Types of Plumbing Pipes

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Jan 01, 2011 | Networx Team


Pipes are the heart of any plumbing system. They are the most important parts as they deliver the water; without them, nothing works! Several types of plumbing pipes are commonly used for residential applications these days, including PEX Tubing/Piping, Copper Pipes, PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) and ABS Pipes. Learn more about the uses of each pipe type. If you are unsure about which pipes are best for your home, then find a professional plumber who can surely give you some good advice.

  • PEX Tubing/Piping. This flexible plastic plumbing pipe has become the most popular type of piping used in U.S. homes today for some really great reasons. It is cost effective, easy to install, low maintenance, less likely to leak, resistant to buildup and energy efficient. PEX may be used for hot and cold water supply but cannot be used in outdoor applications due to its sensitivity to UV rays.
  • Copper Piping. Copper pipes are second best after PEX piping and can be used for both hot and cold water supply. They are corrosion resistant, durable, and lightweight, and generally perform well. The down side is that installation is messy; the pipes must be soldered together which also requires numerous fittings.
  • PVC (Polyvinyl chloride). PVC pipes are suitable only for cold water and are used most often to carry water from the main supply to a home. PVC pipes must also be approved for drinking water.
  • ABS (acrylonitrite-butadiene-styrene). ABS is a black colored pipe used for waste removal, venting, and drains primarily in bathrooms or mobile homes. It is a rigid plastic pipe that can be connected to metal pipe.

Find a professional plumber for plumbing pipe installation.

Updated June 3, 2018.

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