Most industries are progressing with time, thanks to innovations in technology and new understanding of how things work. Plumbing is no exception. Plumbing pipes are a great example of how this system evolved.
Until the mid-20th century, water was brought to homes mainly through lead pipes. When people realized the dangers of lead and how toxic it was, they switched to galvanized steel and copper. These two types of material are still used today, but to a much lesser extent. Instead, plastic has become the most popular material for water and sewage pipes.
Why Is PVC Used in Pipes?
PVC pipes gained popularity mostly because of their cost. They are much more affordable than metal (copper) pipes, but the advantages don’t end there. Unlike lead, they are completely non-toxic and safe for carrying drinking water. They are also lightweight. When compared to metal pipes, they can be installed much more easily, with fewer people to handle the process and lower transportation costs.
How Long Do PVC Pipes Last?
PVC pipes are known to be very durable and long lasting. With proper maintenance, they can probably do their job for 100 years. Because of their smooth walls, the slime build-up is less of a problem than with some other types of pipes, but it’s still important to schedule preventive inspections for any signs of leakage or obstruction.
Does PVC Pipe Get Brittle with Age?
Again, PVC is among the more durable materials out there, but nothing can last forever. Different factors such as exposure to UV rays, exposure to frequent freezing and thawing cycles, the presence of too much debris and rocks in the soil, etc. will determine how your PVC pipes behave with age.
Which Is Better, PVC or Copper Plumbing?
Both PVC and copper pipes have their pros and cons. Copper pipes have been used longer than PVC pipes, so we know they are durable and resistant to corrosion.
As we mentioned, PVC can also have a long life if properly maintained, but they are generally considered a weaker material, especially since they cannot handle heat and very hot water. They can withstand temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, PVC pipes are more flexible than copper pipes, and a more cost effective solution.
There are many factors to consider when installing or replacing plumbing pipes, so you should do your research thoroughly. That’s why we always advise consulting a professional company like Red Seal Drainage & Plumbing to help you determine the best solution for you and your home!