Types of Plastic Pipes for Plumbing
5 Common Types of Plastic Pipes for Plumbing
ABS: Short for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, this sturdy plastic was one of the first plastics used for residential plumbing. ABS pipes are always black and tend to be softer than PVC. They are mainly used for vent and drain lines, along with other outdoor underground uses where cold temperatures are common.
CPVC: This type of PVC has been treated with chlorine, making it more resistant to high temperatures and pressures. It's commonly used in industrial plumbing and residential hot water lines that standard PVC wouldn't be suited for.
HDPE: High-density polyethylene is so tough and durable that it can be used for virtually all plumbing needs. It can also reduce water pressure since it has a low coefficient of friction, allowing water to flow easily inside.
PEX: Cross-linked polyethylene is used in home plumbing systems for hot and cold water pipes, as well as freshwater kitchen and bathroom systems. PEX pipes are generally color-coded so plumbers can easily identify hot and cold lines.
PVC: One of the most familiar piping plastic types, polyvinyl chloride has a number of uses beyond water transfer. It's commonly used for main water lines, but not hot water applications since it warps at temperatures higher than 140°F.
Why Use Plastic Pipe for Water Lines?
While steel, cast iron and copper are all good pipe materials that are still in use, plastic offers many advantages that they lack. One of the biggest is that plastic is easy to cut and form into any shape or size needed, even on jobsites, which reduces the amount of labor required to install them. Other benefits of plastic pipe for water lines include:
Non-Reactive: A common issue with metal piping is that, when two dissimilar types are connected, they can react with one another and corrode. This isn't an issue with plastic pipes for plumbing, which are resistant to chemical corrosion.
Corrosion Resistant: Many metals begin to rust after extensive contact with water and other fluids. Plastic will not, and it can even be specially formulated to meet the demands of the system they'll be an important part of.
Low Heat Conductivity: Many types of plastic piping can handle a wide range of temperatures without warping or cracking. At the same time, their low conductivity helps maintain the temperature of the water inside without creating condensation like copper pipes are prone to do (if not insulated).
Color-Coded & Marked: Plastic pipes for plumbing will almost always be distinguished by color and have marks on the outside to denote diameter, pressure rating and type of plastic. In some cases, plastic pipes will also have a laboratory seal to signal that they can be used for potable water. This makes it easy to identify the type and purpose of the pipe so you can replace it, if necessary.
What is the PPR Pipe?
First things first, so what exactly is the PPR pipe? Also known as Polypropylene Random Copolymer, PPR pipe is a cylindrical and rigid pipe made from PPR. The pipe is produced through a continuous process known as extrusion. These pipes are usually white or green.
Most PPR pipes have a diameter of 20mm to 110mm. This means that the PPR pipe is thicker than its PVC companions. In addition to that, PPR pipes feature a network of fittings, accessories, and parts. These accessories are available for each PPR pipe diameter.
Like all other pipes, PPR pipes also have their unique properties. These properties set it apart from other pipes. ;
Low Thermal Conductivity
The first thing you should about PPR pipes is that they have low thermal conductivity. This means that external temperatures don’t get to the liquid inside the pipe. Likewise, temperature from the liquid does not escape to the external environment. This is why PPR pipes minimize heat loss or heat gain during the transfer of cold and hot fluids. Using PPR pipes guarantees efficiency and reduced costs.
PPR pipes can serve you for more than 50 years under varying environmental conditions and a wide range of fluids. What is more, PPR pipes can withstand both cold and hot water systems. To help you understand, PPR pipes can handle the pressure and strain of hot water without breaking. ; Of course, the premise is that the 50-year life span can only be guaranteed under normal use conditions, such as protecting the pipeline under extreme weather.
Ecological and Economic Efficiency
PPR pipes are easy to transport, cut, and join. These pipes are also easy to use and do not need additional chemicals and materials.
Everything You Need to Know About PVC Pipes
What are PVC pipes?
PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. It is a chlorinated hydrocarbon polymer. In its natural state, it is rigid and brittle. But when combined with additives such as plasticizers, it becomes more resilient and malleable.
What are the benefits of PVC pipes?
PVC pipes are the preferred media for transporting water and electricity in a variety of sectors. Their high resistance to heat and corrosion are the main contributors to their extensive utilization.
Owing to its smooth surface, there is a low level of friction between PVC and flowing liquids when compared to concrete and metal. This makes it a preferred material for pipes that are conduits for water supply.
It is lightweight and easy to transport over large distances to be laid as pipelines. This means that less fuel is used to transport them, making them eco-friendly.
It is cost-effective since a relatively simple process is used for its mass production.
It is easy to mold into different shapes, making it a versatile material with a wide range of applications.
It is strong and durable and resistant to large amounts of stress. This makes it a suitable material for underground pipes and pipes through which pressurized fluids need to pass.
An advantageous chemical property of PVC is its inertness or resistance to chemical reactions with other substances. This makes it safe for the transportation of drinking water and water that is used for household purposes.
PVC can last a hundred years when installed underground. This makes it low-maintenance and a favored material for vast pipeline networks, whose maintenance and overhaul costs would be extremely high with legacy materials like steel, iron and cement.
PVC pipes are easy to install, dismantle and maintain. Its failure or break rate is extremely low when compared to that of legacy materials.
What is a PE pipe? What are its uses?
Polyethylene is a thermoplastic material produced from the polymerization of ethylene. PE plastic pipe is manufactured by extrusion in sizes ranging from ½" to 63". PE is available in rolled coils of various lengths or in straight lengths up to 40 feet.
Generally small diameters are coiled and large diameters are in straight lengths. PE pipe is available in many varieties of wall thicknesses. A significant benefit of plastic pipe is its small environmental impact compared to other materials.
These benefits make it an ideal piping material for a broad variety of applications such as potable water service or distribution lines, natural gas distribution, lawn sprinklers, sewers, waste disposal, and drainage lines. PE materials are generally resistant to most ordinary chemicals.
Polyethylene can be used in low temperatures without risk of brittle failure. Thus, a major application for certain PE piping formulations is for low-temperature heat transfer applications such as radiant floor heating, snow melting, ice rinks, and geothermal ground source heat pump piping.
PE pipe is recognized as acceptable plumbing piping for water services, drainage, and sewer applications in most model plumbing codes. Verify acceptance and installation of PE piping systems with the local code enforcement authorities having jurisdiction.
What is PVC Pipe Fittings?
PVC pipe fittings come in different forms. PVC fittings are also known as connectors. Fittings can be made from different materials and do vary according to the manufacturer.
Different Types of PVC Pipe Fittings
Different types of PVC fittings have unique applications and uses. When shopping for a fitting, keep in mind that each fitting has various amount of iterations and applications. PVC fittings can be put into two broad categories:
Plumbing grade connectors- are used in plumbing drainage systems and sewer systems.
Furniture grade connectors
What is PE Pipe Fittings?
A fitting or adapter is used in pipe systems to connect straight sections of pipe or tube, adapt to different sizes or shapes, and for other purposes such as regulating (or measuring) fluid flow.
PE fitting stands for Poly Ethylene pipe fitting. PE pipes can be connected to pipes in other materials by a range of mechanical fittings available from the relevant manufacturers. These can either be transition couplets to connect the pipes together directly or flange connections.