Not all plumbing pipes are created equal. Plumbers in Minneapolis use many varieties of pipes for their plumbing jobs and each variety has a specific function. Some pipes are made from metal and some pipes are made from plastic. It’s important to know the different pipe varieties if you ever plan to take on a plumbing yourself. You don’t want to use the wrong pipe and end up having to replace it quickly. It’s usually best to call the professional plumbers at Minneapolis’ Roto-Rooter when you have a plumbing problem or project, but knowledge of different types of pipes is never a bad thing.
We usually separate pipes into two distinct categories: metal and plastic. Plastic pipes are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), and polyethylene (PE). Metal pipes are usually made from copper, galvanized steel, and stainless steel. Each type of pipe has its own strengths and weaknesses, which we have outlined below.
PVC is cheap, durable, and lightweight. PVC is often used for sewage and water piping. It’s a nice alternative to metal, because metal pipes can be expensive and susceptible to corrosion.
CPVC is closely related to PVC, but has been chlorinated. The chlorination process allows CPVC to withstand higher temperatures than PVC, making it an ideal choice for hot and cold-water transportation. It is also fire-retardant.
PEX piping is a good alternative to copper in plumbing. It is less susceptible to bursting in freezing temperatures than copper. PEX is also flexible and inexpensive. However, the quality of PEX piping can degrade in sunlight.
PE pipes are generally used outside and buried underground to prevent freezing. It is good for transporting pressurized water. Because of its rigidity, PE isn’t used for many other purposes.
Copper pipes are the most popular type of piping used in residential buildings. They are resistant to corrosion and can withstand high temperatures. However, copper pipes are more susceptible to bursting in freezing temperatures than pipes made out of materials like PEX. Copper has also become very expensive and is often the target of thieves who sell it for scrap.
Galvanized steel pipes resist rusting and are very durable. However, because of their high cost, they are being widely replaced by PEX pipe, which is much cheaper.
Stainless steel pipes are less common than other types of plumbing pipes. It is most often used in salt-water environments, breweries and other food production plants because it resists corrosion.
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