Too often, a new construction plumbing job ends up with mistakes, which can be very costly to repair later. Most of the new plumbing is hidden after the house or building is completed. The plumbing is underground, in walls, or in ceilings and floors, so mistakes are not detected until they cause serious water problems. A company that uses the wrong or inferior materials will bring headache, at least, and lawsuit, at most. But it’s not just the materials that cause immediate or future problems; it’s also shoddy craftsmanship. Fortunately, art is not totally lost but is alive and well in most American cities.
The Best Companies For Construction Plumbing
In most communities, there are companies which have stellar reputations for excellent work. They are busy and highly recommended by subcontractors, contractors, and owners of buildings where their work is in action. These companies are often hired to finish, repair, or replace work done by other plumbers.
The best companies have enough of the specialized equipment, personnel, and managers to meet the contract requirements with industrial-grade materials and completed with quality on time. They conform to state-of-the-industry practices and adhere carefully to the design specifications. They are experienced at reading and following the plans done by architects and engineers and understand how to implement new construction plumbing for optimal function and problem avoidance. They stay on budget and have excellent references. Less than desirable companies are weaker in one or more of these areas. Excellent construction plumbing companies hire only plumbers who have completed years of rigorous training, are licensed and progressing through the ranks of apprentice, journeyman, and master plumber.
A synopsis of pipe materials reveals what has been used in the past, what is best used today, and why: copper, galvanized steel, PVC, CPVD, Pex.
Copper has been popular since the 60s because of its durability, longevity, heat tolerance, recyclability, and reliability; plus, copper doesn’t pollute drinking water and is not prone to leaks. On the downsides, copper is expensive and may contain lead-based solder in some of the older homes.
Galvanized steel pipes were popular in the mid-20th Century, but they were found to possess some real problems. Their zinc coating causes internal rusting, discoloring water, and lead from corrosion can contaminate drinking water.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) in construction plumbing has many upsides. PVC does not rust, corrode, or degrade over time. It is good in house sinks, toilets, bath drains, or vent stacks. It’s often used for the main water supply line into the home, is inexpensive, and great at carrying high water pressure. Its weakness is its tendency to lose shape in very hot water.
CPVC, Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride pipes contain extra chlorine, making it safer for drinking water. These pipes are easy to work with and assemble, so popular with DIYers. They are more flexible than regular PVC pipes.
Cross-linked Polyethylene (PEX) pipes are good for retrofits because they’re flexible and versatile. PEX functions well with hot or cold water and is very heat resistant. Because of its synthetic production processes, some environmentalists fear the potential for contaminating the water, though it has received approval for use in some very environmentally strict states.