The 5 Most Common Big Bear Plumbing Pipes Our 24 Hour Plumbers See
Over the years, plumbing pipes have evolved in materials and quality. From clay to lead piping, there are upsides and disadvantages to what you use. This article will explore the most common types of plumbing pipes our 24/7 plumbing company sees in Big Bear. We also highlight their pros and cons to help you make the right selection. Keep reading for more.
The 5 Types of Plumbing Pipes Our 24 Hour Plumbers See in Big Bear
1. PVC Pipes
PVC, fully known as polyvinyl chloride, is a thermoplastic polymer. This means it is a combination of plastic and vinyl. The material is a favorite for plumbing projects due to its applicability to meet different needs. One, in particular, is its ability to carry highly pressurized water in places like the main supply line.
Also, the configuration of PVC you use depends on the project you need it for. For instance, pipes with NSF-PW or NSF-61 markings are appropriate for conveying drinking water. These pipes are compliant with NSF/ANSI 61 standards.
The following are reasons why polyvinyl chloride is such a great choice of piping:
- Durability: PVC pipes can last for an indefinite period. They are not susceptible to rust or corrosion and only fail when exposed to other damage. They also exceed the life spans of many reliable metals used in plumbing.
- Ease of use: PVC pipes are also straightforward to use. Unlike their metallic counterparts, their lightweight nature makes them easy to move around. Also, technicians do not need soldering to join various parts.
- Pressure Handling: PVC is a top choice for high pressure application. For instance, your home’s main supply is one area that needs a material that can withstand pressure.
- Costs: Polyvinyl chloride is also cheaper than materials like copper.
While beneficial for numerous purposes, PVC is flawed in the following areas:
- Warping: Because of its plastic nature, PVC warps and melts when used to convey hot water.
- Size limitation: Also, the material has a limited range of sizes. As such, it may be difficult for particular plumbing scenario.
Asides from these, PVC can leak if the ends are not glued properly. You also have to cut the pipes to disconnect them. Additionally, when exposed to sunlight, the material declines in quality.
This is another plumbing pipe that homeowners should know about. Also known as cross-linked polyethylene, PEX is one of the newest materials on the plumbing market. It emerged in the 1980s and has since been favored for home and commercial uses. Unlike galvanized steel and copper pipes, PEX is malleable and can be fitted depending on the dynamics of the space. It is inexpensive and appeals to DIY enthusiasts who find it easier to handle than other metals.
- Malleability: PEX pipes are very flexible. They can be curved up to 90 degrees and run through your house in a manner impossible for metal fittings. During home renovation, PEX is an ideal choice for your plumbing. With the material, you can save money on areas you would normally demolish when installing metal pipes.
- Freeze Durability: Another advantage of PEX piping is its survival during water freezes. As a homeowner, it’s possible that you’ve experienced pipe bursts in floors or walls. This damage can be very expensive to repair. Because cross-linked polyethylene is elastic, it can expand to withstand freezes and return to shape without damage.
- Corrosion resistance: Acidic water is not unusual in different locations across the United States, including Bear Valley. But while it may not be harmful in itself, acidic water can degrade your metal pipes. With PEX, you do not have to worry about corrosion.
- DIY Repairs: In addition, PEX piping allows you to do your repairs. With metal pipes, you need soldering tools to complete a project. However, soldering can be risky when you’re not qualified. PEX piping allows you to repair and replace without following complicated processes.
- Light sensitivity: Ultraviolet rays can affect the quality of PEX pipes. Fortunately, you may not have to worry about this downside because you will often find them in closed spaces, such as walls or floors.
- Contamination: This is one area where copper pipes are superior. Some homeowners prefer copper because it offers better resistance to bacteria. On the other hand, underground PEX pipes can be compromised by moisture, which affects water quality.
- Heat: Hot water temperature from a water heater ranges as high as 150 Fahrenheit. As they are not designed to handle extreme heat, pipes within your home may melt under the impact.
- Pests: While copper is designed to withstand mice and other pests, rodents can chew through your piping successfully. As such, if you use PEX and observe the presence of mice, contact an exterminator to help you remove them.
While copper is an older plumbing material, it’s still very much in use today. Unlike PEX, it poses fewer health risks. The material is also able to handle different stress levels and can be recycled easily. Copper is also split into rigid and flexible copper, each applicable to different occasions.
On the one hand, rigid copper has to be cut with a hacksaw, while flexible or soft copper is used in tight spaces where its rigid counterpart cannot function. Rigid copper can also be cut into various pieces, which can be joined using soldering equipment.
There are different sizes of copper that can be used for various purposes. Common sizes are 15mm and 22mm, but you will also find copper 18mm in size. In fact, the material can extend as high as 108mm.
Rigid copper is split into three levels of thickness. Type M rigid copper has the thinnest exterior with suitability for drain, waste, and vent applications. It can also be used for supplying hot and cold water.
Type L rigid copper is appropriate for drinking water and can equally function as hot and cold water supply lines. On the other hand, Type K is the thickest grade of copper. It works best underground as it can withstand intense conditions.
- Lifetime: Copper can last for up to fifty years of use.
- Health: The material is also not prone to bacterial infections. It does not contaminate water either.
- Durability: Copper can resist the effects of corrosion for an extended period.
- Recyclability: Another perk of using copper is the ability to recycle it.
- Temperatures: It does not react to temperature changes caused by hot and cold water.
- Ecological effect: While copper is recyclable, homeowners still avoid it because it is not green.
- Costs: Copper is also not accessible because of its cost. The value has increased in times past, putting the price at nearly $300 per hundred feet in 2018.
4. Galvanized Steel Pipe and Cast Iron
These two are commonly found in older homes. Galvanized steel pipes are used in drainage, water, and gas supply but rarely see use in new homes or renovation projects. Steel pipes are installed by working both ends and connecting them with pipe fittings.
On the other hand, cast iron is still applicable in homes and commercial structures. The metal is difficult to cut and can be replaced with alternatives like ABS pipes. Cast iron pipe can last for a very long period until it rusts.
However, DIY homeowners tend not to use these pipes.
Galvanized steel is no doubt a very strong material. However, its cons, which include health risks, outweigh its pros. Other ways to use this material border around the supply of non-potable water. You will mostly find it in old homes, but if it’s in yours, it’s best to replace it soon.
- Blockages: Over time, mineral elements within the pipe can fall inside and stall water flow.
- Health: Galvanized steel pipes can emit lead into the water they convey, making it hazardous for use.
- Corrosion: When the material corrodes, it ends up blocking the supply of water. Also, exterior deterioration of the material can cause corrosion to happen faster.
- Rust: Another disadvantage of this material is that rust can collect on its insides and fall into running water. The result is discoloration of the water.
- Weight: Unlike other pipes, the weight of galvanized steel can make it challenging to work with.
5. Flexible Type Connections
These pipes are used in transporting water and gas. Also known as flexis, they cannot be installed on walls and floors. They are also great for connections to sinks, toilets, and water heaters, with different size configurations.
Flexis have high endurance under heat and can fit into small spaces.
Some of their disadvantages include thinness and high costs.
2 More Types of Big Bear Plumbing Pipes That Our 24/7 Plumbing Company Sees in Big Bear
Having examined the popular ones, we will look at a few other plumbing pipes that our 24 Hour Plumbers see:
1. Stainless Steel Pipes
Stainless steel pipes are high-quality products with corrosion resistance. They are even more expensive than copper but are desirable in areas prone to corrosion. For instance, residents of coastal areas may choose to go for stainless steel pipes.
These pipes are available in various sizes; they also come in flexible and rigid models.
2. Polybutylene Pipes
These kinds of pipes were a popular choice for plumbing before 1990. Then, it was seen as a material that could replace copper. It was also inexpensive and easy to use in projects.
However, polybutylene became unpopular when it was discovered prone to joint leakages.
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This article has discussed the different types of Big Bear Plumbing Pipes that our 24/7 Plumbing Company sees, including their pros and cons. However, when installing a plumbing pipe, confirm that the installation is in accordance with building codes in Big Bear, California.
But when unsure of how to implement the procedure, it is best to 24 Hour Plumber in Big Bear. Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating is available to handle pipe installations in your home. Contact us today.