Four commonly used pipes

The plumbing industry has seen a variety of pipe materials come and go, making it a challenge to identify them all. Homes, especially older ones, often have a mix of pipe materials for water supply and drainage. Each type has its pros and cons, so knowing them can be helpful in diagnosing and solving plumbing issues.
The composition of your pipes can greatly affect your plumbing system’s performance. Choosing the wrong type could lead to premature repairs or replacements, causing unnecessary costs down the line.

Let’s look at four common pipe materials and how to identify them.

1. Cast iron pipe

Recognisable by its black finish and hub ends, cast iron pipes were once standard for drain pipes but are less common in newer homes. While some are still in good condition, many have deteriorated and may require replacement. Trenchless methods are effective for replacing damaged sections.

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2. CPVC pipe

According to The Family Handyman, CPVC pipes are a better choice than copper pipes in areas with aggressive water. Similar to PVC but cream-coloured, CPVC pipes are prevalent in newer homes. Look for the ‘CPVC’ marking or scratch a small area to reveal an ivory or white colour. Also, magnets will not stick to CPVC pipes.

3. Copper pipe

Commonly used for water supply and HVAC systems, copper pipes are durable and can withstand hot and cold water. They have a long lifespan of 50 to 70 years; however, they may corrode faster in acidic or contaminated water, leading to pitting corrosion along the inside
For those interested in learning more about copper pipe, pipeline merchants such as will be happy to help.

4. Galvanised pipe

These silver, zinc-coated pipes were popular before the 1960s. While durable, they are prone to rusting over time, especially on the inside. You can recognise them by their smooth texture and silver-grey colour. A strong magnet will stick to them.

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Identifying your piping system can be crucial when dealing with plumbing issues. Taking a moment to learn about your pipes can make troubleshooting easier and provide valuable insight into the available solutions.

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