in nature but easy to identify because of its black color. ABS is also highly resilient to cold temperatures, which is why it is so commonly used for outdoor applications like playground equipment and sports equipment.  It’s primarily used for venting or draining.

Because this kind of plumbing pipe is easy to install, but can warp when exposed to direct sunlight, it’s important to check your pipes for sun. Another downside of ABS pipes is that they’re much noisier than other types of plumbing pipes, which can disturb some homeowners.

4. Copper Pipes

Copper is an important material in the plumbing industry for years. A copper pipe is the kind of plumbing pipe that will last for decades, as long as you don’t take a bath in it. Copper pipe has been a favorite of plumbers and homeowners for decades.  Copper pipes are able to handle high water pressure and are tolerant of both hot and cold water temperatures.

It’s true that a few drawbacks to be considered. Because it is so rigid, plumbers can’t use copper pipes in small spaces.It’s also the most expensive type of plumbing pipe. A recent rise in the price of copper means that the costs of projects involving copper pipe are going to go up as well.

5. Cast Iron and Galvanized Steel Pipes

Cast iron pipe and galvanized steel pipe are rarely included in new construction, though they are commonly found in homes built in the early 20th century. Cast iron plumbing pipes have proven to be incredibly durable, and are still in use in many parts of water distribution systems. Pipes made from cast iron were traditionally used for drainage and other purposes.  They’re very popular for a number of reasons, including the fact that they’re heat-resistant and reduce the sound of moving water. Cast iron pipe is the most common type of plumbing, and is made out of iron or steel.

Unfortunately, cast iron is subject to rust and corrosion. Over time, this river will slowly deteriorate to the point where it can’t meet water demands.

When people are fixing up their homes they often replace old pipes with copper or PEX pipe.



There is such a wide variety of plumbing pipe available, from the type of plastic used in food packaging to the type of metal used in railroad tracks, that choosing the best might be challenging for you. A good recommendation is to contact plumbing professionals to learn more about each material available and its features. This way, you’ll know that your plumbing installation uses the most suitable material for your project conditions and budget.

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Related: Different Types of Pipes in Buildings