In the early 20th century, galvanized iron and steel pipes were the standard go-to home plumbing pipes, but as time passed, we gravitated towards more modern and effective choices. Today, we have even more options to pick and choose from to improve our place of business or house with the best selection of home plumbing pipes.

It is crucial to choose the correct kind of home plumbing pipes for different fixtures; there are many different types of home plumbing pipes that each perform better for specific purposes. It can be challenging to know what is best for your home plumbing pipes, from drains and sewer lines to water heaters and the water supply line.

In this article, we detail and help you understand the five most common types of home plumbing pipes and describe their strengths and weaknesses in different areas.

The best home plumbing pipes for water supply lines

Copper Pipes

Copper is one of the most popular water supply lines used for both home plumbing pipes and commercial uses for buildings, old or new. They have a lifespan of over 50 years, can withstand water pressure up to 1000 PSI, and are very good at handling hot and cold temperatures without getting rusted.

Copper pipes are commonly used in boiler room plumbing and are divided into two groups, rigid and flexible. Flexible copper pipes are bent to fit in tight spaces and can be heated up with a blow torch to bind several pipes together where rigid copper pipes cannot. On the other hand, rigid ones are used as main water supply lines and are much more durable than flexible ones.

But compared to other options, copper can be more expensive for your commercial or home plumbing pipes, and you usually need to pay a professional plumber to solder the lines together correctly. Also of note is that while copper naturally kills bacteria, it can also add a minimal metallic taste to your water, which can be unpleasant for some people. 

PEX Pipes

Cross-linked polyethylene, also known as PEX, is another popular option for home plumbing pipes. PEX tubings are among the best home plumbing pipes used in confined spaces like under sinks or weaving lines through walls because they are made of a flexible plastic that can withstand significant abuse and maintain its original shape.

But in contrast to copper pipes, PEX pipes practically never need specialized equipment and perhaps have one of the most straightforward residential plumbing installations available. Making it simpler for those who prefer DIY to do their own repairs.

Constructors mainly use PEX pipes as drains and wastewater pipes. You could utilize them for cold water delivery inside houses, but PEX does not deal with heat very well, and it’s not advised to use them to provide hot water. If used outside, it should be shielded from sunlight. 

The best home plumbing pipes for sewer lines

PVC pipes

PVC or polyvinyl chloride pipes are frequently utilized in the drain lines for sinks, bathrooms, and showers. Because its plastic tubing protects water against rust and corrosion more effectively than other types of pipes, it is perfect for home plumbing pipes. PVC pipes will survive for a long time unless they sustain some damage.

PVC is also resistant to intense water pressure. Therefore, it may also be the primary water home plumbing pipes. Additionally, it is lighter in weight than the more conventional galvanized steel pipe choices, making it simpler to deal with. PVC pipes also have a smooth inner lining that prevents sediment buildup and increases their resistance to blockages.

PVC pipes’ inability to withstand heat is one of their main drawbacks; when exposed to sunlight or used to carry hot water, PVC pipes deteriorate and can lose their strength. If they are not placed underground or indoors, PVC pipes typically crack in hot weather, but if they are properly concealed, PVC pipes have no problems.

ABS Pipes

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or ABS pipes share many similarities with PVC pipes but are slightly less prevalent in construction. ABS Pipes do not rot, collect rust, corrode or even collect waste, unlike other types of metal pipes, and they’re tougher against high-impact hits and do not get cracked as often as PVC pipes do.

ABS piping is best used for home plumbing pipes or commercial uses; they are very resistant to freezing water and weather and are primarily used for vent piping systems, waste, and drain lines.

But much like PVC pipes, they are susceptible to heat and sunlight, and due to their black color, they absorb more heat and can warp in exposure to any heat; therefore, much like PVC pipes, they should be mainly used indoors and correctly concealed when used outdoors.

Cast iron and galvanized steel pipes

Cast iron and galvanized pipes are a thing of the past, and they’re rarely used as a base for new home plumbing pipes. However, many houses that were built in the early 20th century still use these kinds of pipes due to galvanized steel and cast-iron pipes being very tough.

Galvanized and cast-iron pipes were primarily used as sewage and waste lines. Their heat resistance, long-term durability and silence in moving water caused them to be popular in the past decades.

But understandably, steel and cast-iron pipes are prone to collecting rust over the long term and can corrode when in contact with drain cleaners or other cleaning chemicals. Another drawback of these pipes was their weight. Often making transport, cutting and installation difficult.