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How to Choose The Right Plumbing Materials

Whether you need a small section of pipe replaced, or you’re considering repiping your home, it’s essential that you pay attention to the materials out of which your pipes are made.

Knowing the different pipes that are out there, and what they are generally used for, can help you when making a decision about which pipe to choose! Keep reading to learn all about cast iron, chromed copper, and PVC pipes, and their costs versus benefits comparison!

Cast Iron Drain Pipes

“castiron”If you’re looking to replace a drain vent pipe, you may consider cast iron for its superiority in both safety and noise suppression. With these benefits, however, comes a higher cost for the material itself as well as installation.

Not only are cast iron pipes inflammable, but they also don’t give off toxic fumes when heated to extreme temperatures, as in a fire. Most deaths associated with household fire aren’t due to the flames themselves, but instead, they are due to deadly fumes in the air that occur when plastic is burned.

Concerned about noisy pipes? You won’t be with cast iron pipes! Because of their thick walls, cast iron pipes go an excellent job of suppressing the loud sounds of water rushing through the pipe any time a toilet is flushed in your building. This issue is especially relevant in apartment buildings or corporate offices.

How much can you expect to spend on fire safety and quiet pipes? Cast iron pipes usually retail for anywhere from $500-$100 for a 10-foot long piece of pipe. With installation fees, you could be looking at nearly $10,000 to install the new pipes.

Chromed Copper Supply Lines

“chromecopper”Chromed copper is the most popular option for water supply lines. Copper pipes are lightweight, eco-friendly and resistant to corrosion. Copper pipes also hold up well against high water pressure.

In fact, copper pipes can withstand as much as 1,000 psi of pressure, without breaking. They may still be on the pricier side of plumbing materials, but the length of time your pipes will last is well worth the extra cost!

Full installation of chromed copper pipes in a home with two bathrooms in it will cost, on average, about $6,000 to $8,000.

Polyvinyl Chloride Pipes

“pvc”Polyvinyl chloride pipes (commonly referred to as “PVC pipes”) are one of the more popular plastic pipes used in residential plumbing today. Due to its versatility, non-toxic and fire resistant PVC can be used for just about anything from supply lines to drain waste vent pipes.

Plastic pipes are useful because they are very flexible, which makes them resistant to issues like fractures and water hammer. PVC pipes are among the most lightweight in the industry, making them easy to handle and install.

PVC piping costs about $3 or $4 per square foot if you buy it at your local hardware store, or about a third of what copper piping costs. It may be substantially less expensive both to purchase and to install than copper or cast iron, but with the lower price tag on PVC pipes comes a shorter lifespan.