5 pipes to recognize in diy plumbing
5 pipes to recognize in diy plumbing

October 31, 2023

Homeowners today still enjoy getting their hands dirty with DIY projects, and others may not have any choice but to handle the project themselves. A plumbing system keeps a home healthy, which is why it’s important to know what materials and practices you can and cannot use. Plumbing and building codes also change over time. The experts at Gold Medal Plumbing and Drain have provided a list of the main pipes you will encounter while rooting around in your home’s inner workings:

#1: PEX

PEX stands for cross-linked polyethylene. It is a flexible piping so it can bend at ninety degrees and allows homeowners to colour-code their system’s hot- and cold-water lines. It’s only used for water supply lines. DIYers love PEX because it’s easy to use when joining it to other pipes or cutting it to fit into their system. Many homeowners compare PEX to copper so they can have the best quality plumbing system.


Rigid copper is used for the water supply and, despite its name, it can easily be cut with a hacksaw or a special tool for cutting copper. It’s a pipe that more experienced DIYers are comfortable handling, particularly when they need to solder two pipes together to make a connection. It’s recommended to buy extra copper piping to practice on. Copper piping is better than PVC because it has fewer health risks.


Flexible or soft copper is ideal for short runs, primarily to water heaters and refrigerators. It’s commonly used for repairs because it can bend around obstacles as well as corners. It cannot withstand extreme temperatures, which limits it to interior use. Homeowners will find it comes in several sizes, but they will usually encounter ½ inch, ¼ inch, and 3/8 inch for kitchen and bathroom supply lines as well as taps.

#4: PVC

Also known as polyvinyl chloride, PVC pipes are white and used for drain and vent lines because they’re resistant to corrosion. Many homeowners are happy to use PVC for their irrigation system rather than galvanized steel because it’s lighter and easier to use. In general, it is a preferred DIY material because of its low cost and its strength.

#5: ABS

ABS, or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is similar to PVC, except the pipes are black. ABS is considered to be an older version of PVC as it was used for drain and vent lines. We recommend replacing it with PVC because ABS no longer adheres to plumbing codes.

Gold Medal Plumbing has licensed plumbers to help you with your DIY work or provide advice on the best materials and practices. With over 30 years of experience, we’re your trusted professionals that arrive on-time, whether you have a plumbing emergency or want to remodel. We serve the Mississauga and Oakville areas, so call us today at (647)  546-2635.