Different Types of Plumbing Pipes

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Jolly Plumbing owner Barry Jolly is a well-respected entrepreneur with more than 31 years of experience in the plumbing business. He earned the Kentucky Small Business Man of the Year award in 1997, and went on to be awarded Mass Mutual’s prestigious Blue Chip Award. Here, Jolly tells us the pros and cons of some most well-known types of plumbing pipes.

Plumbing pipes are made out of all types of materials. Different types of pipes work better for different types of jobs, and some materials are so outdated that we recommend people replace them entirely. Here are a few most common materials that pipes are made from.

Cast Iron: Cast iron is a material that has been used in piping for a long time. In most cases, cast iron pipes were used for draining piping systems, and some people still have them installed in or around their house.

PVC: PVC piping is increasingly popular these days, especially since the price of copper has gone up so high. More and more PVC pipes today are used in both water and drainage piping because PVC is a good technology for plumbing, and PVC pipes don’t clog easily.

Copper: Copper is another material that people still use in piping. The cost of copper has increased drastically recently, which is a problem for a lot of people. Usually, plumbers use copper piping for a water line job because copper is the best material for that job.

Clay Tiles: In many older homes, clay tile pipes make up the sewer lines. We see these pipes quite often when we at Jolly Plumbing replace sewer lines for our clients. Clay tile piping is an older style, if you discover that you still have it in your home, you need to get it replaced as soon as possible.

Steel: Gas piping has always been made out of steel pipes. Although steel is beginning to fade on the piping market now, it is a more flexible material for gas line piping.

Lead: Lead pipes were common in water lines installed in older homes. Believe it or not, some of these products haven’t been replaced, along with galvanized piping, because these pipes were just left in older homes that people haven’t bothered to remodel.

WARDFLEX: WARDFLEX is a flexible material that more people are using for gas pipe lines today. Using something like WARDFLEX can make the gas line installation process easier.

Not all of these materials are created equal. Many times, I encourage some of my clients to upgrade their systems and replace their older pipes with ones made out of a different, newer material.

If you have galvanized water lines or lead water lines, for example, those are definitely pipes that should be replaced for a couple of reasons. Safety should always be a homeowner’s biggest concern, but the lead content in these older pipes will be a big problem. In addition to that, both the lead and galvanized piping systems tend to get clogged inside and cluttered over time, which can cut down the water pressure inside your home. That is why I always recommend that homeowners who have lead or galvanized piping systems seriously think about getting their systems replaced as soon as they can.

From the perspective of the sewer lines, some people still have the clay tile pipes — although fewer of these are left each year — which are susceptible to clogging and tree root damage. So I would recommend replacing those pipes as well. At Jolly Plumbing, we are committed to providing professional, honest and affordable residential and commercial plumbing services. Whether your plumbing needs are big or small, simple or complex, we can help.