Which Pipes are Best for Plumbing?

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When you’re building a house, remodeling a house, or need to get your plumbing replaced, you’ll need to decide what kind of pipes to use. There is no universal answer to this – it varies depending on your specific needs. The six best kinds of piping are copper, brass, PEX, PVC, CPVC, and stainless steel; each of these has different plumbing applications that they are best suited for.

1. Copper Piping

One of the most common piping used for plumbing is copper piping. It offers many benefits due to its durability and long lifespan. Copper doesn’t degrade due to heat or water, and it’s highly resistant to corrosion.

The cons of copper piping are the high price tag and the possibility that your pipes may get stolen because of how valuable copper is. Copper piping is also susceptible to getting water leaks, and it can make it take longer for hot water to reach your shower or faucet.

Copper piping is most commonly used for

  • drinking water supply lines;

  • underground piping;

  • water heater lines;

  • refrigerant lines for air conditioners; and

  • gas lines.

2. Brass Piping

Brass piping has a lot of the same benefits as copper piping. It’s heavier than copper, so it’s even more resistant to degradation and corrosion. Because of its weight, however, it can slow down the arrival of hot water to your faucets even more.

Pipes made of brass are most commonly used for

  • drain lines;

  • water supply lines;

  • drinking water transport;

  • water heater lines; and

  • gas lines.

3. PEX Piping

PEX is a relatively new innovation for plumbing materials. It’s very flexible and so can bend around corners and be snaked through the house as needed. PEX pipes are also much more resistant to leaks than copper pipes are, partially because they expand and contract without cracking. This fact also makes them one of the best kinds of piping for freezing weather.

One downside is that PEX piping is expensive, but this is balanced out somewhat by the fact that these pipes require little maintenance. They also can’t be connected directly to a water heater, so they require a copper pipe between the pipes and the water tank. Another downside is that these pipes can be damaged by UV rays, so they can’t be used outside. PEX pipes are most commonly used for

  • low ventilation areas (since they don’t require glue);

  • drinking water;

  • water supply lines;

  • drain pipes;

  • water heater lines; and

  • snaking through homes.

4. PVC Pipes

Like copper, PVC is commonly used for plumbing applications. It’s a lot more affordable than copper piping, it’s versatile, and it doesn’t corrode like metal piping can. Like PEX, however, it can’t be used outside because it’s susceptible to UV ray damage. Furthermore, it can’t be used to transport drinking water or hot water.

PVC is most commonly used for

  • drain lines;

  • high-pressure applications; and

  • main water supply.

5. CPVC Pipes

CPVC has a lot of the same benefits of PVC, plus some. Unlike PVC, CPVC can be used to transport hot water, and it’s also more durable than PVC. CPVC piping is used for many of the same applications as copper piping, but CPVC is often preferred because it’s quieter and better insulated. In addition, it’s more flexible and very fire-resistant.

CPVC pipes are commonly used for

  • hot water delivery;

  • water supply lines;

  • drinking water; and

  • drains.

6. Stainless Steel Piping

Although commonly confused with galvanized steel piping, stainless steel piping is not the same thing; stainless steel is a much better option. Stainless steel pipes are highly resistant to corrosion and are therefore commonly used in coastal or very humid areas. They can also be made to be highly cold-resistant or heat-resistant, depending on the area you live in. Another advantage of these pipes is that they can be made to be rigid or flexible as needed. Because steel is quite strong, it doesn’t require the thickness or amount of material that copper or brass piping does.

The biggest downfall of stainless steel piping is the large price tag. It can also be difficult to attach to other kinds of piping. Stainless steel pipes are commonly used for

  • hot water delivery;

  • high-pressure applications;

  • drinking water; and

  • gas lines.

If it’s time to get the pipes in your home installed or replaced, contact Denton Roto-Rooter. Their team will help you determine what kind of piping will best suit your needs and then seamlessly install it for you.