Types of Pipes Used for Home Plumbing

Since the invention of plumbing, one crucial factor is the piping material. Back in the days, there were clay pipes and lead pipes used to supply water into public buildings and homes and get sewages out. 

Today, different types of materials are used to supply both cold and hot water into houses and create a vent system and vital drain. Whether you want to hire a plumber for your plumbing works or do it yourself, you need to choose a plumbing pipe, and there are different types. 

You can choose different types of pipes for various purposes such as drainage, water supply, exterior, sewer, etc. So, it’s essential to know which one to settle for. 

1.PEX Pipe

This is one of the most popular and newest pipes in the plumbing industry. This is only used for water supply. The PEX pipe has enough rigidity to withstand water supply pressure. However, it also has enough flexibility to weave through walls, basements, crawlspaces, and ceilings. With PEX, water-supply plumbing is easier for both professional plumbers and people who love to DIY. 


  • It has color codes. Blue indicates cold water, and red indicates hot water. 
  • Highly flexible and 90-degree curves are possible. 
  • It is inexpensive.
  • It can join easily with copper pipe.
  • It can attach easily with push-fit fittings and other types. 
  • Easy to cut. 


  • Untested long-term capabilities.
  • It cannot be recycled.
  • It may leak when attached to push-fit plumbing fittings. 

2. PVC Pipes

This plumbing pipe is known to be lightweight, versatile, and resistant to blockage. It is mainly used for toilets, sink, shower drain lines, etc. Also, it can be used as the main supply line for water in your home. 


  • Affordability: it is lightweight, and this reduces the labor needed to install it and reduces the transportation cost for the material.
  • High water pressure resistance: PVC doesn’t bend easily, but the pipe has enough flexibility to withstand water influx under high pressure. 
  • Blockage resistance: PVC has an inner lining that is smooth and increases the speed of draining. This protects against the build-up of sediments and blockages. 


  • Concerns about toxicity.
  • Limited size options can pipe ineffective in tight spaces.
  • It can’t withstand hot water as it’ll cause it to warp. 

3. Copper Pipes

Copper pipes are the standard for hard pipes in plumbing and can last for up to 50 years. It can withstand the high pressure of water. The thickness comes in different grades, but overall, there are two different categories: flexible and rigid copper pipes. 

Flexible copper pipes are mainly used for plumbing works in tight spaces, so it’s possible to bend the malleable copper. In comparison, rigid copper pipes are used mainly in water supply lines. 


  • They are corrosion resistant and can handle water under high pressure. They also tolerate water at both cold and hot temperatures. 
  • They can be recycled for use in the future and are environmentally friendly. 


  • They are more expensive than the most popular alternatives such as PEX or PVC.
  • They lack flexibility. So using them in tight spaces is impossible. 

4. ABS Pipes

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) pipes are plastic pipes similar to PVC. The black color is the main distinguishing factor from PVC. It can be used as a draining and waste pipe and as a vent. It is also known to have a long lifespan. You should check with your local codes so you can determine where to use this pipe. 


  • It can resist a colder temperature than the PVC pipe even though its structure isn’t as flexible as PVC. 
  • Installation of this pipe is easy. While you need to use a solvent coat for PVC piping before applying cement so that the pipe is held together, you only need cement for ABS pipes. 


  • Water transport is loud in these pipes as they can’t contain the running water sound, and this might cause some disturbances. 
  • ABS pipes cannot survive warm temperatures; hence they may warp under direct sunlight or intense ultraviolet light. 

Cast iron and galvanized pipes

This type of pipe is rarely used in newly constructed houses, but they were commonplace early in the 20th century. So you might have these if you live in an older house. 

Cast iron pipes are durable and strong, and some water distribution systems still use them today. They are heat-resistant and restrict the sound of flowing water. Both cast iron and galvanized pipes are prone to corrosion and rust with time, and you can swap them for plastic and copper pipes during home plumbing repairs. 


Like many other things in the world, plumbing has evolved. It has gone past the use of clay pipes and lead pipes. Today, different types of pipes can be used for home plumbing. Some of these pipes have been explained in this article, but there are many others as well. Before choosing what pipe to use, you must know the differences and which one works best for your plumbing works.