One of the most confusing tasks homeowners face is figuring out which type of pipes they have in their home. From PVC to copper, the options seem endless. But don’t worry — we’ll describe each type of pipe to help you determine which one is which.
Sewer Line Pipes
Starting from outside your home, your sewer line is made up of either clay or plastic pipes. They are usually buried underground and lead to the city sewer system or a septic tank. If your pipes are made of clay, it’s best to keep an eye on them as clay pipes can crack and corrode over time. Plastic pipes are a bit more durable, but you still need to keep an eye out for damage. And no matter what type of pipes you have, it’s always wise to keep them free of blockages like tree roots or sludge. So, if you ever hear strange gurgling sounds coming from your drains, you may want to call a plumber.
The main advantage of having a sewer line in your home is that you can flush down anything and everything without fear of contaminating the environment. Also, you don’t have to worry about a smelly pile of waste in your yard.
Supply Line Pipes
The pipes that bring water into your home are known as the supply lines. These pipes can be made of copper or plastic, like PVC or PEX. It’s easy to identify them in the basement or crawl space since they are usually closest to the main water shut-off valve. Copper pipes are usually a bright copper color, while PVC and PEX pipes are off-white or light gray.
Since most supply lines are hidden behind the walls, they’re easy to forget. It’s important to check them occasionally for corrosion and leaks since they bring fresh water into your home. Also, note the location of the main shut-off valve in case you need to turn off your water supply quickly.
The advantage of PVC and PEX pipes is that they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. They can also be easily reconfigured if your home’s layout changes. However, copper pipes can last longer and are usually more corrosion-resistant.
Drain Line Pipes
Drain lines are the pipes that take the wastewater away from your home and into the sewer system or septic tank. They usually consist of PVC or ABS pipes, which are more common in newer homes. These pipes are usually installed outside your home near the foundation, and they often have vents that lead to the roof.
A major benefit of drain lines is that they are relatively easy to maintain since they aren’t susceptible to corrosion and buildup like sewer lines. Also, if there’s ever a blockage, it’s usually easy to identify where it’s located.
However, just like sewer lines, if the pipes are old and made of clay, they can be more prone to cracking and need to be replaced. They also require a lot of fittings and couplings, which can be a hassle if you ever need to reconfigure your drainage system.
Waste Line Pipes
Waste lines, or drain-waste-vent pipes, are the ones that transport your home’s wastewater from sinks, toilets and other fixtures to the sewer system or septic tank. They are usually made of PVC or ABS pipes and come in two sizes: 1 1/4 inches and 2 inches. It’s also important to note that these pipes come in two colors, white for waste and black for vents, so it’s easy to distinguish between them.
The main advantage of having waste line pipes is that they are relatively easy to install and maintain. Also, ABS pipes are more corrosion-resistant than PVC pipes, so you won’t have to worry about them rusting over time.
However, like sewer and drain lines, waste line pipes can be prone to blockages if improperly maintained. So, it’s important to keep an eye out for any clogs or slow-draining fixtures and have them taken care of as soon as possible.
Gas Line Pipes
Gas lines are the pipes that transport natural gas into your home. They are usually made of galvanized steel and have a distinct yellow hue. You can usually find them in the basement or crawl space near the main gas shut-off valve.
The main benefit of having gas lines in your home is that they don’t require any maintenance and can last for decades. Also, they are less likely than other pipes to suffer from corrosion and wear and tear.
However, if a gas line does become damaged or corroded, it can be a significant safety hazard. So, if you ever smell gas or hear strange hissing sounds coming from your pipes, call a professional plumber immediately.
Recycled Water Line Pipes
These pipes are usually made of plastic and transport water from a recycling facility, such as a wastewater treatment plant, to your home. The water is then used outdoors for purposes like watering the lawn or washing the car.
Recycled water lines have several advantages, including being relatively easy to install and maintain. Also, since recycled water is typically contaminant-free, you can be sure it’s safe for use on your lawn or garden.
The main disadvantage is that the recycled water is unsuitable for drinking, so you’ll still need a separate supply of clean, potable water. Also, since the pipes are not pressurized, installing them in certain locations can be more difficult.
These pipes, usually made of plastic, transport wastewater away from sinks, dishwashers, and other fixtures to the drain line. They are usually hidden behind the cabinet and are easy to identify by their size (1/2 inch or 3/4 inch) and color.
These pipes are relatively easy to maintain and don’t require any special tools or techniques. However, if you ever notice a leak coming from the pipes, you need to take care of it as soon as possible.
Downspouts are the pipes that transport rainwater away from your home’s roof and into the drainage system or septic tank. They are usually made of PVC or aluminum and come in 3-inch or 4-inch sizes. Their color can easily identify them since downspouts are usually light gray or white.
The advantage of downspout pipes is that they are relatively easy to install and maintain. Also, since the water doesn’t have to travel far from the roof, the risk of leaks and blockages is minimized.
However, if your downspouts are old or made of corroding materials, they can wear out and need to be replaced. Also, since they are often exposed to the elements, it’s important to check them every so often for any cracks or damage.
No matter what type of pipes you have in your home, it’s important to know their purpose and how to maintain them properly. This way, you’ll be able to ensure that your home’s plumbing is in good condition and you’re not dealing with any unexpected leaks or blockages. Work with a professional heating and air company like Summit Heating & A/C to ensure that any plumbing work is done safely and correctly. We can help you with heater installation and maintenance, furnace installation and repair, heat pump installation and maintenance, AC repair and installation, drain cleaning, pipe repair and installation, leak detection, sewer line installation and gas line installation in the Denver area. Contact Summit Heating & A/C in Littleton today to get started!