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While indoor plumbing has been around for a long time, the types of materials used in plumbing applications have gone through many changes. Although metal and ceramic pipes have their places, plastic pipes have important roles in plumbing.

Ace Hardware carries a large selection of quality plastic pipes including PVC pipes, , PVC tubes, flexible PVC pipes and more. Learn about the different types of plastic pipes we have in stock with the following information.  

Benefits of Using Plastic Pipes

PVC Pipes have many benefits and can often be preferred over other types of pipes. To help you decide on the right type of plumbing pipes for your next project, here are a few pros or benefits of using plastic pipes: 

Pros of Plastic Pipes

  • Corrosion-resistant: Plastic pipes aren't subject to corrosion from water and household chemicals. The formulas used in plastic water pipes are often adjusted to stand up to the demands of an array of residential plumbing needs, including drainage and water supply.
  • Hassle-free installation: Unlike metal pipes that require soldering upon installation, plastic water pipes are relatively easy to work with. Because of their lightweight and easy-to-handle qualities, projects completed with plastic pipes usually cost much less than those completed with metal pipes.
  • Low heat conductivity: Unlike their metal pipe counterparts, plastic pipes don't conduct much heat. Their low heat conductivity makes them better equipped to maintain consistent temperatures when transporting water. 
  • Moisture Resistant: PVC pipes also stay dry even without insulation, which is incredibly helpful for moisture-prone applications like boilers and air conditioning condensation drains.  

There are a few protentional issues to consider with determining if you want to use plastic pipes for your plumbing project. Plastic pipes can be sensitive to sunlight. This simply means if they are not buried or properly treated, they can become brittle when in the sun for extended periods of time. An easy solution to protect your plastic piping if exposed to the sunlight is to apply a protective coating such as a latex paint. 

Different Types of Plastic Water Pipes

When you walk down the plastic pipe aisle, you might be confused about the different numbers and sizes that are available. Plastic water pipes are classified by their materials. Here's an overview of some of the most common types of plastic pipes:

PVC Pipes

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes offer great performance, flexibility, durability and affordability. The two main types of PVC pipes are schedule 40 and schedule 80. Schedule 40 PVC pipes have thinner walls than schedule 80. Other PVC pipes may have different schedule numbers, and the higher the number, the thicker the wall of the pipe. The thicker the pipe walls the more water it can handle. 

PVC Tubes

Also known as polyvinyl chloride flexible tubing, PVC tubing is ideal for a variety of uses. These abrasion-resistant and flexible PVC pipes are long-lasting, incredibly flexible and easy to install.

Cross-Linked Polyethylene Pipes

Also known as PEX pipes, polyethylene pipes are one of the most popular plastic pipe types used today. Polyethylene pipes are often installed in place of copper pipes or used as a more flexible alternative to other types of plastic pipes. These pipes can deliver both cold and hot water, and they're known for their versatility, ease of fitting, low price points and their ability to maintain consistent water pressure.

Ace Hardware carries the best selection of plastic pipes. Find the right plastic water pipes for your next plumbing project online or at your local Ace Hardware store.