When you get ready to build a new house, the right piping material can make a big difference in the operation and longevity of the home's plumbing system. While you have options, the material largely depends on the pipe's function. Learn more about the most popular piping materials used by plumbing contractors.
Steel is strong, heat-resistant, and attractive. However, it's also rigid, expensive, and susceptible to corrosion over time. There are a number of different types of steel available, including stainless steel and galvanized steel. Steel pipes often connect using threads, creating a reliable deal. However, you may want to include plumber's tape over the threads to prevent leaks.
Steel can be used virtually anywhere in the home, including cold water supply lines, hot water lines, ventilation, drain pipes, and external pipes.
PVC is quickly becoming one of the most common materials found in new construction (when applicable). PVC is a synthetic plastic piping usually white in color. The material is treated with chemicals when it's manufactured. It's flexible and easy to cut, making it a great option around corners and other tight spaces. It's also inexpensive. However, PVC can't be used in hot water systems as it can't withstand heat (although you can find CPVC which can handle hot temperatures). While it can't withstand hot temperatures, it can withstand UV rays and be used in outdoor applications.
PEX is a type of plastic tubing that can withstand heat, meaning it can be used to ventilate hot gasses or transport hot water. Like other plastic pipes, it is flexible and inexpensive. Unfortunately, PEX will deteriorate in the sun, meaning it shouldn't be used for external purposes. PEX and PVC piping should not be used for potable drinking systems, as plastic contains chemicals that can get into the water supply.
Some of the earliest plumbing systems used copper in their construction, and people still use copper today. Copper is more attractive and stronger than steel. It's also less rigid, meaning it can navigate tight spaces better. Unfortunately, copper is extremely expensive. While copper has been a viable option for centuries, most homeowners prefer a cheaper option with similar results. Furthermore, like steel, copper will eventually corrode.
If you plan to live in your home for a long time and maintain its value, you should opt for the best plumbing materials for the job. Some homeowners don't realize the impact plumbing material makes until they experience it for themselves.Share