In the plumbing industry, pipes are one of the most - if not the most - critical component. But some pipes are better for drainage, while others are more suited for water transportation. That means that knowing your pipes will help you understand other areas of plumbing, such as what causes blocked drains and what is involved in practices such as pipe relining.
In this article, we will list as many types of plumbing pipes as possible and explain the benefits they have for specific plumbing needs. So whether you're a budding plumber looking to learn more about pipes or someone wanting to simply touch up your knowledge, read on!
Main Types of Pipes
The two main types of plumbing pipes are drainage and water transportation. Drainage pipes are usually located underground and carry waste water away from buildings. Water transportation pipes, on the other hand, are above ground and transport fresh water to homes and businesses.
Types of Plumbing Pipes
There are several different types of plumbing pipe materials available in Australia, each with its own benefits and weaknesses:
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a type of plastic that is durable and lightweight - which makes a PVC pipe easy to install. It is often used for drainage because it can handle large amounts of water quickly. It also has very good insulation, meaning heating and cooling is more effective.
However, these benefits come at a cost, as PVC piping can tend to be more expensive than most other pipes for manufacturing and maintenance. You can also find some pipes made with CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride), which has slightly different temperature resistance.
Copper is a popular material for plumbing because it is durable and resistant to corrosion. It is also a good conductor of heat, making it ideal for use in hot water plumbing. However, copper piping can be expensive, and they require special tools and fittings for installation.
Galvanised Steel Pipes
Galvanised steel pipes are made of steel that have been coated with zinc to protect them from rust and corrosion. They are often used in plumbing for both hot and cold water lines due to their lower price and easier inspections when compared to other plumbing pipes.
However, while they are great at preventing external rust, galvanised pipes can rust internally over time - making them not a recommended choice for use in homes with hard water.
Stainless Steel Pipes
Stainless steel pipe is made of metal that is strong and durable. Their resistance to heat and corrosion means they are often used in plumbing for many different water lines.
Stainless steel pipes have consistently been more expensive than some other types of plumbing pipe due to their durability - and can sometimes lose this durability in setups with other stainless steel fittings.
PEX is a type of plastic that is flexible and easy to install. It is often used for plumbing because it can withstand high pressures. However, a PEX pipe is not as durable as some other types of plumbing pipe - it can be damaged without significant effort under high levels of heat and UV light, as well as by chemicals.
ABS pipes (also known as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene pipes) are another piping alternative available. It is typically less expensive and easier to install than other pipes, and has a smooth interior that allows for an excellent flow rate.
However, ABS pipes can only be used for vents and drain waste, meaning they cannot be used as outdoor piping that is exposed to the elements.
Polyethylene pipes are made of a plastic known as - you guessed it - polyethylene. These pipes are used in areas that neet long-term reliability, due to corrosion and tuberculation resistance. They are also recyclable, which is highly sought after for businesses want to go greener.
Unfortunately, polyethylene pipes can be subject to stress cracking in certain situations, and can be difficult to bond, making for a more tedious installation.
Cast Iron Pipes
Cast iron pipes are made of very strong metal, making them a very durable solution for piping. A cast iron pipe is both heat-resistent and sound resistant, meaning the noise coming from water flow is greatly reduced.
However, cast iron is also one of the piping types that is more susceptible to rust than others listed here, so it is important to monitor these pipes if they are used to avoid any long-term issues.
Get Your Plumbing Pipes Cared For By Tunnel Vision
Knowing about many different types of plumbing pipes will make you more prepared for your next plumbing project. When you embark on this next project, you should engage with plumbers you can trust.
If you’re wanting to get your pipes checked or want new ones installed - or have any questions - contact the experts at Tunnel Vision to find out what we can do for you. Call us on 1800 631 799 or book online today!