Basic Types of Pipes Used in Plumbing

Since you have a choice of several kinds of pipe, doing your own plumbing can be quite a confusing experience. You will have a hard time to choose because they can blend together. When the choice was limited to galvanized pipe or galvanized pipe, the answer isn’t a clear as it may have been in the past few years. Here are the types of pipes that can be found at home. 



This is found in supply lines and suitable to be done even if without the help of professionals. This type of pipe is flexible; color coded and has truly delivered water supply plumbing. PEX is simple to join and easy to cut. It yields to logic since it can make 90-degree curves with ease. Plumbing supply lines with PEX is easy for most homeowners. 

    PVC- Polyvinyl Chloride 

Found in drain and vent lines. Because it is lighter and much easier to work compared to traditional galvanized steel pipes, PVC pipe has been a very big deal in the industry of plumbing for the last few decades. 

For drain or waste pipes, as well as stacks, you will generally be using PVC pipe. Because it requires little more than a hacksaw, miter box, and solvents which will eventually stick the pipe together, this makes it very easy to install. 

On the white surface of the pipe, the diameters are clearly marked. Diameter can be determined using a sizing tool such as Pi-piper if you are not able to easily read the mark. 

    Rigid Copper 

Mainly found in supply lines and is also known as the water supply pipe. Using a hacksaw or a special tube cutter, you can easily cut this type of pipe. As it requires a practiced hand to solder copper together, a connection is a different matter. Because it does that carry the health risk that PVS has, a rigid copper pipe is great for water supply. 


Except that it is black, this pipe looks exactly like PVC pipes. It is often not allowed anymore by plumbing codes because it is the older version of PVC. Just like PVC, it is also used to drain vent and drain pipes. The best thing that you can do is to replace with PVC if you are working with ABS. 

    Flexible Copper Tubing 

For short runs, flexible copper is used. In tight spots, you can see it leading up to your water heater or for cold water supply. Using a hacksaw, you can easily cut a flexible copper tube and bent to fit around the corners of your home. Flexible copper tubing is not recommended for exterior use because it cannot stand up well to extreme temperatures.  

    Galvanized Steel 

The pipe of popular imagination is the galvanized steel. When you think of a plumbing, it is the pipe that comes into your mind. With each end of the pipe threaded, it is made of galvanized steel. Using connecting joints, individual pipes are screwed into each other. 

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