What Are The Main Types of Plumbing Pipes Used in Homes



Whether you hire a plumber or do a DIY plumbing project, the experience can be perplexing due to the various types of water pipes available. Pipes’ various applications tend to blur together over time. What type of pipe should you use for water supply, drainage, sewer, and even outside use? The answer isn’t as straightforward as it was in the past, when the most common pipes were galvanized steel or cast iron.


PEX Pipe is a type of plastic pipe that is commonly used in construction.

PEX, or cross-linked polyethylene pipe, is one of the most recent and widely used pipes on the market. PEX is only used to deliver water. PEX is a flexible pipe that can weave its way through walls, ceilings, basements, and crawlspaces while remaining rigid enough to handle water pressures. Do-it-yourselfers and professional plumbers alike have found PEX to make water-supply piping easier.


Before you install PEX pipe, make sure you check your local codes. While it is widely used in the United States, it is not legal in all states. Make sure it’s well-supported. If it’s going to be hidden behind walls, make sure the fittings are put in and tested by a professional.


PVC pipe made of PVCA pipe is a drain or vent line type of plumbing pipe made of polyvinyl chloride. PVC first gained popularity as a lighter and easier-to-work-with alternative to typical galvanized steel pipe. PVC pipe is reasonably simple to install, requiring only a hacksaw and a miter box for cutting. PVC is held together by solvents.


Before you install PVC pipe, make sure you check your local codes. While it is widely used in the United States, it is not legal in all states. It should be firmly supported, and the fittings should be carefully installed and inspected.

On the white surface of the pipe, there are clearly designated diameters. It is low-cost and suitable for long-term use, such as irrigation.

It’s less difficult to work with than steel or copper.


Rigid Copper Pipe

Water supply lines in the home are frequently made of rigid copper. A hacksaw or a dedicated copper tube cutter can easily cut rigid copper. Rigid copper pipe is ideal for water distribution since it poses no health risks.


The solder-type connection is the best of the several connection possibilities. The solder connection necessitates both experience and adherence to safety regulations.

ABS Pipe

ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) pipe is mostly used for venting and drainage. ABS pipe resembles PVC pipe in appearance, but it is black and significantly softer. If you’re not sure where you can use this product, check your local codes.

Flexible Type Connection

Final connections to appliances are made via flexible connections, often known as Flexis. water heaters, toilets, and sinks, for example. They come in a variety of lengths and sizes and are utilized for gas and household water. However, local laws must be obeyed. They are not authorized within the confines of the walls or floors.

Galvanized Steel Pipe and Cast Iron

Pipe made of cast iron and galvanized steel

Steel and cast iron pipe are two more forms of pipe that are seldom seen in older homes and are rarely installed, especially by DIYers.

For decades, galvanized steel pipe was utilized for drainage, water delivery, gas supply, and a variety of other applications. While galvanized steel pipe is still utilized for gas supply (especially in new construction and remodel projects), it is rarely used for water supply. Individual pipes are screwed into each other with connecting fittings, and each end of the pipe is threaded.

For sewer and other drainage functions, cast iron pipe was commonly employed. Many residences still have cast iron pipe, and it’s also employed in many commercial and high-rise building applications. Cast iron pipe is usable until it is fully rusted through. Cast iron is a hefty metal that is tough to work with. Cast iron pipe is typically replaced with stiff plastic pipes such as ABS in retrofits. Cast iron pipe is sturdy, long-lasting, and long-lasting.


There are no longer any pros to using galvanized pipe. However, in other applications, such as natural gas, it is still essential.