Pex piping comes in multiple colors such as red, blue, and white. It's a very tough plastic material connected with inserted fittings and an outer clamp ring that is compressed via a tool required to crimp the ring around the pipe to secure the inserted fitting. The Pex piping material itself is extremely strong and durable. If exposed to freezing conditions, it expands but doesn't split or bust. It comes in 20 ft straight stick sections, or rolls of up to 300 feet depending on diameter of pipe required. This method of piping material and fittings started in the 1970's with Polybutylene piping. It's grey in color and was probably the worst water piping material ever manufactured. Pex is far more superior, it's allowed for installation under slabs, inside walls, attics, and crawl spaces. It is not allowed to be exposed to direct sunlight. If you're purchasing a new home and you discover it may have polybutylene water piping in the walls and slab, we reccomend having it replaced.
Galvanized piping is more common in older homes prior the 1970's . It's a tough material, and is still commonly used for natural and propane gas piping in some areas. The material is joined together by threads on the end of the pipe itself, and threaded fittings. The two most common issues with galvanized piping are external and internal corrosion. If your water has a rust tint to it for a moment when you turn on a fixture, the inside of the galvanized piping is rusting internally. Buried galvanized piping under your slab or in your yard deteriorates over time. Slab leaks are common with galvanized piping. The soil breaks down the metal over time and thins the material enough for the water pressure to cause a tiny leak that grows in size. If you have a slab leak and galvanized piping, it's a good idea to consider replacing all the water piping in your home. Once one leak appears, it's only a matter of time before another shows up. Plus, excavating and trying to repair the leaking section of pipe may not be possible due to the condition of the rest of the piping.
Copper piping is very popular. It's a labor intense installation because of all the steps involved to make one single connection. It's probably the most expensive water piping material as well. It's mostly used these days in commercial projects. However, many homes still have and use copper piping. Pin hole leaks in copper piping are very common. Under a slab they can be exposed to dissimilar elements in the soil that will cause corrosion. If outdoors, it must be protected from freezing temperatures. It's allowed for installion under slabs, crawl spaces, and walls. Sunlight isn't as harmful to it as it is plastic materials. The fittings are welded on with the use of a torch, flux, and lead free solder. There must be no water in the line to accomplish this connection. However, new fitting systems have been introduced that do not require welding, and water in the line isn't an issue. Press fittings by use of an actuated compression jaw are becoming more and more standard for copper pipe installations.
CPVC pipe is designed as a cheaper alternative to copper piping, and can be installed under slabs, crawl spaces, and in walls. It can also be used for hot water. It has a yellowish tint to the pipe, and the glue to join it yellow as well. It's a very quick material to install. The material is cut to length and simply glued together. Unlike copper and galvanized piping, it doesn't corrode in soil. It is highly sensitive to sunlight. If installed outside it must be insulated to protect from freezing and UV light.
PVC pipe is probably the most common piping material to home owners. It's mainly used for the water service from the water meter up the piping material used inside the house and for irrigation systems. PVC pipe is not allowed to be used inside a structure, crawl space, wall or slab for water distribution. Common leaks for PVC pipe are at the water meter, or at the connection point near the house. The main reason for this is the type of fitting used to transition from different pipe materials. Other causes of PVC leaks are from tree roots growing and pushing against the pipe, and friction inside the pipe as the fittings wear down the material. Like the other piping materials listed above, if it is exposed outside it must be insulated to protect from freezing and sunlight.
Water pressure is probably the most critical part of the water distribution system no matter what material is used in your home or business. A good plumber will always check your water pressure when servicing any part of your plumbing system. High water pressure is very common in a lot of areas in Tallahassee. Per the Florida building code, and among with most other states, the incoming water pressure in a residential property can not exceed 80lbs of pressure. We come across homes every week where the pressure is well over 100lbs. This cause a lot of stress and wear and tear on your pipes and fixtures. A dripping faucet needing repair constantly is an easy sign of high water pressure. This can be adjusted with the installation of a pressure reducing valve. Many customers ask if the utility provider can turn the pressure down coming to the water meter. It's just not possible. The further water travels from the source the weaker the pressure gets. So, if you're reading a pressure of 110lbs at your home, your neighbors home 5 blocks away, coming from the same water source could be as low as 60lbs becuase of the extra distance it's travelling.
A pressure reducing valve is a good investment to protect your most valuable asset. We've seen multiple homes gutted and stripped down to the studs do to water damage. More than most had incoming water pressure above 80lbs and a material or product that simply failed.
Call us today for help with your water piping system repair, leak, , installation, or water line replacement.