Sometimes drains clog or supply pipes leak, freeze or burst requiring repair or maintenance. Your water supply pipes may have problems that limit water pressure and that impacts everything from the quality of your shower to the reach of your lawn sprinkler. Behind your walls and beneath your floors there is an intricate network of water supply lines, drains and vents that make up your residential plumbing system.
Nobody understands residential plumbing better than Sanders Home Services. When we make plumbing service calls to your home, we’ll address the plumbing problem you called us about and diagnose any potential plumbing problems that may be lurking out of sight. You’ll get the information and options necessary to prevent future problems and costly repairs.
Types of Pipes
- Copper pipe ideal water supply lines leading from the main water supply pipe to household sinks and toilets. Copper is popular with plumbing contractors because it is clean, doesn’t rust and is very reliable for both hot and cold water delivery. Copper pipes provide trouble-free service for decades. Copper pipes will freeze and burst if left exposed to the elements. If you have copper pipes that run through the outer walls of your home, be sure the walls contain plenty of insulation.
- PEX tubing Its flexibility and strength make it as reliable as copper but easier for plumbers to work with. PEX stands for cross-linked polyethylene and it is being used increasingly for water supply lines as a low cost alternative to copper piping. Developed in the 1960s, PEX has been used in Europe for decades but was only introduced to the U.S. in the 1980s. No material is freeze-proof but PEX is freeze- resistant and can expand and contract if the water inside freezes.
- PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) pipe is the most common material used today for household drainpipes and vents. It comes in a wide variety of sizes and is durable and reliable. It is finding renewed acceptance as a copper substitute in pressurized water supply lines. It has long been popular for drainage and sewage piping. PVC pipe is inexpensive and popular with plumbing contractors because its joints fit tightly together to resists root intrusion and it is easy to repair. It can be quickly glued together to provide decades of trouble-free service.
- ABS piping is used in both ground and above-ground applications, and may also be installed outdoors, provided the pipes meet certain conditions. Based on local regulations, outdoor usage may require the pipes to contain pigments to prevent it from ultraviolet radiation or to be painted with a water-based latex paint.
- HDPE is high-density polyethylene plastic pipe often used for drainage in household plumbing.
- Clay 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.
- CPVC pipes are beige and are approved for use in hot or cold water service lines.
- Polyethylene tubes are black and approved for cold water use.
- Polybutylene is gray or beige and is usually sold in coiled lengths. Polybutylene is the only flexible pipe approved for hot and cold service lines.
- Orangeburg, also known as fibre conduit pipe, was a tarpaper-like material used for sewer lines from the 1860s through the 1970s. It became common again during World War II when iron and other materials were diverted to the war effort. Orangeburg pipe is very susceptible to root intrusion and has fallen out of favor with building code writers.
- Cast Iron pipes are tough and reliable. Today they are more commonly found in commercial and municipal applications than in residential plumbing. However, iron pipes can be found in older homes. Cast iron resists corrosion and can last a very long time. Plumbers work with cast iron drainage pipes, water supply lines and natural gas lines.
- Lead pipes have fallen out of favor today due to the danger of lead-related illnesses and health problems. Lead was the most common type of pipe for centuries because it was easy to work with. The word “plumbing” actually is derived from the Latin word for lead, “plumbum.” If you have lead water supply lines, your water should be tested to determine the exposure level of your home. Sanders Home Services recommends replacing lead pipes with safer materials. At the very least, you should always run the tap for two or three minutes after it feels cold before drinking it or
cooking with it.
- Galvanized steel pipes have also fallen out of favor in new construction. After years of use, minerals from water react with the galvanizing material to cause scale build up inside the pipe. This will eventually narrow the diameter of the pipe resulting in lower water pressure and reduced volume.