Traditionally, pipes were made out of copper or galvanised steel. However, these pipes had a number of issues and over the years many have had to be replaced because they developed leaks or broke completely or for some other reason. Most of the time, these pipes were replaced with ones made from one of several different types of plastic. These plastic pipes have a number of advantages over the older ones made out of metal. Here are some of the reasons why you may want to replace your older pipes with ones made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC).
The first reason you might want to use PVC or CPVC is that it’s less expensive than other materials. This is because it’s easier and more cost-effective to manufacture the various types of pipes and fittings. This reduces the cost of both the actual part and, due to how much lighter plastic is, the shipping. Metal pipes were much heavier, making them more expensive to transport.
Plastic pipes are also much easier to install because the fittings screw together and can then be sealed with a special type of cement. With metal pipes, the fittings and joints had to be soldered together, which took much more time and required different tools. PVC piping is simply connected and glued. This means anyone can install or repair your indoor plumbing, underground drainage system, and other pipes because there’s no need to own a soldering tool or know how to use one.
Good for the Environment
Metal pipes are often simply thrown into landfills or other waste disposal areas because they cannot be reused or recycled. With plastic, however, that’s not the case. These pipes can be easily broken down and reused as needed.
They are also made from a more readily available source. PVC is actually created via a process that makes use of salt, a resource that is easier to get than iron or copper. Because salt is a resource that is practically limitless, there’s no worry about using limited resources.
Durability and Friction
Plastic pipes are also more durable than metal ones. They will not corrode or be as subject to chemicals, which mean they can often be used in areas where metal pipes could not. Plastic withstands earthquakes better than metal, too, because the material is more elastic and will actually adapt to the way the earth moves.
The interior of the pipes is smoother than the interior of metal pipes, especially around the joints and the fittings. This allows water to flow much faster because there’s less friction. That translates into needing less energy to push the water through the system, which results in lower energy costs.
Length of Installations
Metal pipes have to have joints installed fairly regularly, which means there are many more possible points of leakage. A system made up of plastic pipes, however, will have fewer joints. This has several advantages. Since there are fewer joints, there’s less of a chance the plumbing system will develop a leak. Because there are fewer joints to install, it also means that the overall installation is faster and requires less work.