Tackling a do-it-yourself plumbing project can seem overwhelming, especially when you start shopping for plumbing pipes and realize how many options are available. Do you need plumbing plastic pipes, flexible PEX tubing, galvanized metal or plumbing drain pipes?

The types of pipes you might need will depend on the nature of the project. Take the guesswork out of your next plumbing job with the following information from Ace Hardware. Read on to learn about the most common types of plumbing pipes and what applications they may be best suited for to help narrow down your decision.

Types of Plumbing Plastic Pipes

Plumbing plastic pipes have an important role in a variety of residential and commercial plumbing applications. Plastic is generally easier to work with than metal plumbing pipes and usually easier to replace than other types of plumbing pipe materials. Three common types of plumbing plastic pipes include:


By far the most commonly used plumbing plastic type in residential settings, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is easy to work with and doesn't require metalwork or welding for installation. With a variety of different fittings and sizes available, PVC is a cost-effective and versatile product. The material works well for home plumbing piping because it's not prone to rusting or corroding. PVC pressure pipes aren't prone to bending under pressure either, making them an ideal solution for high-pressure applications.


Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipes (CPVC) are usually made from the same materials featured in PVC pipes but with added chlorine. These plumbing plastic pipes offer the same benefits of standard PVC but with added durability. CPVC won't degrade when exposed to hot water and is safe for drinking water. However, CPVC pipes could split if they freeze.

PEX Tubing

An incredibly flexible piping option, PEX tubing can be snaked throughout a home and even bent around corners if necessary. These types of plumbing plastic pipes can expand and contract, which allows them to hold up better in freezing conditions than CPVC pipes.

Corrugated Plumbing Pipes

Also referred to as "French drains," corrugated plumbing pipes are flexible drainage pipes perforated with tiny holes that let water enter from the surrounding soil. These types of plumbing plastic pipes are often installed underneath lawns to allow water to easily escape during rainfall.

Types of Metal Plumbing Pipes

Many homeowners prefer the look of metal plumbing pipes for exposed pipes on sinks, toilets and shower lines. Metal plumbing pipes have a variety of residential and plumbing applications and some of the most common types include:

Copper Pipes

Due to their extensive reliability and durability, copper pipes are one of the most traditional plumbing pipes used. They offer amazing corrosion resistance and are easy to maintain. These pipes must be soldered together upon installation.

Galvanized Steel Pipes

Galvanized iron pipes are often used to transport greywater or non-potable water. A popular choice for water supply lines, well pumps and certain irrigation applications, these pipes are usually dipped in zinc during their manufacturing process to prevent corrosion.

Cast Iron Pipes

These pipes are heavier than any other types of pipes and are typically used in underground installations as the main plumbing source for drainage or sewer systems. Due to their heavy weight, cast iron pipes must be reinforced during the joint assembly process.

Whether you're searching for water heater overflow pipes, plumbing drains pipes or anything in-between, Ace Hardware has you covered. Explore our plumbing pipe options now.