List of Pipes Used for Plumbing

There are a lot of types of pipe used for plumbing so it can get a little confusing when you go to buy materials for a project. Some pipes can be used for water while others cannot. Take a look at some of the most common types of pipe used for plumbing so that you can find the right match for your next project.

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    Plumbers working on pipes under sink
    Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

    Since ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) pipe is relatively inexpensive and readily available it is often the most common choice for drain lines and vent lines throughout a house. This type of pipe can be installed above or below ground and indoors or outdoors. One thing to watch out for is that it may not hold up well under sun exposure if it is installed out of doors unless the pipe has pigments to protect against UV radiation (check local building code for outdoor installation guidelines)....MORE ABS pipe is cut and glued like PVC pipe but the glue must say that it is specifically for ABS pipe because it is a different material that PVC. PVC glue will not hold ABS pipe.


    Once you know what type of pipe to use, check to see which pipe cutter you’ll need.

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    Black Iron Pipe

    For decades black iron pipe has been the standard for gas pipe and fittings. This is mostly the default pipe type for running a gas line in above ground installations. Gas pipe needs to be cut, reamed, and threaded for installation. Black iron pipe is inexpensive compared to other types of gas pipe but is sometimes costly in labor because of the time it takes to cut, thread, and install.
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    CSST or Stainless Steel

    Corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) is used to run gas and can be used in just about all locations where rigid gas tubing would be installed.
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    Polyethylene Gas Pipe

    Poly pipe is perfect for underground gas line installations because it is highly resistant to harsh corrosive environments. This type of pipe comes in very long rolls and in many sizes that can meet almost any gas pipe need. Poly pipe is run underground and has metal transition fittings that bring it up above the ground level.
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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    PVC for Drain Pipe

    PVC sewer pipe and fittings are used just like ABS pipe. If PVC is used for a drain it must be a PVC pipe that is made for use as a drain pipe, meaning it will have the proper sweeps for drainage. These are quite different from the sharp elbows and tee’s used for PVC water pipe. PVC drain pipe is lighter and often thinner material than that of ABS and PVC used for water.