Month: October 2019

How to Hire the Right Emergency Plumbing Company (And Save Money)

Plumbing emergencies can occur when we least expect them. After all, that’s what the emergency is all about. Knowing what to do when there’s an emergency in your house is key to smiling again. 

The best course of action is to find solutions to the problem. You need to find an emergency plumber in your city. A plumber you can rely on to quickly attend to your call with urgency.

According to the Design Criteria for Sewers and Watermelons that was released by the City of Toronto, “plumbing emergencies happen all the time. Whether it’s on the kitchen, bathroom, or pipes, attending to it with urgency can prevent further costly damage.”

An emergency plumber should be able to fix problematic sinks, drains, pipes, and toilets — and restore your home as it was before the emergency. There are thousands of plumbers in your city right now, the real challenge is knowing which professional to trust to have a successful outcome.

It’s not enough to choose a plumber next to your house, make sure you analyze their plumbing services. Make sure the plumber you eventually hire actually offers emergency plumbing repair services. A general plumbing company may not get the job done.

You don’t want to risk calling a plumber who will not treat your case with any urgency. Find an emergency plumber in Toronto, CA that offers the exact services you need. This is a great way to narrow down the list of local plumbers that may be vying to do the job.

That being said, here are 8 effective ways (and questions) you should ask an emergency plumber:

  1. Verify Insurance Coverage

According to Adrian Mak, “Plumbers insurance can provide financial protection for your business if someone is injured by your business or if your business damages property.”

You want to make sure you’re hiring an emergency plumbing company that has insurance coverage. 

Most plumbing companies will carry two kinds of insurance:

  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Liability insurance

So you should ask about these two types of insurance coverage before moving forward. If you’re wondering what the difference is, here it is in a nutshell:

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance coverage that attends to works who are injured while executing their duties at work. There should be adequate payout provisions for them.

Liability insurance coverage, on the other hand, covers the plumbing professional for damages that his team caused on your home or belongings while performing their duties. If an insurance company causes any form of damage to your home, you can capitalize on the liability policy to get the necessary backup and repairs.

It may not seem necessary to check for insurance coverage with a plumbing company you’re hiring to do emergency repair services, but you should do it to save both the plumber, the workers, and your home. 

Emergency plumbing repairs require urgent action, which could lead to unintended consequences if the plumber isn’t experienced or lacks the right tools for the repairs.

Cost may be the only factor you might want to reconsider when asking about insurance coverage from your plumbing company.

This is because it’ll be more expensive when you hire a plumber with insurance coverage than plumbers that don’t have it. But the added cost will be well worth it there’s a damage on your home/property or the workers get injured.

  1. Ask Around For Recommendations

If you don’t have a reliable plumbing company to call, you should ask around for recommendations from family members, neighbors, co-workers, and friends. 

If you know or have heard good things about a local plumber who provides reliable results, you can consult them as well. 

Recommendations from those you know are invaluable because they’re often unbiased and objective. 

So you’ll be given all the pertinent information from the person recommending the professional to you. When this happens, you’ll be able to know firsthand what you can expect in terms of pricing, overall efficiency, and above all, customer service.

  1. How is the Pricing Determined?

Another factor that will guarantee that you hire the best emergency plumber in your city is the pricing model. Is it hourly or fixed? Since the average cost to hire a plumber is between $125 – $350, it’s best to know how this works out hourly or otherwise.

Sometimes, a friend or co-worker can refer a reputable emergency plumber to you. This might be the best way to get access to plumbers who can get the job done the first time.

A plumber may offer both hourly and fixed pricing structures but it all depends on what the client wants. The best way to save some money, though, is to stick with fixed pricing. Because if a plumbing company estimated that the project could take 2 hours to fix, what’s the guarantee they’ll deliver an excellent result?

You want to avoid surprise bills when the repair job is completed. If the plumbing company you hire insists on an hourly pricing structure, ask him/her, in their experience fixing emergency damages, how long your project should take. 

An experienced plumber should be able to give a good estimate of the time after a proper inspection of the damage. If the repair is obvious, (i.e., the pipes are accessible) you might want to stick to hourly pricing structure — otherwise, insist on a fixed rate.

  1. Licensing

Before you hire an emergency plumbing company, you need to ask the plumber if they have the necessary licenses to practice. Although it depends on your state or city because not all states require licenses to operate. 

If the plumber doesn’t carry a license, ask why. Often, a plumbing company that has a license is certified and you can be sure they have passed a state examination. 

However, a license will not get the repair excellently executed. That’s why you must never be fooled by it. What a business license simply means is that the plumber is eligible to practice in your state or city. 

Above all, make sure the license isn’t just for any type of business but for professional plumbing practice. 

  1. Know the Estimated Total Cost of Fixing Your Plumbing Problem

When you have found a reliable emergency plumber, it’s time to know firsthand what the total cost will be. 

We talked about knowing the pricing structure earlier, so if it’s hourly, how many hours will it take to repair the damage. And how much do they charge per hour?

As a homeowner, don’t completely rely on quotes you receive over the phone or via email. A trusted and reputable plumbing company will likely not give you a quote until they have properly inspected the problem. 

They want to know if it’s piping-related or a clogged sink. It’s always better to hire an experienced plumber because they’ll often include the cost of new parts needed for the repair. 

Don’t just assume they’ll get the job done based on the quote they sent you, you must confirm with the plumber if the price estimate includes both parts and labor cost.

  1. Warranties and/or Guarantees For the Repairs 

How long will the repair work last? An experienced plumber should be able to make guarantees with a few exceptions. After the repair is completed, a plumber that stands behind what they have done will not be afraid to offer warranties and/or guarantees for their work.

If they’re scared to do that, then it’s obvious they don’t even trust their expertise in emergency repairs. Both for labor and material (parts used in the repairs), there should be a warranty. 

A homeowner needs to have that peace of mind after spending money on emergency plumbing repairs. A warranty or guarantee of up to 12 months is expected. However, it all boils down to the level of damage, and whether or not a part of the plumbing system was replaced or repaired.

If the plumber or company you speak to doesn’t offer any warranties and/or guarantees for their work, it’s a sign you should pass on that plumber or company. 

You should only work with those plumbers that give a cast-iron guarantee and/or warranties for their work. 

  1. Are There Any References?

What do clients say about the plumbing company you want to hire. If you found them online, you need to read up a few reviews to know whether their past clients were happy or regretful.

A reputable emergency plumbing company that has been in the trenches for years will have garnered lots of references, comments, testimonials, success stories, and ratings from homeowners and clients.

So, it’s important to hear what other people think about the professional you intend to hire. Past clients are in a better position to describe the quality of their customer service, how efficient they are, and how they respond in case something happens after the repair is done.

Reputable plumbers like to talk about their clients even before you ask them. Because they know that new clients will be thrilled to experience the same treatment as happy clients. If you want to do a little digging, then you can look up their name or company name online to find customer reviews and ratings.

When a professional plumber isn’t excited about giving you a list of references to contact (if you want to), you should see this as a red flag. You might want to look elsewhere for an emergency plumber.


With a plethora of plumbing companies in Toronto, it’s becoming more difficult to find a reliable and efficient plumber to handle your emergency repair services. 

Every aspect of a plumbing system is delicate and must be handled by a professional — otherwise, it could lead to the collapse of your entire plumbing system.

It’ll cost you a lot more money to fix the damage before getting to the main emergency work. That’s why you should carefully choose wisely. You can call us if you need an emergency plumbing services.

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Drain Cleaning for Florida Homes and Businesses

Most people don’t spend much time thinking about whether their drains are clean. It’s only when they’re standing ankle-deep in the shower, or when a funky smell arises from the slow-draining puddle in the kitchen sink, that they realize there might be a problem. At that point what do you do? What should you do?

You can try to take care of it yourself. Some folks pour boiling water, bleach, vinegar or caustic commercial products down the drain. Others use wire hangers or snakes to push out the clog. Sometimes these methods yield some improvement, for a while. Sometimes they make things worse, for example, when wire gets stuck or damages the interior of the pipe.

Instead of crossing your fingers with a home-grown solution, consult a professional drain cleaning plumber. They’ll use proper techniques and modern equipment to pinpoint the problem and address it with a guaranteed solution. The old fashioned drain snake is yesterday’s technology, best suited to less serious blockages. For severe clogs, A to Z Statewide Plumbing uses Hydro Jetting, which brings a high pressure stream of water directly to bear on the problem area. It’s done with sophisticated pumps and flexible hoses and a jet nozzle that travels into the pipe. The nozzle actually moves forward in the pipe as water leaves it a such high speed that it scours out debris and restores the pipe’s internal diameter. Hydro Jet nozzles come in various sizes and can clean pipes from 1.25 inches to three feet.

A to Z Statewide Plumbing also uses conventional mechanical machines that handle passages from ½ inch to four feet. They service high rises and institutional buildings as well as residences.

What if there’s a problem bigger than a clog? If there are ongoing issues with drainage, this may be the case. For example, there could be tree roots in the sewer line or a pipe break causing seepage into your yard. A to Z has you covered there as well. They employ DRAINVISION, a remote camera that feeds into your drainage pipes and creates a videotape showing exactly where the problem is found. You can go right to where the repair needs to be made rather than digging up a whole yard or replacing an entire sewer line.

So if your drains are running slow, your shower is backing up or toilet flushing produces debris, don’t guess at what to do. Don’t waste time and money on half-measures that may leave you worse off than before. Call a drain cleaning plumber to address the problem properly and guarantee their work.

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What is Lateral Reinstatement Cutting?

Underground pipes endure a great deal of wear and tear over time. In addition to the strain of normal use, they can be damaged by clogs, corrosion, shifting soil, or tree roots. Eventually, most pipes need to be repaired or replaced. The only option for such a project used to involve digging up the pipe, which caused extensive damage to landscaping, driveways, and sidewalks.

Fortunately, today there are plenty of trenchless technology solutions for pipe replacement that allow homeowners to repair their damaged sewer lines with minimal disruption and very little digging. For many municipal projects, cured-in-place piping (CIPP) is an ideal choice from a cost, effectiveness, and speed standpoint. The last step of any municipal CIPP project involves a sophisticated technique called lateral reinstatement cutting. To understand what it is, however, it helps to know what’s involved with the installation of CIPP.

What Is Cured-in-Place Piping?

As a trenchless technology solution, CIPP essentially installs a completely new pipe without any joints or seams inside an existing pipe. It can be used on water, sewer, gas, or chemical pipelines. The technique involves a polyester tube that is saturated in resin and then pulled through the damaged pipe section. Once pulled through, the resin cures to cause the new pipe to fit tightly against the original piping, creating a brand new, seamless length of pipe inside.

What is Lateral Reinstatement?

When CIPP is used to repair a municipal sewer line, the new pipe cures against the surface of the original sewer pipe and blocks off the lateral lines running to the homes that tie into the sewer system. Once the new pipe cures, openings need to be cut in the new pipe to allow wastewater to flow from the home lateral lines into the sewer.

In the early days of trenchless pipe repair, this was one of the most difficult and time-consuming steps involved in any project. Pipe sections were often shorter, with pre-cut lateral lines, but lining technology eventually advanced to the point where seamless piping became far easier to install. In the 1980s, the first remote-controlled, robotic reinstatement cutters hit the market. These devices were snaked down the original pipe and the cable was marked to indicate the location of each lateral opening.

Today, lateral reinstatement cutter technology incorporates sophisticated “pan and scan” CCTV cameras that allow plumbing professionals to identify exactly where and what they’re cutting when it comes time to open up lateral lines in the newly cured pipe.

Lateral Reinstatement Cutters

Robotic lateral reinstatement cutters are deployed by highly skilled operators to complete a trenchless pipe replacement project. These remote-operated, waterproof devices are inserted into new lengths of cured piping and moved to the rough position of the pre-existing laterals. A CCTV camera is used to identify a slight bulge where the lateral opening is located, and the robotic cutter cuts a hole in the new pipe with a router bit. Once every lateral line is opened to allow wastewater to flow back into the line, the cutter is removed and then reinserted with a wire brush attachment to file down the polyurethane to fully open the lateral line.

For more than 25 years, Bowman Tool Company & Systems has been an industry leader in lateral reinstatement technology. The Dominator 430 is the latest in the company’s long line of reliable, cost-effective lateral reinstatement cutters. Express Sewer & Drain is proud to use these devices exclusively to deliver the best possible trenchless pipe replacement services in the Sacramento area.

The Bowman Dominator 430 is a 72-pound cutter designed for 6 to 30-inch pipes. It incorporates many design innovations:

  • A 2.5 hp geared air motor that reduces reinstatement time by 80 percent.
  • Only eight moving parts, which allows for 30-minute disassembly & reassembly.
  • An isolated electric motor in a watertight chamber to eliminate water damage and permit easy access.
  • A quick-change head assembly with one adjustable gib to reduce adjustment time.
  • No external air tube, which gives the cutter an easy-to-operate & streamlined design.

Other Trenchless Technologies We Offer

Express Sewer & Drain is the Sacramento area’s leading authority in trenchless technology solutions. In addition to lateral lining and reinstatement, we also offer sectional point repair, the reparation of a section of a broken pipe, pipe bursting, the act of breaking the original pipe as the new pipe slides through continuously, and manhole-to-manhole lining, which can completely rehabilitate deteriorating sewer lines in municipal sewage systems (we also offer manhole rehabilitation services using Sprayroq’s SprayWall structural polyurethane spray). Our service is efficient and thorough, and we are prepared to fix any pipe, even water line replacement. Trenchless pipe repairs can last half a lifetime, greatly increasing the service life of existing infrastructure.

Call Us Today

Our efficient and thorough services are available all day, every day, so call any time you need us. We can evaluate your pipes and maintain them before anything major occurs, helping you save both time and money while fixing the pipe that you need fixed. Our technologies are environmentally friendly and quick. We also offer drain cleaning, hydro-jetting, and basic plumbing services. Our experienced professionals are always prepared with their tools and expertise. For more information on trenchless technologies or any of our other services, do not hesitate to contact us today.

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Cold Weather and Clogged Drain: Is There Any Link?

Frozen Pipes

Clogged drains can happen at any time, but if you have ever noticed that they seem more common during the winter, it’s not an accident. It’s important that you keep your home adequately heated at all times during the winter to prevent pipes from freezing. Extreme cold can wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing in other ways as well. Here are a few things you should know about low temperatures and clogged drains.

The Big Freeze

The most obvious time when you might need an emergency plumbing company in Pittsburgh, PA, is when your pipes freeze. Frigid temperatures can freeze ice within your pipes. When water freezes, it expands, so not only will ice clog your pipes, but it could actually burst your pipes as well. The worst-case scenario is when a homeowner forgets to leave their thermostat on while out of town on a winter vacation. By the time they return, their pipes may have burst and will require major repairs.

Clogged DrainClogged Drains

Water isn’t the only thing in your pipes that’s capable of freezing. If you have slow-running drains in warm weather, it’s important that you have your pipes inspected by a plumber before winter arrives. Normal items that clog your drains (such as grease and food in the kitchen and hair and soap in the shower) can solidify if the temperature’s low enough, turning a minor nuisance into a completely stopped drain.

Blocked Vent Pipes

In order for your plumbing to work properly, the vent pipes need to be clear and free from debris. In warm weather, the blockage can be caused by leaves, twigs, branches, and even dead animals. When winter arrives, snow and ice can accumulate around the debris and effectively block your vent pipes from the outside. Even if there aren’t any objects on or surrounding your vent pipes, if there’s enough ice or snow accumulating on your roof, it could affect how your plumbing performs.


Depending on the location and severity of the clog, there are some things you can do to fix them. If it’s a sink, you can run hot water until the sink fills up and then remove with a wet/dry vac. This should eventually melt the clog, though it could take a couple of hours. If you have a clogged vent, you’ll have to get onto your roof and water it down with a garden hose, which is not something everyone is comfortable with.

The post Cold Weather and Clogged Drain: Is There Any Link? appeared first on Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

The Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

checkmark-greenPeople often groan when they hear about “annual maintenance” for almost any part of their house. Yes, we know that maintenance seems like a chore—but the benefits are tremendous. For example, the plumbing in your house undergoes an immense amount of work and strain during the year. All those drains, pipes, and appliances don’t simply hold up no matter what gets thrown at them. They wear down, and that means inconvenience, costly repairs, expensive replacements, and maybe even plumbing disasters like flooding or not having any water at all.

But you don’t need to worry. You have great plumbers in Peoria, AZ at The Trusted Plumber to handle the maintenance for you. When you sign up for the Trusted Plumber Maintenance Ultimate Savings Agreement Program, you’ll receive our annual 35-point comprehensive home plumbing inspection.

Basic Plumbing Maintenance Tasks We Do

We can’t run down every single point of our maintenance regimen, especially since each home has different requirements. But we can still give you an extensive checklist of what we check and the tune-ups we do.

  • Flush and fill the water heater. This isn’t always necessary, but you’ll be glad to have it done when you do need it.
  • Clean kitchen faucet aerators. This prevents a drop in water pressure at the kitchen faucet.
  • In-home water quality test. We work with water treatment systems as part of our plumbing services, and this test will identify if your house has water quality issues we can address.
  • One application of drain-maintainer at the kitchen drain or disposal. This is an excellent way to keep clogs from starting up.
  • Inspect all accessible internal piping, faucets, shut-off valves, laundry room fixtures, vent pipes, toilets, sewer line clean-out accessibility, hose bibs, the ice maker, the dishwasher, the garbage disposal, tubs, and showers. Yes, we really inspect everything that’s part of your residential plumbing. If we find anything wrong, we can alert you to it and schedule repairs. In many cases, we’ll have the parts to fix it on the spot.

The Benefits

The biggest benefit of maintenance is problem-free plumbing and no unpleasant surprises over the year. We’ll catch troubles like leaks and keep your drains flowing freely. We’ll find out if your garbage disposal is in danger of wearing down soon. We’ll see that you have a water heater that won’t conk out on you during the coldest days.

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The 8 Best Things About Sectional Point Repair

Pile of Pipes

When home water lines or sewer pipes fail, homeowners can easily end up feeling confused or overwhelmed by their options for repair. After all, modern plumbing technology offers a wide range of potential solutions depending upon the type of damage to your pipes. Should you go the way of traditional repair, which involves extensive digging, or should you try newer, less invasive technologies? What if only part of a pipe is damaged, and not the entire pipe? Does it make sense to replace a full length of pipe if the damage only affects a small area?

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Slab Leaks are BIG Deal! Here’s How You Can Tell if You Have One!

frustrated-customerOf course, any issue with your plumbing system can seem like a pretty big deal. However, not many are quite as problematic as a slab leak. You see, these leaks can go months and months before they’re detected, and once they are, they have usually caused a significant amount of damage!

Fortunately, there are a number of signs that suggest you’ve got a slab leak in your home, and below, have listed some of them for you. All you’ve got to do is keep reading to find out more (and of course, remember to call our team when you need an Apopka plumber!)

What is a Slab Leak?

A slab leak is a leak in the pipes running through the concrete foundation of a house. Older homes are more likely to encounter these types of leaks because the foundation has had longer to settle and put pressure on the pipes. Plus, older homes have older pipes, which are more prone to corrosion.

What are the Signs?

There are a number of signs to be on the lookout for:

  • Hot floors: If your home does not have a basement, you might be able to notice temperature changes in the floor when you have a slab leak. The majority of slab leaks, about 80% of them, occur in hot water lines, so if you notice that your floors are warmer than usual, it could be that you’re dealing with a slab leak.
  • Cracks in the foundation: Because slab leaks occur under the foundation of your home, you might notice that there are cracks forming in the foundation itself, as water will cause the building materials of your home to weaken. If you notice cracks in your foundation, it is important to contact a professional plumber right away.
  • The sound of running water: If you hear the sound of running water when none of the taps in your home are turned on, then it is likely that you’ve got a leak somewhere in the system. Listen especially close the floor, as slab leaks occur underneath it.
  • Puddles: Any leak will lead to the accumulation of water. If you notice that there are puddles forming in any of the spaces in your home, especially the basement or in your yard, it is likely that the cause is a slab leak.
  • Higher water bills: Any leak will lead to a rise in water costs, so it is important to pay close attention to your water bill. If you notice that you are paying more and more, it’s time to contact your local plumber!

Call in a Professional

Remember, only a professional plumber has the tools, knowledge, and experience to properly handle a slab leak, the first time around. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to hire just any handyman for the job. When it comes to your plumbing system, you definitely don’t want to take any risks!

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Slow Drains Are Slow to Go

Contrary to what the title might make you believe, this is not a children’s book. This is a blog post with the hope of informing you about the possible problems that could be causing your slow drains. There are some big differences between different types of slow drains, and it’s pretty important not to misdiagnose the problem with your plumbing.

The truth is, if you’re having one slow drain, that could be a problem that’s easily fixed. Something could be clogging your pipe, or there could be a leak that’s decreasing the pressure in your pipe system. Either way, one pipe is much easier to fix than an overhaul of your plumbing system.

However, when multiple drains in your home are having trouble and seem clogged, there could be a deeper, more sinister problem with your plumbing . Keep reading and we’ll get into the specifics.

Single Drain Problem

Take a trip around your kitchen, bathroom, and anywhere you’ve got drains in your house. Do you only have one specific drain that’s having trouble clearing up? If you’re only dealing with one drain that has problems, chances are that whatever the problem is, it’s located in that one particular pipe. Using a drain snake, or contacting a professional plumber to hydro jet your pipes, are two comprehensive solutions to drain problems. Depending on where the pipe is located, the clog could be different, requiring different solutions to unclog. Bathroom drains tend to clog with hair and soap, kitchen drains usually clog with food waste (which can be avoided with the installation of a garbage disposal).

Multiple Drain Problems

If you take that journey through your home and you notice that a number of drains are having problems, you could be dealing with a much more serious problem. This could be located in your vent lines, main sewer line, or in your septic system.

These issues are usually located in less accessible areas of your home than single drain problems. That means you’re going to have a lot of initial trouble trying to find and diagnose these drains. An experienced plumber has the equipment to deal with a problem that’s deeper in your plumbing than you can reach. Tools like a professional machine auger or a hydro jet can push out whatever is clogging your plumbing system without having to do any invasive procedures.

What if the problem isn’t just a simple clog? Sometimes tree roots can crack and enter piping systems, decreasing pressure and eventually completely block them. Roots are persistent and can completely destroy an underground pipe system, causing incredible amounts of property damage that can be devastating to a homeowner that’s unprepared. That’s why it’s incredibly important to call a plumber at the first sight of multiple slow drains.

Avoiding Chemical Cleaners

We mentioned in our last post the reasoning behind why chemical drain cleaners can be a net negative for your plumbing system. If you’re noticing multiple slow drains, using chemical drain cleaner might make your plumbing problem much worse.

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Advantages of Water Line Replacement

Your water lines represent one of the many utility pathways that have contributed to modern life as we know it. Without them, comforts like fresh running hot and cold water and sanitary sewer simply wouldn’t be possible. Most of the time, your water lines do their job quietly without drawing much notice. But when they begin to fail, they can represent a continuing headache that is usually best resolved by a local emergency plumber.

Plumbing ToolsOne of the most effective ways to avoid the need for emergency plumbing repair in Pittsburgh, PA, is to be proactive about your residential and commercial plumbing. Being proactive is usually better than being reactive where your plumbing is concerned, because not only can it save you time, but also money. When it comes to your water lines, you can elect to replace them before they fail and enjoy many advantages that will keep your water flowing and your stress level lower. Read on to learn more about some of the top advantages of water line replacement in your home or business.

Thorough Repairs

If your house or place of business wasn’t built within the last 20 years, there’s a good chance that you may have copper water lines leading to your home and running through your walls. As you can imagine, over time, copper can corrode and the constant pressure in your water lines can lead to leaks. Even if you have PVC water lines, they can crack and be damaged by environmental forces such as encroaching tree roots. Water line replacement can fix any current and future issues with your water lines since the entire line is replaced, which will keep your utility bills low and limit the cost of future repairs. Even leaks that were not noticeable will be remedied before they can bloom into expensive large-scale problems. Brand-new pipe should last for decades, especially when modern materials are used.

PlumberQuick and Convenient

In the past, water line replacement meant extensive trenching to uncover the old pipe and removal or rerouting of water lines in walls and floors. Now, however, many plumbing repair companies use modern technology to speed the process and make it less invasive, such as trenchless replacement methods. You won’t necessarily need to have your lawn and planting ripped from the ground if modern water line replacement methods are used. It’s quick and painless, as all but the most extensive water line replacement projects can be finished in a day or less. New water line replacement techniques can provide superior, durable pipe material that can be applied without trenching. They can even expand your water line capability by using larger lines.

Longer Lifespan

By replacing your existing copper or PVC pipe with modern plumbing materials, you can realize a longer lifespan for your system and minimize the need for repairs in the future. Whereas materials like metal can be heavily impacted by environmental factors, the newer substances used for pipe replacement are impervious to the damaging effects of the environment. Therefore, they have a lifespan that can last as long as 50 years before they need attention once again.

Whether you’re experiencing problems with aging water lines or simply want to be proactive and head off future trouble, water line replacement can be simple, convenient, and affordable.

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Choosing the Right Plumbing Pipes

If you only see your plumbing from the perspective of a home or business owner, it might seem fairly straightforward on the surface. From the perspective of your local plumbers, however, your systems can be surprisingly complex. For starters, pipes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials—do you know which ones you need and why?

Why Are There So Many Kinds of Pipes, Anyway?

Your plumbing brings fresh water into your home and carries wastewater away. With such a simple-sounding process, you might think we could get by just fine using only one or two kinds of pipes. In reality, these “in” and “out” processes have other stops along the way—like water heaters, softeners, and various appliances. Things like water temperature, softness, and pressure may be changed at any of these points, and different kinds of pipes make it possible.

The passage of time also plays a role in pipe variety, as some kinds of pipes are no longer commonly used in new construction. Even older properties that have been retrofitted with plumbing for updated fixtures can still have original pipes made from unusual materials.

Different Pipes for a Variety of Purposes

Before you replace a broken pipe or install new plumbing for an appliance, review the following information to help you determine the right pipe(s) for the job.


Copper pipe is typically used to supply water to your appliances and fixtures (kitchen tap, HVAC refrigerant lines, etc.). It’s considered one of the most traditional types of plumbing pipes and has been held up for decades as a durable, corrosion-resistant material. Copper is ideal for both hot and cold water, and flexible forms can be turned and bent to fit small spaces. It is, however, somewhat expensive.

This material requires soldering or special fittings between pipes, both of which should be handled by an experienced professional. It is also important to choose the right thickness of copper pipe wall for a given application.


The most common type of pipe used for residential properties is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These are ideal for drainage pipe applications (dirty water from sinks, toilets, etc.) and can also be used for the main water supply, as they remain strong and sturdy in high-pressure conditions. Unlike metal pipes, PVC is extremely low-cost.

water flowing on white and black checked sink

These lightweight, white plastic tubes are available in various sizes and shapes, can accommodate a wide range of fittings, and are easy to join together without any soldering. Because PVC is not a metal, it is not susceptible to rust or other types of corrosion. Unfortunately, PVC does warp with heat and can degrade with sun exposure, so it cannot be used for hot water and should only be used indoors or underground.

Stainless Steel

If you’ve ever been around stainless steel appliances or fixtures, you already know how durable and resilient this material can be. When it comes to plumbing pipes, stainless steel is ideal for use with applications that are especially vulnerable to corrosion. An area that will be exposed to a lot of moisture, salt, or other corrosive agents might be best served by corrosion-resistant stainless steel pipes.

These are not to be confused with galvanized steel pipes, which serve their own unique purposes.


Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) is another type of plastic pipe that has recently become popular for use in both residential and commercial plumbing. Unlike PVC pipes, which are rigid and strong, PEX pipes are thin, flexible tubes that can be easily woven through walls and floors. The lack of joints and seams combined with the plastic’s ability to expand and contract make PEX pipes especially resistant to leaks and ruptures.

Like PVC, the plastic PEX material can degrade with UV or hot water exposure. PEX tubing should not be used outdoors and any hot water applications should be handled via a connection to copper piping.


One of the longest-lasting types of plumbing pipes, brass is an ideal choice for hot water supply lines and large-scale distribution of water via systems like tanks, wells, and pumps. Brass is an alloy, and the ratio of copper used in its production directly impacts its capabilities. The softness of brass makes it easy to form a tight seal and, so long as the brass used for the piping is approximately 67-85% copper, it will be extremely resistant to rust.

Because brass alloy can contain lead, it’s crucial to make sure it’s not present in pipes used for the water supply. So long as lead-free pipes are used, brass piping is just as safe as copper for drinking water. In fact, brass was regularly used throughout homes before copper piping became common in residential use.


These older types of pipes have begun to fall out of use. Galvanized pipes are largely composed of steel or iron, but they are also coated with a layer of zinc to improve their resistance to rust. Unfortunately, galvanized pipes with small diameters have still been found to be susceptible to interior rust buildup over time.

Galvanized piping was commonly used for outdoor/underground purposes like water supply lines. Many older homes and businesses still have these types of pipes, as they are especially durable and can last for as long as 100 years.

Cast Iron

Cast iron pipes have historically been used for distribution and drain-waste-vent (DWV) systems. Like galvanized pipes, cast iron piping tends to be seen more often in older construction, as cast iron was one of the most durable materials available until plastics like PVC were invented.

If you have a property that was built in the early to mid 20th century, you may have cast iron pipes that are approaching the end of their lifespan. When it comes time to replace them, you’ll definitely want to look for pipes made from a more updated material.

Not Sure What You Need? Turn to the Experts

If you don’t know what you’re doing and you aren’t sure what kinds of pipes to use for a given purpose, don’t try to make repairs or perform installations on your own! With today’s constant internet connections and DIY YouTube videos, it can be tempting to attempt what looks like an easy project. However, incorrect pipe choice or amateur workmanship could lead to even worse problems.

grayscale photography of metal pipes

In some cases, well-meaning attempts at plumbing work may cause damage that will require costly repairs by professionals later on. Save yourself the trouble and get it done right the first time with the help of experienced plumbers like those at MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning.

Get Professional Plumbing Installation, Repairs, and More from MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning

At MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning, we help Houston-area homeowners and commercial businesses keep their plumbing systems clean, efficient, and running smoothly. Whether you need water heater installation or want to replace an entire water main, we have the tools and expertise to help you choose the right pipes and parts for your needs and budget.

Our friendly, highly trained technicians can help with these and other plumbing needs:

  • Drain cleaning/unclogging
  • Installation and repair of:
    • Water heaters
    • Water softeners
    • Toilets
    • Tubs/showers
    • Filtration systems
    • Garbage disposals
  • Plumbing inspections
  • Sewer maintenance
  • 24-hour emergency assistance and repairs

If you’ve got a question about pipe materials or want to schedule plumbing services, call us today at (281) 994-6698.



The post Choosing the Right Plumbing Pipes appeared first on Met Plumbing.

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