The Pros And Cons Of Different Plumbing Pipes As Explained By Your Plumbing Company | Flagstaff, AZ
The evolution of piping material has been essential since plumbing was introduced in the ancient world. In the past, lead and clay pipes were used in transporting water to buildings and residential places. But as plumbing became a common phenomenon in most U.S. homes, plumbers began using piping materials such as terra cotta, cast iron, galvanized steel, and polybutylene, which was introduced in the late 1970s.
Today, there are various plumbing materials; some are familiar classics of the old versions, while others are made from new materials. They include copper, galvanized steel, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
You may already be familiar with the different plumbing materials, but knowing their selling points and downsides are worthwhile. Remember, the integrity of your home’s plumbing system can impact the quality of your life in a big way.
Therefore, you want to ensure you make the right decision. Read on to learn the advantages and disadvantages of the different kinds of drain and water pipes a plumbing company in Flagstaff, AZ can install in your home.
Copper has been in history as one of the most used traditional plumbing materials that’s still a popular option even today. The two common types of copper piping that a plumbing company near Flagstaff, AZ can use to fit out your entire plumbing system include rigid and flexible copper tubing.
Rigid, aka hard copper, is used for channeling water throughout the home and can be cut into pieces, then soldered together. On the other hand, flexible or soft copper is malleable and used in short runs, particularly in tight spaces where flexibility is required. For example, in corners.
Some of the advantages of copper piping include the following:
- Temperature Tolerance
Copper can withstand extreme temperature changes, which makes it a suitable option for residential plumbing as it has no issue transporting hot or cold water.
Compared to other piping materials, copper is more durable and rarely leaks or corrodes if well maintained. It is a reliable piping material as it can last for more than 50 years.
- Dual Purpose
Copper pipes are an excellent plumbing option for the indoors and outdoors.
Another good thing about copper is the ability to be recycled when the piping needs to be replaced in the long run. This helps reduce waste as the older pipes are used to make new ones.
First, bacterial growth in copper pipes is impossible, and the chances of polluting copper water are zero, making it safe for transporting drinking water.
However, even with such strong points, copper isn’t the perfect plumbing material for all cases. Some of the disadvantages of copper piping include:
- Expensive compared to other pipes.
For example, in recent times, when copper has become a global commodity, it will cost you hundreds of dollars to get a few meters of copper piping.
- Environmental cost of copper piping.
A significant concern for environmentally-conscious individuals before hiring a plumbing company is the damaging effect copper mining and manufacturing have on the environment. Despite its longevity and recyclability, copper is nowhere near a green product.
Galvanized Steel Pipes
Galvanized steel piping is an outdated form of piping that involves adding a protective layer of zinc to steel pipes. These pipes are strong, but are rarely used by plumbing companies.
Sometimes, you’ll find galvanized pipes still being used to transport non-potable water, but having them safely transport potable water may be difficult as they’re prone to issues.
If your home was built in the 1980s or before, there’s a high probability that your plumbing is made of galvanized steel pipes. Therefore, consider hiring a licensed plumbing company near you to have the piping replaced as quickly as possible. Some of the pro’s of galvanized steel pipes include:
- Less Maintenance
Even when the initial cost of installing galvanized piping is higher, the long-term costs of maintaining it are lower, saving you money.
- Easy Inspection
Galvanizing coatings are easy to examine, even without consulting a professional plumber. Thus, they are readily assessed by the eye, and technicians use simple, non-invasive testing methods.
Galvanized steel pipes have their cons too, including;
This was undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons galvanized steel piping was phased out. These pipes are highly vulnerable to corrosion if damaged. Rusting leads to dangerous chemicals such as lead being released into the water, which discolors it. Water that’s contaminated with lead is harmful to human consumption.
- Short Lifespan
The average life expectancy for galvanized steel pipes is 20 to 50 years, and while this may not be such a short time, overall, this lifespan is less than that of other plumbing materials.
The other disadvantage of galvanized steel pipes is that they’re heavy, which can be a pain for your plumbing company.
Polyvinyl Chloride Pipes
Polyvinyl chloride, shortened as PVC, is a form of plastic piping and another popular material for plumbing pipes in recent times. Although not widely used as copper, it’s not uncommon to see PVC piping in homes.
The main reasons PVC pipes have become hotcake over other types of piping include:
- Low Cost
PVC pipes are incredibly cheaper, especially when compared to their copper counterparts.
- Ability to Handle High Water Pressure
A plumbing company will mainly install PVC piping in your home’s main water supply line due to its proven ability to stand high water pressure.
Unless damaged by some other things, PVC pipes have an indefinite lifespan because they don’t rust.
- Ease of Use
Plumbers will appreciate working with PVC pipes since they are way lighter than metal ones, which simplifies the process of transporting them. Also, a plumbing company working on your property will find installing or repairing these pipes easy as they’re glued together, no soldering is needed.
Despite the many advantages, PVC piping has got some disadvantages too.
- Made of Plastic
Thus, they can’t withstand extreme heat. That’s why it’s not suitable for transporting hot water; otherwise, the material will warp and degrade.
You may have the right size for your PVC piping, and that’s okay. But the fittings used in connecting the pipes are usually bulky, which may prove difficult for your hired plumbing company when working in tight spaces.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Prescott Is Ready to Help with All Your Piping Needs
Whether you need to replace your old or worn-out pipes or want piping installed in your new home, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Prescott is the plumbing company to call. We also provide sump pump installations, water softening services, and drain cleaning throughout Flagstaff, AZ. For this and more, contact us today!