5 Types of Plumbing Pipes You’ll Find in Homes

There are many different types of plumbing pipes used today. Some are classics, while others are made of more modern materials. Regardless of which type you choose, they all have their own benefits and disadvantages. Regardless of your needs, the integrity of your home’s plumbing is crucial for your health and quality of life. Here are the five most common types of pipes used in homes. To learn more about the different types, keep reading!

Polyvinyl chloride

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a synthetic material that combines the qualities of vinyl and plastic. It is manufactured at a very low cost and is used for water supply and drainage systems. It is inexpensive to buy and install, and has numerous benefits. Although PVC is commonly used for cold water pipes, it is not suitable for hot water. Here are some benefits of polyvinyl chloride plumbing:

This synthetic plastic is resistant to chemicals and alkalis, and it is the most widely used plastic. However, it is also a high fire risk. Some people prefer PVC-free electrical wire insulation in these types of applications. Another disadvantage is its poor heat stability. Although it is relatively inexpensive, it is prone to melting and emits toxic fumes. This is the primary reason that PVC pipes are common in homes.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene

ABS is an acronym for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and is a type of plastic commonly used in plumbing. It is used for sewage and drainage systems in homes, as well as vents and DWV systems (direct-waste water) systems. ABS is highly durable and is often used in home construction. It is resistant to corrosion and can withstand high temperatures.

ABS and PVC pipes are very similar. The main difference between them is their use in plumbing systems. ABS is primarily used in drain, waste, and venting systems, while PVC is more commonly used in new construction. ABS pipes can withstand high water pressures and are suitable for plumbing in new construction. Both types of plastic pipes can be easily cut and fitted, and both have the same bright chrome finish.

Galvanized steel

While you might not know it, galvanized steel pipes are still used in many homes. These pipes are grey in color and have threaded fittings. They have a lifespan of 40 to 50 years. However, it is important to note that the quality of the materials used in their manufacture greatly affects the pipe’s life span. To avoid the risk of corrosion, it is wise to use a copper line instead of a galvanized one.

The corrosion of galvanized steel pipes is visible in attics, but only in severe cases. It is difficult to move around in these spaces, and some homes were not designed to allow for full attic access. But a good home inspector will be able to note the presence of galvanized steel pipes when examining a property. A good inspector will be able to spot these rusty pipes and identify the type of pipes present.


If you’re considering installing copper plumbing pipes in your home, you should be aware that this material is not without risk. Despite the low risk, traces of copper in water can leach out, causing a stain. Copper is considered an essential micronutrient for all living organisms, and while trace amounts are not harmful, elevated levels can lead to health problems. Leaking copper is a problem you may not even know you have, but fortunately, it’s easy to detect.

There are three types of copper piping: Type K, type M, and type L. Type K is the thinnest, while Type L is the thickest and most common type for residential plumbing. Type M is typically the cheapest option, and it can be used in tighter spaces or in areas where flexibility is important. Type M copper pipe is also more flexible, but it’s a little less durable than type L.


ABS plumbing pipes are common in homes, so why is this material so common? They are durable, easy to work with, and inexpensive. However, if you do decide to try installing ABS pipe in your home, you should make sure you follow some safety tips. Glue or pipe cement should not be used for joining ABS and PVC pipes. You must check your local code before you start the process. For simple installations, you can use fittings made for ABS pipes to join them.

Another benefit of ABS piping is that it bonds with other pieces of pipe in one step. PVC pipes require two steps: priming and drying. Using primer adds extra labor and mess. But when it comes to plumbing, ABS pipes are the best choice. The material is more affordable compared to PVC pipes, so you can save a significant amount of money by using them. You can also save a lot of time by installing ABS pipes.