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Learning About the Types of Plumbing Pipes

Learning About the Types of Plumbing PipesYour home’s plumbing system performs essential services that provides you fresh supply water and conveys waste water away. The pipeworks involved in this process have changed over time, but still perform the same services. Read on to gain a basic understanding of your home’s pipes, which could come in handy for the occasional troubleshooting.

Pipes and Your Plumbing

When you think about it, many of your home appliances need pipes for water supply and/or waste. Your clothes and dish washers use several gallons for cleaning. Your refrigerator may have an ice maker. Don’t forget about your toilets, showers, sinks, and water heater! Even your trusty A/C system uses pipes to convey condensate away.

The types of pipes used for your home appliances are commonly made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) and/or copper.

  • PVC: PVC is a white or cream-colored plastic pipe material that is often used in drain lines. PVC is unaffected by harsh chemicals and very strong — it appears to last a lifetime.
  • Flexible PVC: Flexible pipes are very useful for many applications. Flexible PVC may be used for toilets, water heaters, and A/C and heat pump drainage.
  • ABS: The first plastic pipe used in residential plumbing systems was ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene). ABS isn’t as durable as PVC pipe because the joints commonly loosen over the years.
  • Rigid copper: There are two types of copper pipes in residential systems. Rigid copper pipe is used for water supply lines, such as for your water heater. Like PVC, copper pipe resists corrosion, but it is more expensive.
  • Flexible copper: Flexible copper is often used to supply fresh water to your water heater, your clothes and dish washers, and your refrigerator. It is more expensive than flexible PVC and plastic tubing.

Historic Homes

Orlando has many beautiful historic homes. The plumbing systems installed in these old homes were typically made of cast iron and steel. Contact your professional plumber if you have questions about repairing or replacing pipes in historic homes.

Ensure your water service isn’t interrupted by scheduling plumbing maintenance with Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We’ve helped Orlando-area homeowners since 1969!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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