The Kinds of Plumbing Pipes for Residential Settings

Exerting the effort of knowing the types of plumbing pipes in your home is a great advantage and will benefit you in the long run. It will allow you to take the necessary steps to prevent the likelihood of the most common plumbing issues such as leaks and flooding. Also, you must know that whenever there are problems with those pipes, it can expose you and your family to potential health hazards.

The same with other things, pipes don’t last forever, and that includes even those most sophisticated, durable, and expensive varieties. But the good news is that most if not all plumbing pipe materials these days are built and designed to last for decades. But when their specific life expectancies run out, that’s the time you expect to see leaks and other related problems.

So the best way to prevent leaks, you should know your home’s plumbing lifespan and find out if it is really sufficient for a specific period of time.

Knowing Your Pipes At Home


This is best done by calling in a licensed plumber. He is qualified to perform the inspection of your plumbing system. Obviously though, you may have to pay him for that kind of service. Anyhow, we’ve provided you with a short but very valuable set of information about the different materials used in pipes and their respective life expectancy.


  • Supply Pipes – There’s what we call as supply pipes. They are the most abused and are under constant pressure. It means they are more likely prone to leaks. The most common materials used in supply pipes are:
  • Brass – lasts for 40 to 70 years.
  • Copper – can last up to more than 50 years
  • Galvanized steel – being the most popular, it has a shorter lifespan of 20 years, but other premium products may last up to 50 years
  • Cast iron – this one is more durable and long lasting, handing out a minimum of 75 years


As for drain lines, the most common material used is polyvinyl chloride or PVC. It’s a type of piping material can last forever, provided there is no significant damage.


You should also know that when your pipes are older than the guidelines from the Housing and Urban Development Residential Rehabilitation Inspection Guide, it doesn’t mean you need to replace them immediately. The thing is if you have maintained them properly over the years, they’ve expected to last longer than expected. The poorly maintained plumbing pipes on the other hand will fail sooner than usual.

Finally, look out for pipes that have lead in them. These are the pipes used in the early part of the 1900s. While they are expected to last longer, they contain a very harmful element in the form of lead, which can be deadly when the same penetrates the plumbing and mixes with drinking water. You may want to have your water tested for any signs of it. If there is, you should be looking at replacing the plumbing pipes you have at home.

Winterizing Tips For Your Plumbing at Home

When the cold winter months arrive, there’s no stopping the snow, winds, and very unpleasant temperature. Generally, the winter season wreaks havoc on everyone’s home, including the plumbing system. In fact, the plumbing system together with the roof is the two most affected components of the home. So if you’re not prepared for the winter, expect to have serious problems in your plumbing later on.

So when winter is fast approaching, you have to start preparing. If you don’t have the will to do so, just think of the effects and consequences of frozen water in pipes. Not only will it lead to inconvenience, it might also correspond to major damage or destruction in your home. That’s why doing some preventive measures and preparation for the winter is your best shield for your plumbing system, and the good thing is we have here some of the stuff you need to take care of.

Fixing Leaks – Bear in mind that even the smallest leaks will lead to bigger and more serious problems later on, especially when the temperature begins to drop. So find effort and time to check the exposed pipes you have indoors and see if there are any leaks. You can’t wait for the water to freeze before you make your move because more often than not, that’s too late. If your pipes are insulated, feel for any moisture that may have been soaked up by the same insulation and see if there’s a hidden leak somewhere.

Pipe Insulation – A basic but very important preventive measure for the winter is to make sure that every exposed pipe in your plumbing system is well insulated. In order to find the exposed pipes, you have to look in your attic, garage, and crawl space. The moment you see them, make sure they are wrapped in insulation foam. Bear in mind that pipe wrap insulation is very affordable and it’s quite easy to do. By doing it, you save on heating costs while at the same time you keep your pipes protected come winter time.


Evaporative Cooler – A source of water inside that has to be drained right before winter comes is the swamp or evaporative cooler. You have to winterize it in order prevent pipes from freezing. In order to do so, turn off the water as well as the power to the unit. Next, drain the way out of the cooler as well as the water supply line. Likewise, this is the perfect time for you to clean the interior and change the pads. Lastly, cover the swamp cooler using tarp or any cover in order for it to be dry for the entire winter.

Proper Insulation of Pump Houses – Finally, you have to know and realize the importance of proper insulation of the pump houses because it also keeps the pipes from freezing when winter comes. You can provide added protection by insulating the exposed pipes in the pump house, basically similar to what you’re supposed to do in the other exposed pipes. Likewise, you need a heat source to keep the temperature of the pump house above the freezing point.