Different Types of Plumbing Pipes Used in Home Construction

Published On: Jan 18, 2023

The plumbing system includes several types of pipes and fittings used in the building construction designed to serve the following primary purposes.

  • The water supply system and distribution pipes everywhere in the building
  • For the disposal of rainwater above the ground to a public storm water drain or river etc. 
  • To dispose of water drainage from water closets, washbasins, sinks etc.
  • To drain soil & wastewater from septic tanks or town sewers etc. 

Types of Service Plumbing Pipes

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The network of pipes to distribute the water supply to the household plumbing system is known as power lines or service pipes. These service pipes are made from different materials as designated below: 

Galvanised Iron Pipes

G.I pipes or steel pipes are supply pipes manufactured using galvanised iron as the chief constituent. These pipes have a protective coating of zinc to prevent the rusting of iron. They are extensively used in the rural water supply and distribution plumbing system. Further, these pipes are light-weighted and economical. Though, acidic and alkaline waters affect these pipes badly.

Polythene Pipes

Polythene or plastic plumbing pipes work as underground supply pipes for cold water services. These pipes are lightweight, inexpensive, easy to install and resistant to bacteria. The use of polyethene plumbing vent pipe eliminates the need for threading. However, one major drawback is that these cannot withstand very high temperatures.

Lead Pipes

Lead Pipes possess high flexibility, corrosion resistance, and hydraulic coefficient of flow. Though, the lead content present in the pipe may spread the poisoning effects that are hazardous to the people. For this reason, these types of plumbing pipes are seldom used in the building construction industry.  

Copper Plumbing Pipe

Copper plumbing pipes are often used for water supply lines within the home and for industrial purposes. These pipes are highly desirable for the water supply where the groundwater table is relatively high. 

  • They offer high corrosion resistance and improved ductility compared to other pipe materials.
  • These pipes are available in long lengths and can withstand high pressures for heavy flow in industries.  
  • Moreover, copper plumbing pipes can be further divided into two types: Heavy Gauge Copper Pipes and Light Gauge Copper Pipes. 
  • The lightweight design provides a significant degree of flexibility and ease of transportation.
  • This plumbing network is expensive and does not offer good resistance to acidic water.

Types of Plumbing Drain Pipes

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The drain pipes are cast-off for the disposal of the wastewater from sources such as the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, etc. The plumbing interconnected network is utilized to dispose of the wastewater. Below are the different types of waste plumbing pipes:

  • Soil Waste pipe
  • Waste Water Pipe
  • Rain Water Pipe
  • Vent Pipe
  • Anti-siphon Age Pipe

Different Types of Plumbing Pipes Based on the Material

Depending upon the material and properties used for the manufacturing of plumbing pipes, they can be classified into the following types:

Concrete pipes

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Concrete pipe networks are extensively used for the conveyance and drainage water disposal. Depending on the diameter of the production, the small non-reinforced tubes are used for drainage water and irrigation works, and large pipes are for water supply works. 

  • These plumbing pipes offer high resistance to fire hazards and environmental weathering agents. 
  • However, the main disadvantage of concrete pipes is that they are susceptible to sulfate damage present in sewage. 

Cast Iron pipes

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Cast iron plumbing pipe is rigid and often used for rainwater disposal, wastewater disposal, amongst other drainage purposes. These plumbing pipes are made by the sand cast process or by pouring molten iron into vertically mounted sand moulds. 

  • It is still found in domestic households and is used today in commercial and high-rise building applications. 
  • In addition, these pipes are durable with good longevity and can withstand the weight of dirt and slugs without breaking. However, these pipes are heavy, expensive, and require messy repairs. 

Stoneware Pipes

These plumbing pipes are fabricated in ceramic industries by combusting soft soil at high temperatures. Such pipes are massively used as underground drainage pipes in low-cost construction. Further, these pipe systems require skilled labourers because of their fragile nature.

PVC pipes

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PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipe is prefabricated using plastic as the manufacturing material used for waste lines and vent applications. It initially gained popularity because of its lightweight design and easy flexibility to work with than traditional galvanized steel pipe.

  • The best PVC pipes for plumbing are inexpensive and fairly durable. 
  • They offer a considerable degree of resistance to chemical attacks and corrosion. 
  • Also, the PVC plumbing pipe has good elasticity and longevity. 

But these plumbing systems also have their disadvantages. 

  • Their structuring can be easily damaged and distorted in high-temperature applications.
  • The manufacturing process of PVC plumbing pipes ejects harmful substances into the atmosphere.

Asbestos Cement Pipes

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Asbestos Cement (A.C.) pipes are cheaper than PVC pipes and are composed of a mixture of portland cement and asbestos fibres. They cast off as vent pipes, soil pipes, rainwater pipes etc. These types of pipes used in plumbing can withstand external and internal corrosion. But due to their brittle nature, they are replaced with PVC pipes for high-rise building construction. 

Flexible Plumbing Pipe

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A flexible pipe, often called Flexi, is manufactured out of stainless steel. These plumbing systems are preferred for final piping connections to appliances, such as water heaters, toilets, and sinks. In addition, these flexible plumbing pipes come in many lengths and sizes. They are somewhat durable and can lead to failure after years of wear and tear. 

Galvanised Steel Pipe

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Galvanized pipes are made from steel plumbing pipes with a thin zinc coating which protects them from corrosion. These pipes were previously the most traditional material used in drainage, water supply, gas supply, and several other purposes. However, these GI pipes are now less frequently used for water supply in new construction or remodel projects. Also, it has good durability but is pricey to install. 

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Choosing Plumbing Pipes

When choosing the pipe for your plumbing system, it is essential to consider the function of the pipe, space layout, flexibility, resistance, and cost. PVC pipe is the most popular plastic plumbing pipe for supply lines in cold water. For all hot water supply lines, such as geyser and solar hot water lines, choose CPVC ( chlorinated polyvinyl chloride)pipes that can withstand maximum operating temperatures. For more construction-related queries and expertise, contact our professionals at Interior Company.


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    What are the types of Plumbing Pipes for water supply?

    Copper Pipe
    Galvanized Steel Pipes.
    Cross-linked Polythene Pipes.
    Lead Pipes
    CPVC pipes (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride)

    What are the different types of water plumbing systems in a home?

    A plumbing piping network is used for three primary reasons: toilet sewage, stormwater drainage, and drinking water supply. In each case, different pipes are used for distinct purposes.
    1.Supply or service pipes
    2.Drain pipes or waste disposal pipes

    What are the different types of drain Plumbing Pipes used in building construction?

    1.Soil Pipe
    2.Wastewater Pipe
    3.Rainwater Pipe
    4.Vent Pipe
    5.Anti-Siphonage Pipe

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