In the past piping was often constructed from lead, however due to the threat this material presented to human health other materials such as bronze and copper replaced its use. Piping construction has since continued to develop and now plastic has become the favourite material for piping particularly in residential areas.
The type of plastic used has become dependent on its required use. For example cold water supplies often use PVC plastic whereas hot water supplies use CPVS plastic as its properties make the plastic resistant to heat.
So why plastic piping?
Efficient– plastic is regarding as an energy efficient material with sustainable properties. Plastic reduces the required energy input as its insulating properties allows liquid like water flowing through the piping to retain its heat for longer. When the plastic product is no longer required it can easily be recycled which means it will not waste and will not be contributing to the current problem we face with landfills becoming too full.
Resist Corrosion -particularly after the recognition that lead and copper piping could be having damaging effects on an individual’s health it was important that this piping was replaced with an alternative material. As plastic is resistant to corrosion, plastic has become the most favourable and popular material for piping as water quality has dramatically increased since plastic piping has been introduced removing the threat of metal particles infiltrating the water supply.
Reduced Installation – The skill and time to install plastic piping over alternative materials like metals has also meant that plastic has become the most favourable material to be used for piping as labour costs and training are dramatically decreased.