Leaks can pop up all over your house, both inside and outside. But your kitchen is highly susceptible, due to the complex piping and drainage network in your kitchen sink, garbage disposal, or refrigerator. Knowing about what kind of pipes you currently have is the first step to understanding how to fix a kitchen leak.
There are a few different materials that your pipes may be made out of – some of which may require replacement due to the dangers that they pose. Luckily there are several viable options to choose from when repiping your home. Each type of material has its benefits and flaws. Here is a thorough list of available metal and plastic options, although the most common options are PEX or copper pipes.
- Have been used since the 1960s and are still functioning properly in most homes-proven reliability.
- Older homes used lead-base solder on copper pipes and most of the affected pipes have been replaced to remove this threat.
- Can be used in indoor and outdoor plumbing.
- Copper pipes have a high tolerance for heat but a low tolerance for freezing temperatures. They require extra care in the winter to prevent from freezing over or bursting.
- Copper pipes are not prone to leaking and can be counted on to last for a long period of time.
- If you are repiping, old copper pipes can be recycled.
- Copper pipes are expensive; 100 feet of copper piping can cost around $285.
This is an outdated material, used primarily between 1930 and 1980, they are lacking in benefits and require repiping if it has not been done yet.
- Is heavy.
- Has a zinc coating that leads to rusting and discoloration of water.
- Commonly becomes clogged and has reduced water pressure.
- Lead can be released into your water source from the corrosion.
- More expensive than copper but is corrosion resistant and sturdy.
- Cast Iron is a heavy, yet durable pipe.
- For a cheap repair, use PVC piping as it is compatible with cast iron pipes.
- Black Iron metal piping is made for carrying gas. It is not made, nor should it ever be used, for plumbing.
Polyvinyl Chloride Pipes (PVP Pipes)
- PVC Pipes do not rust, corrode, or degrade over time.
- Inexpensive and easy to work with.
- Commonly used to carry the main water supply into your home because they can handle high pressured water.
- Do not handle heat well and can warp under extreme heat.
- Also commonly used in sinks and bathroom drain lines.
Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride Pipes (CPVC Pipes)
- Easy to work with, even for DIY home repair.
- More flexible than regular PVC and contain extra chlorine in the pipes, making it safe for drinking water.
- Can be used for hot and cold water but can break if they become frozen.
Cross Linked Polyethylene Pipes (PEX Pipes)
- Extremely versatile: can be used for hot and cold water supply, prefect for retrofits, and can be snaked through walls easily.
- PEX pipes are also heat resistant.
- Although this type pf piping has been approved for use, many are still concerned that PEX pipes can pose a threat to the environment because of their manufacturing method.
Grey Plastic Polybutylene Pipes (PB Pipes)
- Inexpensive alternative to copper pipes.
- PB Pipes are easy to work with and install, so they are a good medium for DIYers.
- A major downside to this type of piping is that they are prone to leaks.
High-Density Polybutylene (HDPB Pipes)
- Can be used in a wide variety of plumbing needs because they are flexible and are corrosion resistant.
- HDPB Pipes also have a long life span.
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