Piping is an important component of plumbing. Together with the fittings and seals, it constitutes the pipes and ensures the water supply as well as the evacuation of waste water throughout the domestic network.
Since the ban on lead, copper has been the only material used in the manufacture of plumbing pipes for several years. But it’s now a thing of the past! New models made with synthetic materials have arrived on the market and also offer undeniable advantages.
Today, you have the choice between 6 types of pipe for your piping. Apart from copper pipe, on the market, you can find 5 other types of plumbing pipes:
1 – PVC pipe
2 – The PER pipe
3 – The multilayer pipe
4 – The flexible hose
Copper piping: advantages and disadvantages
The copper pipe is undoubtedly the oldest, but it is a reference in the matter. There are two kinds on the market: the hardened copper pipe and the annealed copper pipe.
Used for ages, it is so far appreciated for its great resistance and solidity, but also because it can be used with cold water as well as hot water. Today’s copper pipe also offers many advantages: very aesthetic, it is made with a noble, solid and recyclable material which ensures both its reliability and its longevity.
The use of copper pipe in piping involves higher costs, because its installation requires much more material and requires the intervention of professionals.
PVC piping: advantages and disadvantages The PVC pipe succeeded the lead models, the use of which was prohibited.
It is therefore often used for setting up wastewater drainage networks. Two types can be found on the market: the classic PVC pipe and the superchlorinated PVC pipe.
The PVC pipe is very light. It is therefore very practical, it is easy to transport, is just as easy to handle and it is very easy to use!
Available in various colors and for multiple uses (wastewater, septic tanks, etc.), it also offers an embarrassment of choice, works seamlessly and to top it off, it is the cheapest plumbing pipe in the world. market !
Superchlorinated PVC pipe offers the same advantages, if not more: it is a good insulator, its surface can be painted in any color, and it can be recessed without a protective sheath.
PVC tubing, whether conventional or superchlorinated, is tough, but it is the least solid of the models available on the market.
Withstanding heat and UV, it is made from a material that easily expands. This point must therefore be taken into account during installation. PVC is also non-biodegradable.
PER piping: advantages and disadvantages
The PER pipe is made of cross-linked polyethylene, a kind of semi-rigid material that recalls the physical properties of copper. It can be used for the distribution of water as well as for the disposal of waste water.
The PER pipe is as solid as the copper pipe. It is very resistant, very robust and does not fear corrosion, this is why it can be used for both hot and cold waters. Manual bending, unlike copper, it does not scale and is an excellent sound insulator.
PER piping requires complex connection which requires the intervention of a professional. The bending is manual, the curve is small which can cause problems in certain situations.
Multilayer piping: advantages and disadvantages
The multilayer pipe, as the name so clearly indicates, consists of three layers of material. Combining the characteristics of a copper tube with other synthetic materials, it is made up of a layer of PER inside, in the middle of an aluminum layer and outside of another layer of PER.
The multilayer pipe has nothing to envy of the PER model in terms of strength and robustness. Containing two good PER layers, inside and out, it is very resistant to corrosion and does not fear the effects of UV rays.
The aluminum layer in the middle guarantees its solidity, but also its oxygen tightness. It is a tube which does not expand and which does not risk being deformed.
The multilayer pipe is far from weighing a feather. Being heavy, it is not easy to handle and therefore to be connected, which makes the installation of the piping complicated: the use of specific tools is necessary.
Flexible piping: advantages and disadvantages
The flexible hose is in the form of a flexible tube. Used in complex plumbing jobs, there are two kinds on the market: the flexible supply hose and the flexible drain hose.
Above all, the flexible hose is versatile: you can use it for both distribution and drainage. Can be used for both hot and cold water, its flexibility makes it very easy to handle, maneuver and install. However, it is not a fragile tube. It easily resists pressure.
Like all synthetic pipes, the flexible tube does not require welding. It can adapt to all types of connections, whatever they are. It can even be used as a siphon.
Flexible piping has only one drawback: it is expensive!
The role of the plumber in the piping
All piping work is an integral part of the plumber’s duties. The role of the latter is to install, replace, bring it up to standard or repair it as appropriate.