Understanding which pipes are the best for your home is a crucial step to ensuring a safe and reliable water supply.
The right piping will depend on your needs and budget. Copper piping is the most expensive option, but it has high corrosion resistance. Steel pipe corrodes easily when in contact with water or other chemicals like saltwater or acid making it unsuitable for use outdoors unless coated. PVC is cheaper than copper but more expensive than steel, however, it does not corrode as easily as steel so it's suitable for outdoor use if properly protected from harsh weather conditions.
In this article, we will provide all the information you will need about the different types of home piping materials so that you’ll know which piping is best for your house. Let's get started.
Types of piping available
The following are some of the most common and easily found piping available for a home.
a. Copper home piping
The most common option for both indoor and outdoor piping is a copper pipe. It can be soldered together without using glue or solder paste, making it easy to install by virtually anyone. Copper is also resistant to corrosion, making it a reliable choice for well-insulated homes.
Refrigeration tubing is made of PVC insulation with copper windings inside. These pipes are suitable for transporting cold air throughout the house so that refrigerators, freezers, and other appliances can function properly. Since these types of tubing aren't suitable for drinking water, use the information in this article to purchase safe materials when you're working on your plumbing system installation.
b. Steel home piping
Steel piping is much cheaper than copper, but it corrodes in contact with water or chemicals like saltwater or acid. This means that steel piping isn't suitable for use outdoors unless it's coated to prevent corrosion. Steel also can't be bent at extreme angles so you'll need special fittings when putting together steel piping systems.
c. PVC home piping
PVC is an affordable alternative to both copper and steel piping materials (both of which are more expensive). It doesn't corrode like steel nor does it require soldering like copper. However, because PVC can become very brittle in cold weather, this may not be the ideal choice if you plan on putting in pipes outside your home; otherwise, this type of piping is an excellent and very affordable choice for inside your home.
Types of plumbers fittings
There are various types of plumbing fittings available in the market today, which can be used to make connections between different pieces of pipe. These include the following:
- Pipe fittings – these connect two or more pieces of pipe to make continuous water flow from one section to another. They may also provide a means for you to attach other components, such as valves and filters.
- Faucet connector – this essential component consists of a faucet valve body with connections for hot and cold water that are either soldered or crimped to copper, PEX, or CPVC tubing.
- Faucet adapters – these connect the faucet valve body to cast iron, steel, plastic, or copper pipes; they're available in many different styles from a simple tee fitting to one with multiple branch connections that allow you to install two or more supply lines from a single valve.
- Faucet repair kits – if your faucet has stopped working properly, replacing this component will resolve any problems you're having with it. The repair kit includes the pop-up assembly and metal lift wire used to operate the pop-up stopper in sink drain holes. You'll also get replacement washers and seals.
- Pipe elbows – these are used to make 90-degree bends in piping so that it doesn't kink or bend too sharply. It can be placed directly on the pipe or the inside of a fitting, depending on where you're installing it. All pipe elbows have female threads located at one end for attaching them to other pieces of pipe which will connect by screwing onto the elbow's male threads.
Image Credit: http://civiconcepts.com
Types Of Under-Sink Shutoff Valves
In addition to understanding which types of pipe you need, understanding valves is also important. There are different types of under-sink shutoff valves commonly used for homes. They include the following:
- Ball-type valve – this type of under-sink shutoff valve is attached to a flexible water line that can be installed horizontally or vertically, depending on where it's needed. It typically has metal handles that you turn to bring the ball inside closer to (or away from) its sheath, which restricts (or allows) water flow through pipes leading to and from the faucet.
- Gate valves – this type of valve is used when you need to shut off the water supply to a section of your home. It's much easier to turn than ball-type shutoff valves because it has a large handle that requires very little force when turning.
- Angle stop valves – these valves may be attached directly to your home's plumbing system or installed in its box and connected by flexible tubing instead. They're typically made from durable metal and provide strong and dependable performance, but they can become corroded if they rely on galvanized steel for their manufacture.
- Check/Relief valves – since under-sink tanks are prone to accumulating air pressure, these types of check/relief valves are used to monitor that pressure and then release it when necessary. If the air pressure rises too high, this type of valve opens up so that the excess pressure is released through either a pipe or a tube running up to your plumbing system's highest point.
It's crucial to learn about the types of under-sink shutoff valves available before choosing the right one for you.
How To Replace Shower Valve
Once you understand the types of valves are available, replacing a shower valve is not as hard as it sounds. The first step is to shut off the water supply and remove any existing valves and pipes attached to it. Then, you can remove the old shower valves and replace them with the new ones you've purchased.
The process of replacing a shower valve is not complicated and can usually be done by a novice DIYer.
Image Credit: http://thisoldhouse.com
Final thoughts on types of home piping materials
In conclusion, metal plumbing systems have the largest selection of piping materials, but these are mostly limited to pipes and tubing. The other types of material all have a smaller variety of products available.
Often there is not a single type of piping material that can be used in a given situation so having a lot of choices is one benefit metal has over the alternatives. Each different type of material has its own special properties which make it more suitable for some applications than others.