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Everything You Need to Know About Plumbing Pipes: Types, Maintenance, and Insurance

The Essential guide to plumbing pipes

Water is an essential resource that we rely on for numerous daily life activities. From morning showers to cooking meals and staying hydrated, there are hundreds of chores where water plays a fundamental part in our lives. 

But have you ever wondered how water reaches your home and how it is distributed throughout the various faucets and fixtures? This is where your plumbing system comes in. As we heavily rely on it, it’s important to gain knowledge about your plumbing system. Understanding the different types of plumbing pipes is key to ensuring a reliable and efficient water supply. 

In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the most common types of plumbing pipes, what plumbing pipes are made of, and depending on your need, which pipe is best for plumbing.

We will also answer questions like “How to clean plumbing pipes for better maintenance?” and “Does home warranty cover plumbing pipe damage?” 

So, if you are all in to unravel every necessary information about plumbing pipes, you ended up in the right place. Let’s dive in to know the top 6 types of plumbing pipes. 

Top 6 Types of Home Plumbing Pipes 

PEX Pipes

PEX pipes, also known as cross-linked polyethylene, are the most commonly used plastic pipe for plumbing. While being flexible enough to weave through your walls, ceilings, basements, and crawlspaces, it is rigid enough to handle the water pressure appropriately, making it optimal for water supply lines. 

Homeowners mostly use PEX pipes because they are one of the cheapest and most reliable plumbing pipes. Also, they are simple to cut and connect. The tubes are typically available in 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch sizes and are frequently color-coded with red for hot water and blue for cold.

One drawback of PEX pipes is they cannot stand the heat. It’s important to remember not to use PEX pipes for any outdoor applications. Heat and UV radiation can severely harm the plastic. Pipes could melt or can affect water taste and odor issues. However, you can spare yourself from contamination worries.

PVC Pipes

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride pipe, is a white plastic pipe commonly used for waste lines such as sink, toilet, or shower drain lines. Compared to traditional galvanized steel pipe, it is lighter, cheaper, and simpler to deal with. It is also quite durable and affordable.

Installing PVC plumbing pipe is reasonably simple; cutting it just requires a hacksaw and a miter box. Solvents are used to bond it together.

PVC pipes feature a smooth inner lining that guards against sediment accumulation and makes them more resistant to obstructions. They also protect your water from rust and corrosion better than many other types of pipes. PVC pipe will last a lifetime if it’s not damaged for a specific reason. You can also use PVC pipe in your home’s plumbing since it can withstand high water pressure.

A disadvantage of PVC pipe is that it can’t tolerate hot water; when exposed, it may start to deform or even melt. There have also been some safety concerns. Although it complies with all the requirements of the Standards Council of Canada, there are worries that it might transfer polyvinyl chloride compounds into drinking water, which may result in respiratory and reproductive issues. Several states have outlawed the transportation of drinking water through PVC plumbing pipes because of this.

Copper Pipes

You can easily identify copper pipes by their bright reddish-brown color. These are usually used for water supply lines in homes. Professionals prefer copper pipes because it doesn’t have a chance of leaking chemicals, unlike other types of plastic plumbing pipes. Installing copper pipes ensures your safety from any potential health hazard.

For many years, copper pipe has been a mainstay in the plumbing sector. It is frequently used for sinks, showers, tubs, and other fixtures because it has more than 50 years of longevity. 

Professional plumbing services prefer copper pipes because they resist corrosion and assist in preserving the purity of water. Because copper doesn’t corrode and germs can’t grow, the water won’t be harmed in any way.

The capacity of copper pipe to withstand high water pressure and both hot and cold water temperatures is another benefit. Also, it can be recycled, making it one of the most ecologically responsible choices on this list.

With all these amazing benefits, copper pipe includes some disadvantages you should consider. Due to its high cost and hard nature, copper pipe is challenging to employ in narrow, cramped places. However, soft copper choices are available to tackle this issue of flexibility.

ABS Pipes

ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) pipe is made of a thermoplastic resin. This can be identical to PVC pipe except that it is black and a little softer. It is primarily used as a drain and vent pipe.

Although sun exposure can bend and weaken it, this pipe is a somewhat durable and affordable option. However, similar to PVC, it may not be up to code in many areas, so check your local laws.

Flexi Pipes

A flexible plumbing pipe, or “flexi pipe,” is often constructed of stainless steel. Final plumbing connections to appliances like water heaters, toilets, and sinks frequently employ this type of fitting. Typically, it is not allowed to be used inside walls or floors. 

Flexi pipe comes in a variety of diameters and lengths. It is reasonably resilient, although it frequently breaks down after years of use and abuse. Although you normally don’t need a lot of it for a job, another back draw is it is pricier than other types of plumbing pipes.

Galvanized Steel Pipes

Galvanized steel pipe was massively used once upon a time. It used to be the preferred material for residential plumbing, with zinc-coated pipe to prevent corrosion, but it is now much less prevalent for water supply. Though you still might find it in older homes.

Galvanized steel is a sturdy, corrosion-resistant steel pipe material used for many years for gas, water, drainage, and other uses. Although it is still used for gas delivery, galvanized steel pipe is far less frequent and is not utilized for water supply in new construction or remodeling projects. Despite its high endurance, installing it costs a lot of money. The pipe has threads on both ends, and connection fittings are used to screw separate pipes together.

How To Clean Plumbing Pipes?

Cleaning your pipes is essentially important to prevent blockages and clogging. They may seriously harm your appliances, fixtures, and pipes if ignored for too long. Pipes and drains are easily clogged with debris such as grease, hair, food waste, and soap residue. But don’t worry. 

You can easily prevent these typical blockages by regularly cleaning and maintaining your pipes. By following our simple, efficient methods, you can easily clean and maintain your plumbing pipes, avoiding costly repair costs.

Use A Common Plunger

A plunger is a common tool easily found in any hardware store. Place the plunger over the drain and firmly depress the plunger. Pull up straight with a little touch. Pushing and pulling should be repeated many times. The plunger will function more efficiently if you add a little water to the sink, toilet, or bathtub to produce suction around the drain.

Use Chemical Solutions

Another easy fix to clean your plumbing pipes is chemical drain cleaners. These inexpensive cleansers are simple to use—just pour, wait, and flush. These are excellent for getting rid of tiny blockages or difficult buildup. However, always carefully check the product label since some of these chemicals may corrode plastic plumbing or may not be suggested for use in kitchen sinks.

Don’t forget to check out our in- depth guide here we share ‘Top Plumbing Maintenance Tips So You Can Avoid Costly Repairs.’ 

Purchase A Pipe Cleaner

Pipe cleaner, also known as snake cleaner, is an excellent tool that can be used to clear clogs from your drain pipes, which you can simply find in a home improvement store. Just insert the cleaner into the drain pipe and move around until the obstruction is forced out and away.

Use Vinegar And Baking Soda

Pour half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar down the pipe. If you can, block off the drain. Allow the mixture to rest in the drain for a while. 

Next, pour five or six cups of boiling water into the drain to flush out the grease and particles that have built up in your pipes. Never use this technique just after using a professional drain opener since the baking soda and vinegar may react negatively with the chemicals.

Does Home Warranty Cover Plumbing Pipe Damage?

According to Rates.ca, your home warranty will cover most of the plumbing damage, at least here in Canada. The home insurance policy would provide coverage for an emergency plumbing service required by a broken pipe or a ruptured water heater. 

We know that tackling plumbing damages can be very costly. If you face any sort of plumbing damage, instantly notify your insurance provider so that your financial losses are minimized as much as possible. 

Conclusion

Understanding the different types of plumbing pipes and how they function will help you to maintain a reliable and efficient water supply in your home. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages that should be considered based on your specific needs and requirements.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your plumbing pipes are essential to prevent blockages and costly repairs. Simple tools like plungers and pipe cleaners can effectively clear clogs, while chemical solutions and natural remedies like vinegar and baking soda can help keep your pipes clean and free from buildup.

Regarding insurance coverage, home warranties typically provide protection against plumbing pipe damage, ensuring that your financial losses are minimized in emergencies. It’s important to notify your insurance provider promptly if you experience any plumbing issues to take advantage of the coverage available.

By gaining knowledge about your plumbing system, maintaining your pipes, and understanding your insurance coverage, you can ensure a reliable and efficient water supply in your home while avoiding unnecessary expenses. So, take the time to learn about your plumbing pipes and keep them in good condition for a stress-free and well-functioning household with help of a professional plumbing service in Toronto.

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