Posted on: 20 October 2015
You are finally building the home of your dreams, and after numerous meetings with the architect, general contractor and project manager, you think everything from bathroom fixtures to the color of the driveway concrete has been selected. But then you meet with the plumber and he asks about pipes. Isn't that his job? Before you defer to his suggestions, do your homework and find out why plastic pipes are today's best plumbing option.
Why Are Plastic Pipes Better?
Advancements in technology have allowed plastic pipes to take the lead in both residential and commercial plumbing. Unlike traditional copper pipes, plastic is corrosion and chemical resistant and can be used for everything from waste drainage to both hot and cold water supply. Generally, PVC plastic pipe is used only for cold water while CPVC and PEX can be installed for both water temperatures.
Because of its low thermal conductivity, plastic pipe is able to maintain temperature, keeping hot water hotter longer and reducing the amount of condensation seen with cold water lines. This saves both time and money during the installation as pipe insulation to prevent surrounding structure damage from dripping water isn't necessary.
Due to the flexibility of plastic pipe, especially PEX pipe, it is conceivable that one piece could easily be used throughout the entire residence, eliminating any fittings other than at the initial water connections. Plastic pipe can easily be routed around corners, through walls and snaked around and between ceiling and floor joists.
Plastic pipes connect easily to pre-existing metal pipes or the copper elbow attached to a hot water heater. Since plastic pipe isn't affected by galvanic and electrolytic reaction, it can safely be connected to metal without any problems, which makes it easier on the installer to complete the job. Often the interior of metal pipes can become clogged when corrosion occurs. Plastic pipes don't have this problem, so when used as drainpipes, they are easier to keep clog free, and therefore a better choice.
Plastic piping and any necessary fittings are less expensive than their metal counterparts. It is also lighter in weight, making it easier to handle and install. This can reduce everything from material and labor costs to workplace accidents. Longevity is always a concern and numerous studies have determined plastic pipe, when installed properly and maintained over its lifespan could easily last 50 years, though generally manufacturer warranties only extend to 25 years.
For more information about using plastic piping for new construction or plumbing repairs, contact a local plumber.Share