What Type of Pipes Should I Use For Repiping?
Repiping a home is a major decision requiring careful planning and a big budget. There are several advantages to replacing the old pipes in your home.
A new piping system extends the life of the building, heads off leaking and subsequent costly repairs, and can increase water pressure and taste.
A common reason for replacing the piping system is a slab leak. Small leaks in galvanized or copper piping can go undetected for a long time, eventually creating problems with the home’s foundation slab.
Older homes fitted with galvanized pipe are prone to leakage due to corrosion, which also affects the water color and taste. As these pipes corrode and begin scaling, water pressure decreases as well.
The types of pipes used in repiping today include copper, CPVC and PEX pipe. Which one is chosen depends on the house location and the job budget.
- Copper is still used in most homes and has several advantages. It is durable, lead-free and maintenance-free. Plumbers are familiar with and equipped to work on copper pipe, which is rarely necessary. Copper handles enormous amounts of water pressure and is durable in extreme heat and cold. However, in hard water regions, the low ph value of the water can corrode the pipes over time. This causes ‘pinhole’ leaks which will damage the house if undetected.
- CPVC piping is made from polyvinyl chloride and is common for industrial uses. The pipe is light, easy to install and is not susceptible to corrosion. Although not common in residential applications, it is the low cost choice of many commercial re-piping projects around the world.
- PEX pipe is one solution to the hard water problem in arid regions. It is a man-made, flexible plastic pipe which does not corrode. Because it is flexible it needs fewer fittings to accommodate sharp angles, which lowers the overall cost. Although durable, temperature resistant, fast to install and inexpensive, PEX has disadvantages. This material is not biodegradable, is susceptible to punctures and will melt and release toxic fumes in a fire.
Before choosing how to repipe your project, consult with a professional contractor. The right choice will provide trouble-free water service for decades to come.
Jim Wagner Plumbing, Inc. is your full-service plumber and repipe specialist in Aurora and the Chicagoland area–give us a call today at (630) 577-9241 or (815) 609-1859!