Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Home Drain Pipes

Without working drain pipes, modern life would not be possible. Taking a shower, rinsing salad fixings, and not having to use an out house all depend on water being able to flow down a drain. So it can only help to know more about how such pipes work.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Home Drain Pipes

Old School Piping

Houses built before the 1970s that have yet to be refitted with modernized plumbing usually have one of the following materials for their drain pipes:

Type of Piping Description
Cast IronDark and heavy and prone to clogs caused by inner rust. You should look into updating this type of pipe in your home plumbing. 
Galvanized SteelBetter than cast iron, but still prone to rusting and failure after a few decades or a scratch in its zinc coating, you should be wary of relying on this shiny pipe.
CopperStill popular today, resistant to corrosion, these pipes are reliable for about 50 years, but are expensive compare to new materials.

New and Improved Piping

Since the development of plastics, new discoveries in material science have radically increased the options for drain pipes. The following are more common in houses from the past 50 years:

Type of PipingDescription
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)The most budget-friendly option, these light white pipes are well-suited to be used for drains and toilets but not faucets because the warp under heat more easily than you’d like.
PEX (Cross-linked polyethylene)Not really used for drain pipes, but commonly found feeding incoming water to faucets, since they are basically PVC that can handle heat.
CPVC (Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) The easiest pipe to repair and can be used for drains, since it has many of the benefits of PEX, but is also one of the least environmentally-friendly options due to chemical pollutant byproducts of its manufactory.
PP (Polypropylene)The current champ of drain systems in Europe, this pipe gets the job done while having a greener manufacturing process, but it is relatively expensive and difficult to install.

General Drain Pipe Smarts

Some facts and practices are important to keep in mind no matter what kind of piping you have for your drains. First of all, it is better to discard food chunks in the trash instead of down the drain, even if you have a garbage disposal. This helps reduce the chance of clogs.

If clogs do occur, resist the urge to pour a liquid solution down the drain as an easy fix! It is better to try and use an auger to dislodge the clog than to go directly to a chemical solution. You may even stand to benefit from calling a plumber before looking for a solution in a bottle.

While you have a plumber over you and you’re worried about the corrosive effect hard minerals in your water might be having on your pipes and health, you should inquire about a water softener. Softening the water means making sure it’s not too alkaline. Hard water can lead to clogs of mineral deposits in your pipes or health issues like skin irritation.
Keeping your drains and other plumbing features working is critical for your health. Pratt Plumbing is here to help all residents in the Greater Amarillo Area to stay healthy, so call 806-373-7866 to benefit from over 50 years of experience.

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