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Benefits & Characteristics: ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) was once approved for use in DWV systems. Most local codes now prohibit ABS for new installations, but in some cases it can be added to pre-existing ABS DWV systems.
Common Uses: Pipes; drain traps
Lengths Sold by linear ft.
Diameters: 2", 3", 4"
Fitting Methods Glue and plastic.
Tools Used for Cutting: Miter box or hacksaw



Benefits & Characteristics: Cast iron is strong but hard to work with. Repairs should be made with plastic pipe, if allowed.
Common Uses: Main drain- waste-vent stack
Lengths: 5 ft., 10 ft.
Diameters: 3", 4"
Fitting Methods Banded neoprene couplings.
Tools Used for Cutting:Snap cutter or hacksaw


Benefits & Characteristics: PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is rigid plastic that resists heat and chemicals. Lightweight tubes and heavier Schedule 40.
Common Uses: Drain & vent pipes; drain traps
Lengths : 10 ft., 20 ft.; or sold by linear ft.,
Diameters: 1 1/4", 1 1/2", 2", 3", 4"
Fitting Methods Solvent glue and/or plastic fittings.
Tools Used for Cutting:Tubing cutter, miter box, or hacksaw


Benefits & Characteristics: CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) rigid plastic is inexpensive and withstands high temperature and pressure.
Common Uses: Hot & cold water supply pipes
Length: 10 ft.
Diameters: 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", 1"
Fitting Methods Solvent glue and plastic fittings, or with compression fittings
Tools Used for Cutting:Tubing cutter, miter box, or hacksaw


Benefits & Characteristics: Chromed brass has an attractive shiny surface and is used for drain traps where appearance is important.
Common Uses: Valves & shutoffs; drain traps, supply risers
Lengths: Lengths vary
Diameters: 1 1/4", 1/2", 3/4", 1 1/4", 1 1/2"
Fitting Methods: Compression fittings, or with metal solder.
Tools Used for Cutting: Tubing cutter, hacksaw, or reciprocating saw

Benefits & Characteristics: PE (polyethylene) plastic is a black or bluish flexible pipe sometimes used for main water service lines as well as irrigation systems.
Common Uses : Outdoor cold water supply pipes
Lengths: sold in coils of 25 to hundreds of ft.
Diameters 1/4" to 1"
Fitting Methods Rigid PVC fittings and stainless steel hose
Tools Used for Cutting: Ratchet-style plastic pipe cutter or miter saw

Benefits & Characteristics: Black pipe (iron pipe) generally is threaded at the ends to accept female-threaded fittings. Not for potable water.
Common Uses: Gas supply pipe
Lengths: Sold in lengths up to 10 ft
Diameters: 3/4", 1"
Fitting Methods :Threaded connectors.
Tools Used for Cutting: Hacksaw, power cutoff saw or reciprocating saw with bi-metal blade


Benefits & Characteristics: Rigid copper is used for water supply pipes. It resists corrosion and has smooth surfaces for good water flow.
Common Uses: Hot & cold water supply pipes
Lengths: 10 ft., 20 ft.; or sold by linear ft.
Diameters: 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", 1"
Fitting Methods: Metal solder or compression fittings
Tools Used for Cutting: Tubing cutter, hacksaw, or jig saw


Benefits & Characteristics: Braided metal is used for water supply tubes that connect shutoff valves to fixtures.
Common Uses: Supply tubes
Lengths: 12" or 20"
Diameters: 3/8"
Fitting Methods: Compression coupling or compression fittings
Tools Used for Cutting: Do not cut


Benefits & Characteristics: Flexible stainless steel (protective coated) connectors are used to attach gas appliances to supply stopcocks.
Common Uses: Gas ranges, dryers, water heaters
Lengths: 36" or 48"
Diameters: /8", 1/2" (OD)
Fitting Methods: Compression coupling
Tools Used for Cutting: Do not cut



Benefits & Characteristics: Flexible stainless steel (uncoated) connectors are used to attach gas appliances to supply stopcocks
Common Uses: Gas ranges, dryers, water heaters
Lengths: 36" or 48"
Diameters: 5/8", 1/2" (OD)
Fitting Methods: Compression coupling
Tools Used for Cutting: Do not cut


Benefits & Characteristics: Chromed copper supply tube is used in areas where appearance is important. Easy to bend and fit.
Common Uses: Supply tubing
Lengths: 12", 20", 30",3/8"
Fitting Methods: Brass compression fittings
Tools Used for Cutting: Tubing cutter or hacksaw


Benefits & Characteristics: PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) is flexible and is approved by major building codes for water supply.
Common Uses: Water supply, tubing for radiant floors
Lengths: Sold in coils of 25 ft. to hundreds of ft.
Diameters: 1/4" to 1"
Fitting Methods: Crimp fittings
Tools Used for Cutting: Tubing cutter
From: The Complete Guide to Plumbing, 978-1-58923-378-2

 
 

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