08 Dec

How to Identify Different Types of Plumbing Pipes?

The two main types of plumbing pipe are metal and plastic. Metal plumbing pipes include copper, galvanized and stainless steel pipes. PVC (polyvinyl chloride), Polypipe, PEX pipe, and CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) are the types of plastic plumbing pipes. Not every type of pipe is as useful as another, and every type is designed for a specific plumbing purpose. Let’s talk about all of them.

Metal Plumbing Pipes
Copper
Copper is common as this type of plumbing pipe is widely used in the residential plumbing; however, it is not as cost effective as plastic piping. It is beneficial because it is resistant to corrosion, which means it can easily withstand high temperature. The copper plumbing pipes come in 3 different sizes; starting from M to L to K. The M type of copper pipe has thin walls, L is a medium, and K is the thickest of all the three.
Galvanized pipes
Galvanized pipes have been used in homes for years, typically to carry water in and out of the house. The galvanized coating prevents rusting, and gives a dull gray appearance. Use of these heavy duty pipes is diminishing, as it is being replaced by PEX pipe, which is less expensive and just as durable. Galvanized pipes, typically come in sizes between ½ inch (1.3 centimeters) and 2 inches (5.1 centimeters) in diameter.

Stainless Steel Pipes
Stainless steel is not very common as compared with other metal plumbing pipes. Why stainless steel pipes are less common? Because they are rare and more expensive. Stainless steel pipe is mainly used in marine atmosphere due to its capability of withstanding salt water. Homeowners do not prefer these types of pipes due to its price.

Plastic Plumbing Pipes
PVC pipes
PVC is a type of plastic material and pipes made up of PVC material is often used to carry high pressured water. PVC pipes are available in many different sizes, ranging from 1.3 cm to 10.2 cm in diameter. Keep in mind that PVC pipes are not designed to handle hot water, they are only designed to handle cold water. Most of the PVC pipes come in white color.

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Polypipe
The next type is Polypipe. It is designed to transport high pressure water and usually comes in black color. It is best suitable for outdoor installation. Most of the plumbing professionals recommend a homeowner to install them underground as it prevents them from freezing. These are only used for outdoor purposes.

PEX Pipe
PEX pipes are popular these days due to their flexibility to handle both hot and cold water. They usually incorporate same diameter as copper. The only drawback of these pipes is that they are heat resistant.

CPVC
CPVC pipes are very similar to PVC plumbing pipes, as they just get an additional chlorination. These pipes are designed to handle both cold and hot water, they are thinner and more flexible than PVC pipe.

Bottom Line
It is really great that now we have a lot of different options for selecting plumbing pipes. Most of them are Eco-friendly and they do not leach any toxins. Please check LEED certification before buying any type of plumbing pipe.

27 Sep

How to Clean Plumbing Vents

When you think about your home plumbing system, you probably think of a bunch of pipes which carry water. But there is much more to your plumbing system than this. Your plumbing system also has air vents which are connected to fixtures. The purpose of plumbing air vents (or vent stacks) is to remove sewage gases so they don’t go into your home. Plumbing vent stacks usually go up to the roof.

Signs of a Clogged Vent Stack

Vent stacks luckily don’t get clogged often. However, they can sometimes become clogged by animal carcasses, leaves, or even snow. Here are the main signs that you have a clogged vent stack.
• Bad smells in the home because sewage gas isn’t escaping
• Slow draining drains
• Bubbles in toilet when you flush
• Gurgling sound coming from drains

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Clearing a Clogged Plumbing Vent

If you suspect a clogged plumbing vent, you will have to get up onto the roof to check. This is dangerous, so don’t do it unless you are comfortable climbing onto the roof.

You will need a flashlight for peering into the vent stack, as well as a garden hose which can reach up onto the roof. For removing the actual clog, you may need a plumber’s snake.
Once on the roof, remove any debris away from the vent stack as well as any debris within the vent stack that you can reach. Then feed the garden hose into the vent stack. Have someone on the ground turn on the water. Sometimes, the force of the water is enough to dislodge the clog in the vent. If the clog is solid, such as a baseball which got stuck in there, then the water will back up out of the vent stack.

If water backs up out of the vent stack, you will need to use a plumbers snake to clear out the clog. Again, it is probably best to leave this job to a professional rather than risking your safety on the roof.