Types of Plumbing Materials

Home plumbing systems use pipes constructed of various materials. This could include metal and plastic.

Copper pipes are among the most widely-used, as they offer superior corrosion resistance and can handle both hot and cold water efficiently while resisting blockages.


PVC pipes are an increasingly popular choice in plumbing systems due to its durability, affordability, and ease of installation. Furthermore, this versatile material doesn’t rust or corrosion which makes it perfect for use in piping systems as well as products from children’s toys to clear shoes because it offers both protection and versatility.

PVC is less toxic than copper or galvanized steel because it doesn’t contain lead, however it still isn’t completely inert as some additives used during its manufacturing can release toxic chemicals when heated – these include plasticizers and stabilizers which may leach into our water source and cause serious health concerns.

PVC is made from petroleum-derived chemicals that require chlorine for production, creating dioxins and other potentially toxic pollutants during this process. These toxins contaminate soil, groundwater and air; and may lead to cancer, endocrine disruption or birth defects in humans.


Copper is an extremely resilient material, resistant to corrosion. Plumbers find it easy to work with this material for all manner of plumbing applications; in turn, copper requires minimal upkeep over time – saving homeowners both money and hassles in maintenance costs.

Copper pipes are an attractive choice for residential and commercial plumbing systems alike, thanks to their ability to withstand high water pressure without freezing over. Furthermore, copper is non-toxic and does not contaminate drinking water sources.

Rigid copper pipe comes in different varieties and wall thicknesses. Plumbers can join rigid copper tubing using capillary solder, roll grooved, compression or crimped/pressed connections to make rigid tubing rigid and reliable.

Copper pipes may be more costly than some plastic alternatives, but they offer numerous benefits that make it worth investing in. Copper can withstand higher temperatures than PEX and does not disintegrate over time like other plastic materials do.


Brass pipes are an ideal way to transport hot water because they do not break or degrade with temperature fluctuations and corrosion or rust, making them superior choices than steel or iron piping systems.

Brass is an alloy composed of copper and zinc that has long been valued for its beauty, strength, ductility, corrosion resistance, compatibility with different chemicals, and resistance to extreme temperatures. Since antiquity it has been utilized in musical instruments as well as decorative art pieces.

Brass has varying malleabilities depending on its zinc content; brasses containing over 45 percent zinc cannot be worked either hot or cold, and are considered “white”. While these brasses don’t find widespread industrial application, some granulated forms may be useful for soldering and die-casting while malleable alpha brasses such as these can be employed in making pins, bolts, screws and ammunition cartridge cases.


Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic material composed of propylene monomers. This versatile thermoplastic can be fabricated into various containers and pipes, as it resists chemical leaching while boasting excellent impact strength and thermal stability.

PP plastic offers exceptional chemical resistance against acids and alkalies as well as most organic solvents, withstanding extreme temperatures such as boiling water. Furthermore, its cost effectiveness makes PP a perfect plumbing material.

PP pipes are nontoxic and don’t require expensive corrosion protection measures like copper. Furthermore, joining them together using heat is simple. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to UV degradation so should be protected with coatings or coverings; additionally they have a higher thermal expansion rate so should be carefully considered in either hot or cold climates.

Roberta O'Reilly

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