At All Hours Plumbing, we’re proud to be your go-to plumbing experts in Utah. There’s no job our plumbers haven’t seen and can’t handle, and we’re experts in every area of plumbing appliances out there.
One such area that we’re regularly asked about by clients: The different kinds of plumbing pipes out there, and what different functions or benefits they have. Let’s look at several of the most common materials you’ll see in plumbing areas large and small.
Copper is the single most common material found in plumbing around the world, and with good reason. It’s known for being highly durable, and the fact that it naturally resists corrosion is a huge factor for plumbing areas that are constantly at risk for this due to the regular presence of water.
Copper is great with all temperature ranges, meaning it’s perfect for both hot and cold water needs. Copper requires soldering for installation, and it’s possible extra fittings will be required here, so it’s good to leave copper pipe installation and maintenance to plumbing experts like ours.
Galvanized piping is seen a bit less often today, but it’s still around in some older buildings. You’ll rarely see it used in new construction, however, as it lacks the corrosion resistance of copper and is prone to rust building up on it over time. This can often be so bad that users can see visible pieces of rust in their water, obviously a fairly huge downside.
Still, there are uses for galvanized pipes. They’re still found in runoff pipes for grey water, and used by disaster services and water damage cleanup crews in some cases because those pipes don’t need to remain safe for drinking.
PEX is an acronym that doesn’t correspond with its actual meaning – it refers to cross-linked polyethylene, a type of plastic tubing that’s also used in radiant floor heating. It’s very flexible, but maintains this quality without risking leaks. It’s fantastic for indoor usage because of the way it can conform to small spaces, though this can also make it a bit more expensive.
In many cases, though, PEX is easily worth the additional cost. It comes with almost no maintenance needed, and installation is extremely simple. It’s extremely popular in newer homes. However, note that PEX pipe cannot be used outside under any circumstances – UV rays will damage the plastic and render it useless.
Short for polyvinyl chloride, PVC pipe is another very common material for newer buildings. It’s often being used to replace metal piping, available in different thickness gauges and perfect for drinking water flow. It can be altered to meet various levels of health requirements, a big factor in providing drinking water.