Focus: New construction

Plastic piping can offer savings, flexibility

September 30, 2019

For decades, copper and galvanized pipe were the dominant piping materials in commercial and institutional buildings, according to an article from Building Operating Management on the FacilitiesNet website.

Facility managers have a wider range of options for new construction and renovation. Three common types of piping materials in use today are plastic: CPVC, PEX, and PP-R. 

Compared to copper and other metal systems, these plastic systems are lower in cost, easier to install, chemically inert, and abrasion- and scaling-resistant, and have a lower rate of biofilm formation. They do not corrode or have reduced flow rates due to tuberculation.

The increased interest in plastic piping options has come as copper and galvanized pipe material and labor costs have increased dramatically. Also, changes in municipal water treatment system chemistry have been cited as a cause for the development of pinhole leaks in copper water supply piping. Tuberculation in galvanized piping reduces the flow capacity of the piping. 

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Topic Area: Maintenance and Operations


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