Pipe materials have evolved over the many years of plumbing. We get our word “plumbing” from the Latin word for lead – plumbum.
- Lead pipe was popular for many years until it was found to be toxic. Since then it has been replaced in most buildings but can still be found in building that are over 80 years old.
- Cast iron pipe was used for many years and can still be found in very old buildings.
- Brass pipes may still be found in pre-WWII homes.
- Although not used in new construction now, galvanized steel pipe was very common until recently. Galvanized pipes are susceptible to oxidation and corrosion.
- Plastic pipe and copper pipe are the choice for plumbing contractors now.
Plastic pipe has been around for about 50 years & is a popular choice because it is cheaper and easier to work with than copper. Plastic pipe, such as PVC, does not corrode like metal piping but can become brittle.
Copper is the safest metal pipe for plumbing and is still the most popular pipe material for water lines. Although initially more expensive than PVC, copper pipes can have the life expectancy of the building. Install it and forget about it. Except with highly acidic water that can be corrosive to copper. A water filtration system can help eliminate that problem.
Call Superior Plumbing Inc. to discuss the best choice in pipe materials for your situation (205)942-5055.
- In the 1800s in Boston, water pipes were made from hollowed out logs.
- There is over 91,000 miles of water distribution pipe in America. 78% of that is PVC.