Galvanized Metal Vs. PVC Drain Pipes: Which Should You Use?

If you live in an older home, you may have run across issues with your plumbing pipes. Either a leak, clog or have had to replace a plumbing fixture with something new. Whether it was an issue, or you plan on replacing, the question of what type of piping to replace it with may have come up. If it hasn't, at some point it will. The information below on brass metal vs. PVC plumbing will help answer any questions you may have.

Galvanized Metal Pipes

Galvanized metal plumbing pipes were more commonly used in years past. This type of plumbing is made of galvanized metal, but is usually coated with zinc coated. Over time, water can erode this type of plumbing pipe and can rust. The rust will eventually eat away at your pipes causing leaks and contaminate your drinking water (if it's attached to your sink). This type of plumbing also doesn't stand up well to strong drain cleaners, as the drain cleaner can eat away at your pipes. A drain-clearing tool can also be harmful to this type of pipe. If taken care of, these pipes can last quite some time, however, you need to be cautious with what you put down into your drains. Be sure to read the warning labels on harmful drain cleaners before putting them into brass pipes. Galvanized pipes can sometimes be double the price of PVC piping. The upside of metal piping is that it is more aesthetically pleasing, especially with sinks that have exposed plumbing. Metal fittings usually tighten over time, so you don't have to deal with loose fittings as often.

PVC (Plastic) Pipes

PVC pipes are made of plastic, they do not corrode, rust or degrade over time, as with metal pipes. They are very easy to work with, cost less than metal pipe, and work well with plumbing pipes for your sinks, toilets, and bathtubs in your home. They allow for good water pressure and usually used for bringing water into your home. The downside of these pipes is that they do not handle hot water very well and can warp over time. The fittings also become looser over time, which may mean you may be tightening fittings more often than with metal piping. 

The decision of which type of plumbing pipes to use is yours; however, PVC pipes are cheaper and more durable, as they will not corrode or rust. You can also contact a local plumber (such as one from North Jersey's Favorite Plumber) for help with this decision. Ask which type of plumbing holds up best over time.