Ideal drainage pipe materials that are suitable to deal with any blocked drain issue

Drainage Pipe

Drainage pipes are laid during the construction of a building, and these pipes are often laid concealed under the surface. Over the years, though all other aspects of the building are renovated or replaced, drainage pipes are the ones that are left neglected. Steel, aluminum, iron and copper are some of the materials that are used to make pipes. Long-lasting materials ensure better drainage facilities. Sometimes, you may not achieve an exact refit and sometimes the workmanship maybe found to be lacking, and at other times it is assumed that drainage pipes will always be fine by default which needs no attention.

Below is the list of common materials used for drainage piping:
  • Earthenware
  • Cast iron.
  • Ductile iron.
  • Copper.
  • Fibre cement.
  • Vibrated concrete.
  • GI Pipe.
  • Polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipe.

What are the key factors to consider before you choose a drainage pipe for your plumbing usages?
  • The quality of the material.
  • The quality of the workmanship during installation.
  • The type of material that is drained through the pipe.
  • Installation environment.

Earthenware pipes made of terracotta or vitrified clay for drainage system:
Earthenware is also known as glazed stoneware, terracotta or vitrified clay. This furnace-baked earthenware has been the most commonly and successfully used material for under surface drainage systems.
  • These vitrified earthenware pipes and fittings are chemical and temperature resistant with elastomeric jointing couplings. To achieve this level of quality it calls for sophisticated tunnel kilns.
  • These earthenware drainage systems have the disadvantage of having difficulties with installing as it is very prone to breaks and it needs good skill to install the joints correctly. These joints are again very prone to leaks, especially entry of roots.
  • Since these pipes are wide, the blocked drain due to roots becomes noticeable only when the crisis has reached massive proportions, which is not very easy to repair. Groundwater also sometimes seeps into the drain causing overloading of the drainage system and conversely, the groundwater may get contaminated from the leaking joints.
Galvanized Iron or GI pipes are also used in drainage systems:
Drainage Pipe

Galvanized steel or iron is made by immersing iron pipes, which is chemically pretreatment cleaned, into molten zinc. This prevented corrosion largely especially to the exterior. Unfortunately, the protection received on the inner walls is poor leading to corrosion. Furthermore, the inner surface is rough, leading to easy blockages. Over the years, though durable, the use of GI pipes are declining due to a host of utility issues as well as because of the availability of better alternatives in PVC.

Polyvinylchloride (PVC)

Polyvinylchloride or PVC, is now the most commonly used material for conveyance of sewage and drainage water.

  • PVC is used for hot and cold water drainage and is manufactured by extrusion. It offers much better resistance to corrosion as it does not have corrosive materials as its components in the first place.  PVC also has a high tolerance to acids.
  • The biggest importance of PVC is that it is lightweight to install and the chemical composition of the material is such that it discourages the growth of fungi, algae and bacteria.
  • The material is such that it is tough, yet can be cut very easily with an hacksaw blade and joined with solvent cement or rubber (elastomeric) ring jointing system for internal or external drainage systems. It can withstand continuous operating pressure of 600 kPa and the material will soften and deform only if exposed to a heat in excess of 65 °C. This makes it ideal for use as piping material for drainage systems.

Therefore, you can choose from different types of materials for your drainage pipes. However, to ensure a proper drainage system, you must maintain the pipes all throughout the year. 

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