There are multiple choices of materials when you decide to update existing water lines or install new ones. The basic differences are in price and ease of installation, but there are also other pros and cons that you must consider before choosing which type of pipes to install in your home.
Galvanized steel pipe
If you are living in an older home, there's a good chance that your water lines are made from galvanized steel. The galvanizing process uses zinc as a rust inhibitor to keep your pipes from succumbing to rust and corrosion from constant exposure to water.
Galvanized steel pipe is tough and durable and difficult to damage when jostled or struck with sharp objects. These pipes can last for decades before corroding from within and ultimately needing replacement. Steel pipes and fittings use threaded metal connections that make installation simple and require no welding or adhesives to install.
However, if you have a home with older galvanized pipes that have begun to rust from the inside out, your drinking water may become contaminated and discolored before they begin to leak. If the inside of your toilet tank is dark brown or a white, plastic water container acquires a brown film on the inside surface, you must use a water filter for drinking until your galvanized supply lines can be replaced.
Copper pipe is the best pipe for supply lines but is also the most expensive and labor intensive to install. Copper's main advantage is that it is rust proof, so it will not fail from rust and corrosion or expose your family to contamination of their drinking water over time.
Copper pipe and fittings are much more expensive than other materials used in home plumbing, and copper water lines must be soldered together, which adds to the expense.
Although the copper water lines in your home may be durable and efficient, if they were installed before 1986, the solder used in installation may contain lead that can leech into drinking water and expose children to lead poisoning. The Safe Water Drinking Act of 1986 prohibited the use of leaded solders after its implementation, but any copper lines installed before 1986 may need to be replaced.
CPVC (Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) pipe is also called plastic pipe, and is both less expensive and easier to install than steel or copper pipe. It is rust proof like copper but a fraction of the cost of copper pipe.
CPVC pipe and fittings are installed with special adhesives that eliminate the need for threading as in steel pipes or soldering as in copper pipes. You can choose to replace sections of your water lines with CPVC pipe by using adapter fittings that connect them to existing copper or steel water lines, without compromising the integrity of the water lines.
However, the adhesives and cleaners used in CPVC installation must be used in well-ventilated areas or with respirators because of their noxious fumes, and if a house fire should occur, your water lines will need to be replaced.
The option you choose will likely be affected by your financial situation, the age of your home, and the amount of time that you intend to live there. For more assistance, contact a plumbing company like Absolute Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Services Inc.Share
19 September 2016
Hello, I’m Melanie. Welcome to my site about plumbing repairs. When I went on vacation last winter, the pipes beneath my house burst during a cold snap. I did not notice the problem until the weather warmed up and the pipes started leaking an immense amount of water. I had a plumber come inspect the crawlspace under my home to find and assess the problem. The broken pipes had to be replaced to rectify the issue. My site will cover all sorts of plumbing problems and repairs in detail to help you deal with similar situations. Some of these will be DIY, but others you'll need to know when to hire a professional.