How Plastics and Compound Substances Changed Plumbing Systems

FHigh-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipes have been taking the plumbing scene by storm. More and more companies and municipals are embracing this form of piping instead of the traditional cast iron piping. At a glance, it seems impossible to understand why someone will ditch steel or iron in favour of plastic. But the truth is, it has some benefits that many plumbers and homeowners can enjoy.

Here are some of the reasons polyethylene pipe is becoming so common in the water and gas plumbing industry:

Trenchless Piping With Almost Seamless Joints

Trenchless piping is the latest plumbing technology that allows a work crew to pull a deflated HDPE pipe through the grove of a collapsing pipe before inflating it to create a rigid pipe that will work just as well as a steel pipe.

With most plumbing now running under busy streets, buildings and even graveyards, it’s inconvenient to dig up such areas when replacing old plumbing. The fact that polyethylene makes such non-invasive installation possible makes it a favorable solution for modern plumbing needs.

Polyethylene is Inert and Less Susceptible to Corrosion

The main reason why steel pipes need so much attention is their susceptibility to corrosion and the fact that they support some forms of organic life. This corrosion, over time, bores holes through the pipes, leading to leakages that are not only dangerous but also a waste of expensive utility products. If properly installed, the polyethylene pipe will hold its own for years unless there is an earthquake or related calamity that physically punctures the pipe.

Repairs are Easier Than Those for Steel Pipes

The other advantage of using HDPE pipes is they make repair work more manageable. A puncture in a pipe can be remotely addressed without having to use the main valve that could be miles away. All the technicians need is a tool to clinch or compress the pipe just before the damaged area, and that will take care of any leakages during the operation.

Moreover, joints on polyethylene pipes are easier to make since seamless plastic welding is more affordable and easier to do than steel welding.

No Need for Joints When Changing Direction

Man installing pipes

Traditional steel pipes can only be laid in a straight direction. If you want to curve the plumbing around a gradual bend to change direction, you need to invest in bent joints; hence, breaking continuity. Polyethylene, on the other hand, is flexible and can make such bends without the need for extra joints. This makes installation easier while reducing the number of joints that could be potential fail spots in the design.

While it might not fall on you to choose between HDPE and steel piping on major projects, it would be wise to go for such when doing your own plumbing work at home. You will not only get a corrosion-resistant product but also tap into all the benefits of either stiff or flexible PE plumbing. Talk to your local contractor to find out the different options you have and their costs. The benefits will always justify the costs.

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