Comprehensive Guide to Plumbers in Arlington VA

Plumbing pipes are a crucial element in all residential, commercial and industrial plumbing systems. The type of plumbing pipe installed in a system largely affects the performance, durability, and efficiency of the system. Therefore, it’s essential to have a good understanding of the different types of pipes used in plumbing.


In this article, we will cover:

  1. PVC Pipes
  2. Copper Pipes
  3. Galvanised Steel Pipes

Looking for a Plumber in Arlington VA: Understanding the Main Types of Pipes Used

The three main types of pipes used in plumbing include PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) pipes, copper pipes and galvanized steel pipes.

  • PVC (Polyvinic Chloride) Pipes: These are widely used for residential and commercial plumbing installations due to their durability, cost-effectiveness, easy installation process, and resistance to corrosion.
  • Copper Pipes: Considered one of the best options for plumbing systems due to their long lifespan and resistance to both heat and bacteria growth.
  • Galvanised Steel Pipers

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PVC (polyvinic chloride) is a popular material for modern plumbing systems due to its various advantages.

  • Durability: PVC is resistant to rusting or corroding over time.
  • Cost-effective: In comparison with other materials like copper or steel, PVC is significantly cheaper.
  • Flexibility: Due to its plastic nature, it can be bent into different shapes without breaking.

However, extreme heat can warp or melt PVC pipes; hence it’s not suitable for hot water supply lines.

Understanding Plumbing in Arlington VA and the Use of Copper Pipes

Copper has been a trusted material for plumbing over many years due to its natural properties that benefit a plumbing system.

  • Long lifespan: Copper pipes can last for decades without needing replacement.
  • Heat resistant: They can withstand high temperatures, making them ideal for hot water supply lines.
  • Bacteria Resistant: Copper has a natural resistance to bacteria, keeping your water supply safe.

However, copper pipes are more costly than PVC or galvanized steel and require professional installation due to their soldering process.

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Galvanized Steel Pipes were popular before the rise of PVC and copper. They have a protective zinc coating to prevent rusting. However, over time this coating can wear off leading to rust build-up inside the pipe.

Despite these problems, galvanized steel pipes are still used in certain circumstances due to their strength and durability. For instance, in larger construction projects where the plumbing system needs to support a substantial amount of weight.

Each type of pipe holds its own advantages and disadvantages; thus the choice often depends on factors such as budget, local regulations, nature of usage (residential or commercial), and personal preference. Knowing about these different types of plumbing pipes helps homeowners make informed decisions when it comes to installation or repair tasks.

There are numerous types of plumbing pipes available on the market, each designed to suit specific conditions and requirements. The type of pipe chosen can largely depend on the nature of the project, whether it’s residential, commercial, or industrial. The right selection ensures durability and efficiency of the overall plumbing system.


Plumbing Services in Arlington VA: A Comprehensive Guide to PVC Pipes

Polyvinic Chloride (PVC) is a popular choice for residential plumbing for its lightweight nature and ease of installation. These pipes are primarily utilized for transporting non-potable water and sewer lines due to their inability to withstand high heat.

  • Advantages:Resistant to chemicals and corrosion, cost-effective, widely available.
  • Disadvantages:Not suitable for hot water distribution.

Plumbing Contractors Specializing in CPVC Pipes in Arlington VA

  • Advantages:Can handle high temperatures, resistant to corrosion.
  • Disadvantages:More expensive than PVC, requires careful installation as it can split if overtightened.

Arlington VA Plumbing: An Overview of PEX Pipes

Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) is flexible plastic piping that has become a go-to choice in modern homes due to its flexibility and ease of use.

  • Advantages:Highly flexible and easy to install, resistant to scale buildup.
  • Disadvantages:Cannot be used outdoors as it’s susceptible to UV damage.


Copper pipes have long been used in plumbing systems due to their durability and reliability. They can withstand high temperatures, making them ideal for hot water supply lines.

  • Advantages:Long-lasting, recyclable material.
  • Disadvantages:Expensive compared to plastic options, requires professional installation.


Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is a plastic pipe often used in homes for vent and waste lines.

  • Advantages:Resistant to cold temperatures, cost-effective.
  • Disadvantages:Can warp under the hot sun if used outdoors, banned in some regions due to bursting tendency.


  • Advantages:Very sturdy and durable.
  • Disadvantages:Prone to corrosion over time, heavy, and difficult to work with.

Each of these types of plumbing pipes has its unique set of features, advantages, and disadvantages. Therefore, it’s crucial to assess your project’s specific needs before deciding on the type of pipe that will best serve your plumbing system.

Polyvinyl chloride, often shortened to PVC, is a widely used material in the plumbing industry. Over the years, these pipes have proven to be efficient and reliable for all types of plumbing applications. They are commonly used in residential, commercial and industrial settings.

What is PVC?

PVC is a type of thermoplastic polymer that’s robust, lightweight, and resistant to both corrosion and chemical damage. These properties make it an ideal choice for various plumbing applications. It’s also extremely cost-effective compared to other types of materials.

Types of PVC Pipes

There are two main types of PVC pipes used in plumbing:

  1. Schedule 40 PVC:These pipes have thinner walls and are best suited for low-pressure applications like irrigation systems or swimming pool circulation systems.
  2. Schedule 80 PVC:This type of pipe has thicker walls and can withstand higher pressure levels making them perfect for residential or commercial water supply lines.

The ‘schedule’ refers to the thickness of the pipe walls; a higher schedule number indicates a thicker wall.

Benefits of Using PVC Pipes in Plumbing

PVC pipes offer numerous advantages over traditional metal pipes:

  • Corrosion Resistance:Unlike metal pipes, which can corrode over time leading to leaks or failures, PVC pipes do not rust or corrode.
  • Durability:Even though they’re lightweight, PVC pipes are highly durable.
  • Easy Installation:As compared to metal counterparts, PVC pipes are much easier to install due to their lighter weight.
  • Cost-Efficiency:Due to their long lifespan & minimal maintenance requirements, they save money in the long run.
  • Versatility:Suitable for a wide range of applications from transporting drinking water to drainage systems.

Applications of PVC Pipes in Plumbing

PVC is multipurpose material when it comes to plumbing:

  1. Water Supply Lines:Both types of PVC pipes can be used for transporting water.
  2. Sewage Systems:Due to their resistance to chemical damage, PVC is often the material of choice for sewage systems.
  3. Irrigation Systems:Schedule 40 PVC is commonly used in irrigation systems.

In summary, PVC pipes play an essential role in modern plumbing due to their versatility, cost-efficiency, and durability. Whether it’s for a residential drainage system or a commercial water supply line, PVC pipes have proven to be an efficient and reliable choice.

When it comes to the piping used in plumbing systems, copper has always been a trusted and reliable choice. Known for its durability, high resistance to corrosion, and ability to withstand extreme temperatures, copper pipes continue to play a significant role in modern plumbing.

Features of Copper Pipes

Copper pipes have several features that make them stand out among other types of plumbing pipes.

  • Durability: Copper is known for its exceptional durability. It can last for up to 50 years or more under normal conditions. This makes it an excellent long-term investment for any plumbing system.
  • Corrosion Resistance: One of the main advantages of copper is that it’s resistant to rust and corrosion. Unlike steel or iron pipes, which can rust over time when exposed to water, copper pipes do not corrode easily.
  • Heat Tolerance: Copper can withstand both hot and cold temperatures making it an ideal choice for various climates. It also efficiently conducts heat which is beneficial for hot water supply lines.
  • Ease of Installation: Copper pipes are relatively easy to install due to their lightweight nature. They can be cut into desired lengths and bent at different angles without breaking.

Applications of Copper Pipes in Plumbing

Copper pipes find use in various applications within modern plumbing systems:

  1. Potable Water Supply:The most common use of copper pipes is in supplying potable water. Due to their corrosion-resistant nature, they ensure clean and safe drinking water supply with minimal risk of contamination.
  2. Heating Systems:Copper’s excellent heat conduction properties make it suitable for use in heating systems such as radiators and underfloor heating.
  3. Refrigerants:In refrigeration units or air conditioning systems, small diameter copper tubing is used due to its ability to withstand high pressure.
  4. Fire Sprinkler Systems:Copper pipes are also used in fire sprinkler systems due to their high heat tolerance.

Drawbacks of Using Copper Pipes

Despite its numerous advantages, copper piping isn’t without its drawbacks.

  • Cost: Copper pipes are typically more expensive than other types of plumbing pipes such as PVC or PEX.
  • Noise: Water flowing through copper pipes can be noisy compared to plastic or composite piping.
  • Potential for Pinhole Leaks: Over time, the inside of copper pipes can erode leading to pinhole leaks.

Although these drawbacks exist, the benefits often outweigh the negatives when it comes to copper pipes, making them a popular choice for modern plumbing needs. It’s important for homeowners and plumbers alike to understand these factors when choosing the right plumbing materials for any given project.

Galvanised steel pipes are an important part of the plumbing infrastructure in many buildings. These pipes have been extensively used in the past, still retain their relevance today, and are expected to continue being used in the near future. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of galvanised steel pipes, their applications, benefits, and potential drawbacks.

What are Galvanised Steel Pipes?

Galvanised steel pipes are made of steel and coated with a layer of zinc. The galvanising process involves the application of a protective zinc coating to prevent rusting. This is achieved by immersing the steel pipe in molten zinc, which chemically bonds to the steel creating a hard, durable surface.

Uses of Galvanised Steel Pipes

Primarily owing to their durability, galvanised steel pipes are used extensively in various sectors:

  • Construction: Strong and robust, these pipes can handle heavy loads making them ideal for use in building structures.
  • Plumbing
  • Agriculture: In irrigation systems due to their corrosion resistance properties.
  • Oil and Gas Industry: For transporting substances that require high-pressure handling.

Advantages of Galvanized Steel Pipes

Choosing galvanized steel pipes for your plumbing needs comes with several advantages:

  • Corrosion Resistance: The primary reason behind their popularity is that the zinc coating prevents corrosion or rusting
  • Longevity: These kinds of pipes last much longer when compared with other types as they don’t easily succumb to wear and tear.
  • High Pressure Handling Capability

Drawbacks of Using Galvanized Steel Pipes

While having several advantages, using galvanized steel pipes also comes with a few potential downsides:

  • Internal Rusting: Over time, the internal layers may start to rust which can lead to water contamination.
  • Replacement Challenges: Replacing these pipes can be more challenging as they tend to be heavier and require professional assistance for installation.
  • Cost: They could be more expensive than other options like PVC because of their robustness and longevity.

Understanding the characteristics of galvanized steel pipes is crucial in making informed decisions when it comes to plumbing. It helps you decide whether it is the right type of pipe for your specific needs or if other types such as PVC or copper pipes are more suitable. It’s always best to consult with a professional plumber before making a decision.