Modern Pipe Materials
Another important element of comfort and safety in buildings is plumbing. What is surprising is that some municipal codes actually allow for up to one gallon of leakage for underground piping made of traditional materials. This is often because the joints are butted together and if the Earth moves, a leak can develop. Plastic pipe, if installed properly, shouldn’t leak and should last a long time. According to John Rattenbury, PE, CIPE, “Perhaps the two most attractive features of PVC [pipe] are low cost and ease of installation.”
Plastics also offer homeowners the ease of do-it-yourself repair. Easy to drill, saw and construct, plastic piping is fast, efficient and economical for homeowners. According to the builderswebsource.com, the benefits of PVC include:
- Competitive price vs. copper
- Self-insulating to minimize thermal loss
- Integral flame retardancy
- Less subject to jobsite theft
- Inert to acidic soils and corrosive water supplies
- Easy for DIY’ers
- Virtually no sweating or condensation
- Can be pressure tested in ten minutes
In addition, the use of plastic piping for central vacuum systems, cold air inlets for fireplaces and gas heaters can help reduce drafts in the home environment.
Beyond serving as a cost-effective, efficient and durable means of meeting plumbing needs, plastics can serve as a green solution. For example, the manufacturing of PVC pipe can provide an overall savings of energy compared to alternative materials. A 1991 study by Franklin & Associates indicated that the manufacture of pressure piping used in the building, construction and transportation industries required 56,497 trillion fewer BTUs than iron and concrete/aggregate alternative pipe. Also, because PVC pipe and fittings are lighter in weight than alternative piping materials, they can save energy in transportation.
Modern Pipe Materials Resources
Can Open Competition Help Solve Our Nation’s Aging Infrastructure Problem? The U.S. Conference of Mayors: “Yes!”
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Are Saltier Rivers Corroding Our Nation’s Pipe Infrastructure?
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Getting Better Than “D+” On Our Pipe Infrastructure
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Competition Drives Lower Taxpayer Cost to Replace Sewer and Supply Lines, But Some Material Suppliers Can’t Bid
A U.S. Drainage & Water Pipe Market report by Daedal Research published in January 2017 provides a detailed analysis of markets, trends, growth factors, and other information on key players in the drainage and water pipe...Read More
Replacing Iron Pipe with HDPE Plastic Pipe at Arlington Cemetery
HDPE Plastic Pipe Goes Under Ground with Fewer Trenches Time to make water main repairs at Arlington National Cemetery, and officials chose HDPE plastic pipe. The pipe laying project replaced 44,500 feet of 60 year old...Read More