Types of water supply pipesArticles > Types of water supply pipes
Pipes are an important means of transferring liquid and gaseous material from one place to another. Without the use of pipes, the supply of liquid and gases is either impossible or very expensive. Thus saving the cost of transportation, liquids and gases are transported by means of pipes. Here in this article, we are discussing the water supply pipes and the types of pipes used in carrying out the water supply. Water supply is of two types; one is an indoor water supply, and the second is an outdoor water supply. The outdoor water supply means the supplying of water from the source of water to the houses, factories, and other buildings, while the indoor water supply means the supply of water within the building, and from one part of the building to the different parts, like bathrooms, kitchens, etc. The most commonly used pipes in the water supply are as under:
- Cast Iron (CI) Pipes: These are the most commonly used pipes in the water supply system. There are some reasons behind their use like they are cheaper than other types of pipes, they are resistant to corrosion, and they are durable.
- Steel Pipes: These pipes are very strong, and can bear a pressure of 7 kg/cm2. These pipes are available in a very large diameter. These pipes are used when there is a very large amount of water to be supplied with very high pressure. When a large quantity of water is to be supplied up to high altitude, these pipes are suggested. Steel pipes are less corrosive and strong enough. They can also resist the impact of freezing of water within the pipes. In some cases the steel pipes are inserted in concrete covering, to give extra protection to the water supply system. Such pipes are called Hume pipes.
- Galvanized Iron (GI) Pipes: These pipes are made of wrought steel, which is electroplated with zinc. These pipes are used in the water supply system in the buildings. They are available in all types of thicknesses. The first type of thickness is known as the High Grade, the medium level of thickness is known as the Medium Grade, and the pipes with lower thickness are known as the Light grades. In a 15 mm G1 pipe, the thickness of light grade is 2.0, the medium grade is 2.65, and the heavy grade 3.25. Socket joints are used to join the pipes to continue the series.
- Copper Pipes: As the name implies, the copper pipes are made up of copper material. The strength level of the copper pipes is not equal to those of the iron, and steel pipe, however, the corrosion and abrasion of the copper pipes are satisfactory. Copper pipes are more costly as compared to iron, steel, and PVC pipes.
- Asbestos Cement AC pipes: These pipes are used for draining the rainwater, roof water, soil water, and waste-water. In many cases, these pipes are also for ventilation in buildings. They are available in two forms, one in bedding around the socket, and the other without the bedding around the socket. The maximum length of these pipes is three meters. Their diameter can vary as per requirement. The drawback of these pipes is that they are very heavy in weight and can easily be broken due to their own dead weight. However, their cheaper cost makes them largely demanded.
- Concrete Pipes: Concrete pipes, as the name implies, is made up of concrete. They are available in two forms. One is simple concrete, and the other is reinforced concrete. The reinforced concrete pipes are widely being used all around the world for underground water transfer, and drainage system. These pipes are less corrosive. However, their level of corrosion depends on the quality of cement used during their manufacturing and curing time and method. These pipes are very heavy and bulky. The transportation of these pipes can damage them. Very careful transportation of these pipes is needed for their safety. These pipes are available in a maximum length of about 8 feet. The diameter of these pipes depends on the requirement. Their diameter may also exceed 5 feet. The reinforced material of steel/ iron is used for giving it tensile strength. These pipes are demanded on a very large scale.
- Plastic or Polythene or PVC pipes: The plastic or the polythene pipes are made up of PVC (polyvinyl chloride). These pipes are increasingly being used in external and internal water supply both in cold and hot regions, because of their flexible nature. These pipes, on freezing of water inside the pipes, do not burst. The significance of these pipes is that they are light weight, less costly, less corrosive, and more durable. However, the strength level of these pipes, if compared with copper, iron, and steel pipes, is lesser. There are 3 common types of plastic pipes that are available in the market, as given below.
- Unplasticized PVC (UPVC) or rigid pipes for use with cold water
- Plasticized PVC pipes are plasticized with the addition of rubber. It has lower strength and lower working temperature than UPVC pipes.
- Chlorinated PVC (CPVC) pipes which can withstand higher temperatures up to 1200 (used to carry hot water)
For pipes used in soil and wastewater discharge systems, the thickness of the wall will be larger than that used for roof drainage.
Rigid PVC pipes are used for the distribution of water with temperatures below 450C.
At higher temperatures, the strength of the pipes decreases. Similarly, ultraviolet radiation from sunlight as well as frequent changes in temperature reduces the life of PVC pipes. These pipes are costlier than AC pipes but cheaper than GI pipes.
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