Types of Plumbing Pipes Used in Homes

Types of Plumbing Pipes Used in Homes

There’s a lot to manage when it comes to residential plumbing services. Expert plumbers must know each component and fixture that feeds into potential issues, including piping. Here are some types of plumbing pipes used in homes along with some of their advantages and disadvantages.


ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and is used as a vent and drain line under drains, waste, and vent pipes. They come in the same sizes as PVC pipe, usually small and compact for interior fixtures. ABS is stronger than conventional PVC pipes and good for underground and cold use. Still, it can warp and deform in certain temperatures, meaning it should never be exposed to direct sunlight.


Rigid and flexible copper piping are two other types of plumbing pipes used in homes. Rigid pipes are used for water supply lines within the home because they have no health risks and can handle intense pressure. Rigid copper is also recyclable and handles heat well. Soldered connections can be difficult for people doing their own plumbing work, and the inside of the pipe might corrode in time. Alternatively, flexible copper piping is used for water heaters, refrigerators, and sinks. It’s ideal for short runs and tight, misshapen areas. It also has a high heat tolerance, but flexible copper piping is thin and often prone to breakage.


Galvanized steel is a strong but infrequently used pipe material found primarily in older homes as a lead-free alternative. Used for drainage, water, and gas supply, the pipe screws together with connecting joints. While extremely strong, galvanized steel is notorious for rusting, which can affect water quality. It can also clog and impede water control.


Probably the most common pipe in residential plumbing today is PEX. Also known as polyethylene cross-linked pipe, this plastic tubing transfers water without the rust or corrosion hazards that other pipe materials present. PEX is incredibly flexible, easy to cut, and effortless to install. There’s also a clear color-coded system for simple organization: red for hot water, blue for cold, and white for either. PEX tubes also connect directly to the water faucet and water distribution manifold. Each manifold has its own shut-off valve for easy repairs or maintenance.


Lastly, PVC—or polyvinyl chloride—pipe is used for draining, waste, or sewer vents. Light and easy to work with, it’s commonly used for low-temperature and low-pressure applications. Small PVC pipes are best used for sinks and plumbing vents, whereas larger ones are used for toilet and waste drainage. Each PVC pipe has “NSF-PW” or “NSF-61” specifications to indicate its compliance with certain health requirements.

For the best local plumbing service in the Yuba City area, give us a call at Fletcher’s Plumbing & Contracting. We give equal attention to any residence or commercial building facing extensive plumbing issues. Our expert plumbers and technicians have the skills and knowledge for any plumbing situation that requires state-of-the-art technology, installation, repair, sewage clearing, backflow testing, and more. Call us, 530-673-2489 and to schedule an appointment.