Throughout the decades, the types of materials that have been used for plumbing has changed dramatically. Nearly every type of material from wood to iron has been tried and tested in the plumbing industry. However, plumbers have had to learn through trial and error that some materials work better than others. There are several reasons why it’s important to choose the right plumbing materials.
In ancient Roman bathrooms, plumbers used clay and lead to construct their pipes for drinking and bathing. Lead was widely used in the U.S. until World War II. Then, the incidences of lead poisoning increased. Today, people are more aware that some chemicals leach from piping materials and into the water that they use every day.
Strength and Durability
Strong plumbing materials need to last for decades with minimal maintenance. You want pipes that sustain years of daily use and occasional abuse. You need pipes that prevent leaks and sustain high levels of water pressure. A few materials are considered to be the strongest and most resilient types for pipe construction. Metal is commonly known as a strong material with stainless steel being the strongest. Galvanized steel is coated with zinc to prevent rusting. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a strong plastic that comes in rigid or flexible forms, which last for decades with little or no breakage.
The best sign of good plumbing is seen in the repair or maintenance bill. Many homeowners don’t know there’s any problem until they get the expensive repair bill. By then, it may be too late and the pipes need replacing. The best plumbing materials last for several decades with little to no maintenance. The average cost to install new pipes varies from $5,000 to $10,000. However, few homeowners want to re-pipe parts of their homes every few years. That’s why choosing the most durable materials from the beginning is so important.
Flexibility is a quality that is no longer overlooked in the construction of new pipes. PVC plastic has replaced cast iron that is strong yet rigid and inflexible. Plastic materials are easier to install in small, hard-to-reach areas. In addition, the pipes should expand to allow increased levels of heat and water pressure.
Modern advances in technology have changed the ways that homes are constructed. Learn about the types of plumbing systems that are recommended for your home. Start by knowing the most common materials to use in building the system. O.C. McDonald Plumbing Co. is your source for residential and commercial plumbing projects. Call us at 408-295-2182 to get started today.