The Hidden Homes

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Water is the source of life and at the same time the cause of the greatest disasters in the history of mankind. So that water does not become the root of local problems in a single apartment, it is necessary to take care of a reliable system of its transportation. We are talking about internal piping, which supplies water to the bathroom fixtures and some household appliances. The wrong choice can cause insufficient water pressure in the system, or, worse, a pipe burst. Pleasant, in any case, not enough, so let’s try to understand what kind of pipes for the water supply is better to choose, which are suitable for the apartment, and which – for a private home.

Modern housing requires the functioning of both cold and hot water supply. In addition, the peak pressure in the system is very different in a private home and an ordinary apartment in a multi-storey building. Temperature and pressure conditions are the two most important factors to consider when selecting water pipes. Some products can be used in almost all conditions, others – will not withstand the effects of high temperatures, so you have to take either two types of pipes, or stop at a universal option.


Not so long ago, steel products were the leaders in the organization of indoor plumbing. No one even thought about what kind of pipes for water supply is better to choose – steel pipes were installed everywhere. The reason is simple – there were no alternatives. Today, when there are many alternatives to choose from, the popularity of steel pipes has decreased, but the demand for them still exists.


In order to obtain corrosion-resistant material, steel is alloyed, mainly with chromium. “Stainless” looks great and has outstanding performance. It is as strong as conventional and galvanized steel pipes, withstands pressure and temperature fluctuations, and is not afraid of shocks. Moreover, the corrosion of such pipes is not afraid, so the upper limit of durability is more than 50 years. Among the main disadvantages are not even the complexity of installation, but the high cost of the material, so stainless steel pipes are rarely used today, although they are excellent for hot and cold water supply systems.


Usually, the plumbing system in the apartment is tried in every way to hide from view, because there is little attractive in the pipes and all kinds of fittings. This is true, but not in the case of copper pipes. They can boast a unique appearance, so they will easily become a decoration of the interior, made in retro-style. Appearance is not the only advantage of this type of pipes, among other advantages. Also copper pipes are best proven in water leak detection because they are the least likely to corrode.


Looking ahead, we note that metal-plastic pipes – an excellent option for the organization of water supply for dachas or private homes. The product has a multi-layer construction: around a layer of aluminum foil are the outer and inner layer of plastic. Between them they are fastened with strong glue. A layer of metal provides the necessary strength, and plastic – lightness, flexibility, resistance to corrosion and overgrowth.


Pipes made of polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride are often grouped together in a common group of plastic pipes. Despite the similarity of some characteristics, each of these materials has a set of unique properties, and we will begin with the consideration of polyethylene structures.

Let’s note at once, it is necessary to separate pipes made of low-pressure polyethylene and cross-linked polyethylene. They differ in temperature resistance. The first can withstand temperatures not more than +400C, are suitable for the organization of cold water supply, are often used to transport water from the well to the private house, as they are not afraid of frost and do not burst when water freezes.


Polypropylene pipes are actually the ideal option for organizing the water supply. They can be unreinforced and reinforced. The former are suitable only for cold water supply, the latter are used in both heating and hot water supply. The pipe can be reinforced with aluminum, fiberglass or other materials. Reinforcement increases strength and reduces the thermal elongation of polypropylene. The best option is fiberglass reinforcement.


PVC pipes are used only for cold water supply, can withstand temperature jumps up to 650C, pressure up to 16 atmospheres, are often used for water supply in the house, for internal distribution – rarely.


Choose the correct diameter of water pipes in the house and apartment will help an expert, taking into account a lot of parameters. However, you can do it yourself if you take into account the factors that determine the inner diameter of the pipeline.

Finally, we note that saving money and take the pipe with a smaller diameter than necessary for the normal operation of the system, it is not necessary. Consider the maximum temperature and pressure peaks in the system – it will give confidence that the pipes will survive water hammer, remaining intact. For an apartment building, for example, the pressure safety margin should be 12 atmospheres.


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