Plumbing pipes can be made of many varieties of plastic or metal, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Commercial buildings frequently use metal piping because of its strength and large capacity, and many homeowners choose metal pipes for longevity. However, using metal piping requires balancing the need for strength and durability against the risk of corrosion and leaking, and choosing the right material is important.
Copper is one of the most common piping materials and has been used since the 1960s. It is long-wearing, heat resistant, and corrosion resistant. It can be used indoors or outdoors, as long as it’s sleeved before being put underground. However, copper tends to be expensive and requires more labor to install than other kinds of pipes. Copper pipes also require extra attention in cold temperatures, as they are prone to freezing and bursting.
Stainless steel is another option for metal piping. It’s a good choice in situations where there is a high risk of corrosion or where strength is a priority, but its high cost limits its feasibility for many property owners.
Galvanized steel pipes were widely used in the first half of the twentieth century. They may still be found in pre-1970 buildings, but they are not generally used much today. Galvanized pipes have a zinc coating that is meant to keep water from corroding the pipe but can also lead to leaching and discoloration of your water. Although galvanized steel is still considered a safe option for drinking water, it is labor intensive and expensive, so many people opt for other choices.
Cast iron pipes are often used as main water lines in commercial buildings because they are strong enough to handle high pressure and have the capacity to carry large volumes of water. They are a favorite for apartment buildings due to their noise suppression and fire resistance, and they can be repaired with PVC, keeping costs down.
Another favorite for commercial plumbing is brass piping. Brass is rustproof, corrosion resistant, and easy to work with. It’s highly durable and long-lasting, making it an attractive alternative to copper for large projects.
If you decide that metal piping is the right choice for your building project, carefully consider all of your options to make sure you use the best material for your needs. Our plumbing professionals at Brian Wear Plumbing are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Brian Wear Plumbing has been serving the Columbia, MO area since 2005 with over 20 years of plumbing experience. We’re happy to help with all of your plumbing needs. For more information about or services, contact us today!