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Replacing your Plumbing Pipes


If you are planning on replacing the plumbing pipes in your home, you will find there are a number of materials to choose from. This can make it a little difficult to decide which one would be the best to use. Before we start on any pipe replacement work, we at A. McKenna Plumbing always provide comprehensive advice about the different options available and what would work best for you.

Different types of pipes

Here is a list of the different types of commonly-used pipes available in the market today:

  • PVC:

The full form of this acronym is- PolyVinyl Chloride. This pipe is used in a variety of applications ranging from water mains to drainage pipes etc. In most instances, these pipes are used in residential settings, for irrigation piping as well as in building supply piping. In fact, they are also used in spa & pool systems.

While these pipes are widely available in white color, they are available in a variety of other colors as well. The joints used to connect PVC pipes are made using a primer which softens the PVC; PVC glue is then melted and applied to the joints to hold them together.

  • CPVC:

This is an acronym for Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride, and pipes made of this material can easily stand temperatures ranging up to around 180 degrees. This means they are suitable for hot and cold water pipes in a home. The outer diameter of these pipes is the same as that of the PEX and copper pipes, and so the standard push-fit fittings such as SharkBite that are used for the latter will also fit CPVC pipes. When a joint is being created for these pipes, you have to use a primer & CPVC compatible glue.

  • PEX:

These are XLPEl or Cross-linked polyethylene, however, PEX is easier to say and remember. This material is commonly used for cold & hot water in a home as it has a very high resistance to cold and hot temperatures. Today, most plumbing professionals prefer this material as it is easy-to-use and is competitively priced. It’s also available in longer rolls of piping which is another advantage. These pipes are joined with push-fit fittings and crimp rings are used to secure the joints.

  • Copper Pipe:

Pipes made of copper are used to distribute cold & hot water as well as in the refrigerant in HVAC systems. These are suitable for aboveground as well as underground applications. However, as certain types of soils can affect copper its best to sleeve the pipes in underground applications.

Since copper pipes are far more expensive and the installation is labor-intensive, most builders are now switching to other alternatives. These pipes are connected with fittings that have been soldered onto them.

  • Galvanized Pipe:

These are iron/steel pipes that have a zinc coating which protects the pipe from deteriorating. The installation of these pipes is very tedious as they have to be cut and threaded before being fitted. They aren’t really used in homes very often, any longer. However, it is the preferred material to transport water in large-scale commercial applications.

As you can see, there are a number of  different pipes to choose from. If you are planning on upgrading the piping system in your home or commercial establishment, simply call us at McKenna Plumbing and we will provide you all the information and services you need.