Whether your home plumbing system is comprised of lead, steel, copper, PVC, or PEX piping, knowing what your pipes are made of helps you prepare for the future! You can plan for maximum durability and longevity of your home’s plumbing system by knowing the composition of the piping in your home plumbing system! Understanding you pipes enables you to prepare and budget properly in order to make replacements at the proper time! Not knowing what types of pipe lay behind your walls can be detrimental to your home. Read on to familiarize yourself with your home’s pipes!
Typically, lead pipes inhabit older homes. Homes built before the 1930’s have an extremely high chance of having a lead pipe home plumbing system. The biggest concern with lead piping in older homes is that studies have shown lead pipes to release contaminants into the water of your home. These contaminants can be harmful, especially in drinking water that is unfiltered by an R.O water filtration system. If you’re looking to buy an older home, or if you are concerned about your home’s lead pipes leaching contaminants into drinking water, MN Plumbing and Appliance recommends sending a sample of your home water into a lab to test for high levels of lead or other harmful chemicals. There are lead filtration systems for lead pipe plumbing systems, but typically re-piping is the way to go if your home’s lead pipes are releasing harmful contaminants into your water system.
Steel pipes gained popularity in the mid 1940’s & 1950’s. While galvanized steel is heavy and extremely durable they are heavy and are not cheap! In the 1980’s steel pipes in home plumbing systems rapidly declined because of rust issues. Rust is bad because it degenerates the pipe itself, can lead to clogs within the plumbing system, and can also degrade the home water quality. If your home was built between 1940-1980, there is a chance that you have a steel pipe home plumbing system!
Copper piping is the most common pipe to be found in most of America’s home plumbing systems. Copper pipe has been used extensively throughout the nation since 1960. Cooper is light and easier to install than both lead and steel piping. Being smaller in diameter, copper pipes are a much more practical pipe. While the expense of copper limited mass production, it’s adaptability made it a top choice of many plumbers and general contractors through the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s & 90’s. However, even copper piping has a few downsides. Copper piping systems are susceptible to small pin leaks that can be hard to get at. Pin leaks typically happen when copper is exposed to fluctuating temperatures, which happens quite a bit in Minnesota.
PVC is a plastic pipe that is affordable and relatively easy to install. This has made PVC plumbing systems a popular option during the past few years! Plastic pipe won’t rust or deteriorate the same way metal does. Plastic is also a safer bet if you’re banking on pure drinking water straight from the tap! Some PVC pipe can not be used for extremely hot water however, but typically in most homes there is at least some PVC piping, even if it is just used for drain pipe. There are home plumbing systems that are a hybrid of PVC & copper piping, where the copper pipe takes the water to the sink, or shower, and the PVC pipe drains the water away from the home. CVPC is a variation of PVC which can be used to carry extremely hot water, & is used for both the intake and the outtake of water in a home plumbing system.
PEX piping is the superior plastic pipe, and has been the top of the line industry standard pipe from the past few years. If you are looking to repipe your home, MN Plumbing and Appliance recommends PEX pipes. PEX pipes are sometimes called cross-linked polyethylene. They are a firm, yet flexible, plastic pipe that are extremely durable and easy to install. PEX pipe is a great re-piping option, because even though the technology is greater, they are still a better, more affordable option that copper piping! Another great thing about PEX pipe, especially for Minnesotans, is that PEX piping is the pipe best resistant to bursting in cold, or freezing, temperatures! Burst pipes are no fun for anyone!
Pipes Worry You? Contact Us Today!
If you detect any issues with your home plumbing system, or would like a home plumbing pipe inspection, please call MN Plumbing and Appliance Installation today! We are able to evaluate your home’s plumbing and help you determine the best pipes to have in your home to last for decades to come!