Different Plumbing Materials that Were Commonly Used in the Past

Over the years, the science and art of plumbing has drastically changed. From the conventional Terra Cotta pipes to the most modern PEX pipe technology nowadays, no building is certainly complete without a dependable plumbing system. If it were not for plumbing professionals and the plumbing system itself, the urban sprawl that we are experiencing today wouldn’t have been totally possible. In addition to that, if it were not for pipes, plumbing wouldn’t be possible as well. Below, you will be able to learn the different types of plumbing materials. We will also compare the pros and cons of a lot of pipe technologies that have existed and or currently exist on today’s market for residential and commercial use.  

Plumbing Materials

Cast Iron Pipe 

During the 1960’s, these plumbing materials were the most popular kind of plumbing in residential or commercial buildings. This is due to the fact that cast iron pipe plumbing materials is relatively easy to install and was cheap for its time. In addition to that, it was also noted for the material’s ability and strength to withstand any high pressure of water. At that time, the cast iron pipe was considered as the most ideal plumbing material for home and office installation. But, unfortunately, cast iron pipes had one major flaw. This plumbing material pipe was prone to failure because of rusting. Nowadays, cast iron pipe is not used anymore especially for residential plumbing due to its faults.  

Copper Pipe 

Probably, copper is the most commonly utilized plumbing materials in the US nowadays. This plumbing material actually offers long term stability and durability yet is very soft to resist damage or shattering upon impact. As a matter of fact, it is very durable that copper pipes can even be utilized outdoors in both underground and above setting. Another benefit that copper pipes bring is its natural ability to fight the growth of harmful bacteria. This is even more important since it can help homeowners like you to make sure that the water supplying entering your home is very safe and clean to use at all times.  

And lastly, copper pipes also have a high melting point as well as ability to resist deformation. This simply means that during a fire in a residential or commercial building, your plumbing system that is made from copper pipes might remain intact and can possibly be reused.  

Furthermore, despite all the good things that copper pipe plumbing materials have to offer, the truth is that there are also some disadvantages. The first visible disadvantage is that the copper material is quite expensive to buy and install. As a matter of fact, the installation for this plumbing material often requires soldering equipment as well as the skills of a highly experienced and trained plumbing service provider. Aside from that, copper pipes could also be subjected to main corrosion if the water contains becomes too acidic. Aside from that, copper pipes plumbing materials can also leave the water supply in your household with a bit of metallic taste.  


Most Commonly Used Plumbing Materials Nowadays

PVC Pipe   

PVC pipes are known as one of the most popular materials that are used for residential and commercial plumbing applications. As a matter of fact, PVC pipes are a great option since it’s a stable and inert material, which resorts corrosion. Furthermore, it’s also a very affordable material, which is easy and very quick to install. While only a minimal number of tools and skills are required in order to install PVC plumbing pipes in your home, it is not advisable that you try to do the installation or repair of PVC pipe job on your own.   

Plumbing Materials

Hiring a professional and highly dependable plumbing service provider in your area is the most ideal thing to do since they are the most experienced when it comes to different kinds of plumbing materials.  

Furthermore, the main disadvantages of PVC material are that it can be easily cracked or broken if mishandled. This is especially true for areas with cold climates. Aside from that, PVC pipes can only be utilized indoors and it’s not intended for distribution of hot water as it only has a 140 degrees Fahrenheit maximum service temperature. Because of that, proper care should be taken when PVC pipes are installed near hot items including ovens or furnaces.  

CPVC Pipe   

Stands for Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride, CPVC is a yellowish plastic polymer that was invented in order to handle much higher temperatures than normal PVC pipe could not. It’s also slightly stronger compared to standard PVC pipes. Furthermore, CPVC pipes has a few benefits over other plumbing materials as well. It’s generally a more stable compound compared to other plumbing materials and will not easily corrode. Aside from that, CPVC pipes also require about twenty-five percent less time to install compared to other plumbing materials. But, it’s not as simple to install as other materials used in plumbing including PEX pipes.  

The cons of CPVC pipes are the fact that it is high thermal expansion coefficient. This is actually the reason why CPVC might not be the best option for locations with climates that usually experience wide variations in temperature.      

PEX Pipe   

A shorthand term for Cross-linked polyethylene, PEX is a material that is relatively new to the plumbing industry and has only appeared in the US around twenty years ago. PEX pipes actually offer some clear benefits compared to other available plumbing materials. The most notable and first desirable characteristic about this is that it’s very flexible. As a matter of fact, the pipe’s flexibility allows installers to avoid a lot of obstacles while also using lesser fittings. Furthermore, the installation’s speed is increased due to the fact that the fittings are of the compression type.   

Lastly, PEX pipes are very good when it comes to resisting the freeze and thaw effects due to its great flexibility. Even though PEX pipes are easy to install, it is still highly recommended that you hire a professional and reputable plumbing contractor to do the installation or repair of your plumbing system.