The Different Plumbing Materials

Nov 22, 2020


Welcome to Westwater Softening & Purification! In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various plumbing materials used in modern plumbing systems. Choosing the right materials for your plumbing needs is crucial for ensuring long-lasting durability and efficient water flow. Understanding the features, benefits, and drawbacks of different plumbing materials will help you make informed decisions about your plumbing projects.


Copper is a popular choice for plumbing due to its durability and resistance to corrosion. It has been used for centuries and is known for its excellent heat and electrical conductivity. Copper pipes are long-lasting, reliable, and can withstand high-pressure situations. They are easily installed, and their smooth interior surface minimizes water flow disruptions. However, copper can be expensive, making it less budget-friendly for some individuals. It is also prone to theft due to its scrap value.

PEX (Cross-Linked Polyethylene)

PEX is a flexible plastic tubing material that has gained popularity in recent years. It is known for its ease of installation, as it can be bent and maneuvered around obstacles without the need for complex fittings. PEX is resistant to corrosion and can tolerate both hot and cold water applications. Its flexibility allows for quieter water flow, reducing the chances of water hammering. However, PEX is sensitive to UV rays, meaning it should only be used indoors or protected from direct sunlight. It also has a shorter lifespan compared to copper pipes.

CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride)

CPVC is a thermoplastic plumbing material ideal for both hot and cold water applications. It is lightweight, easy to install, and more affordable than copper. CPVC pipes are durable, resistant to corrosion, and have excellent fire-retardant properties. They can handle higher water temperatures than PEX, making them suitable for hot water distribution systems. However, CPVC is not recommended for outdoor use or exposure to UV rays, as it can degrade over time.

Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel pipes were commonly used in older plumbing systems. They consist of steel pipes coated with a layer of zinc to protect against corrosion. While galvanized steel pipes are strong and have a long lifespan, they have fallen out of favor in recent years due to their tendency to corrode over time, leading to reduced water flow and potential health concerns. If you have an older property with galvanized steel pipes, it is recommended to consider upgrading to modern plumbing materials for improved efficiency and water quality.

PE (Polyethylene)

PE pipes, also known as poly pipes or polyethylene pipes, are commonly used for water supply and irrigation systems. They are lightweight, flexible, and resistant to chemicals, making them suitable for both underground and above-ground applications. PE pipes are easy to install, requiring fewer fittings, which reduces the risk of leaks. However, they have lower temperature and pressure tolerances compared to other materials, limiting their use in certain scenarios.


Selecting the right plumbing material is essential for a successful plumbing project. Whether you opt for the durability of copper, the flexibility of PEX, the affordability of CPVC, or the versatility of PE, each material has its unique characteristics. Consider the specific requirements of your plumbing system, budget constraints, and long-term maintenance when making your decision. Remember, Westwater Softening & Purification is here to guide you through the process and provide expert advice. Contact us today to learn more about the best plumbing materials for your needs.

Renee Davis
Great resource for choosing plumbing materials!
Nov 11, 2023