Do you know what materials were used to make the plumbing pipes inside your home? If you don’t you are at a bit of a disadvantage. The material your pipes are made from affects your entire plumbing system. Some materials last for several decades while others need to be replaced more frequently. Let’s take a closer look at some of the materials used to make plumbing pipes.
Plumbing Pipe Materials
If you live in a home that was constructed prior to 1930, you could have lead pipes. Because we now know the dangers of lead, it is no longer used to make residential plumbing pipes. However, this type of pipe is still found in some older homes. If you have lead pipes, we recommend having your water tested. If it contains high levels of lead, consider having a lead filtration system installed or replacing your pipes.
Galvanized steel pipes became popular once lead fell out of favor. They are strong and can last for several years, but eventually, they rust. This reduces your water quality and can cause blockages in your plumbing system.
Copper pipes have been one of the most popular options since the 1960s. Because they are smaller in diameter and lighter than steel, they are much easier to work with. They can last for several decades before they need to be repaired or replaced. Copper pipes are expensive though, and since some have lead solder, they can pose a health hazard.
PVC pipes are cheap and easy to install. They also won’t corrode or rust. Some types of PVC are unsuitable to transporting hot water, though. As a result, this material is most commonly used for drain pipes.
In the last 20 years, PEX has become the go-to plastic pipe. It is more expensive than PVC, but it is extremely durable and easy to work with. The material is flexible, making it ideal for most residential applications. The flexibility makes it prone to bursting, though, if the pipe freezes.
At Larry & Sons, we are equipped to work on all types of plumbing pipes. When you need a Hagerstown plumber you can depend on, give us a call!