Primer on Various Plumbing Pipe Materials, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the piping formats you may find in older homes that were built in previous decades. Many such homes still stand today and may contain the same pipes they did upon initial construction, though many may have had their pipes retrofitted or upgraded in the years since.

At My Buddy the Plumber in Provo, our trustworthy plumbers are experienced with a wide variety of pipe formats, from older versions to many types you’ll find in newer homes today. In today’s part two, we’ll dig into a few of these more modern options for plumbing pipe materials, including why you might consider replacing older pipes with these options if your piping system is having issues.

primer plumbing pipe materials

Concrete Pipes

Concrete is an interesting material in the plumbing and piping world, in that it can be used for both piping itself and as an encasement for other piping formats. Concrete pipes themselves are extremely strong and durable, lasting decades and serving as one of the most reliable options for modern homes.

More commonly, however, concrete will be used to house and insulate other pipe types, whether clay or some of the composites we’ll detail here in a moment. Concrete is also an affordable material for these circumstances, which is another big reason it’s popular.

PVC and ABS

These abbreviations refer to two similar new-generation composites that are some of the most popular piping materials today: Polyvinyl chloride and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. Both these products are excellent for plumbing pipes, with rust and corrosion prevention qualities that stop them from corroding over time.

In addition, both these types are extremely versatile – they can be used on their own, or in coordination with cast iron or clay pipes. They’re also cost-effective and, maybe best of all, entirely smooth; this means they naturally resist root intrusion in the yard when they’re part of a main sewer line. These two materials might be the most popular for new plumbing pipes today.

PEX

A similar but different form of plastic composite is PEX, short for polyethylene cross-linked pipe. This pipe is often used for water supply lines due to its rust and corrosion prevention plus simple installation – it’s known to be a flexible piping product, one that makes it extremely simple to work with, including in confined spaces. In addition, it has color-coded construction formats that make installation a breeze. Finally, PEX is an excellent choice because it has multiple different connection methods possible, meaning several different tool setups will work for installing it.

For more on the kinds of pipe you may find in your home, or to learn about this or any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.