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Plastic vs. Metal Pipes: What’s Better?

Many people have a preference for metal pipes, while others like to use plastic pipes. They debate on what material is better and which material is cheaper. The truth is, there is no correct answer to the question. Some think metal pipes are better because they are durable and last longer than their plastic counterparts. Others assume plastic pipes are better because they are more affordable and easier to install. While others believe it doesn't matter what type of pipe you use as long as it's functional and installed correctly, they should both last the same amount of time.

The section mainly focuses on which piping material performs better in the long run - metal or plastic. It also mentions how easy it is for each one to be installed into their surroundings, how affordable each one is, and why some may prefer one over the other due to different reasons like durability and installation costs.

Metal pipes (ductile or non-ductile) are usually much more expensive than plastic pipes. An animal's teeth or claws can also damage them. However, metal pipe networks last a lifetime and offer protection against fire and extreme cold. Though the initial cost of installing metal pipes is higher, their installation is faster and requires less time for maintenance. This is because metal pipes are sturdy than plastic ones and can withstand force better.

There are many things to consider when deciding what type of pipe material to use in your plumbing system. For example, cost, temperature, size, and type of sewage. Here are the significant differences between metal pipes vs. plastic pipes:

Temperature: Metal pipes can handle higher temperatures than plastic pipes. In contrast, water can destroy plastic pipes at about 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Size: Pipe size is one of the major factors that should be considered when choosing what type of pipe to use for your plumbing system. Plastic is generally much cheaper than metal and is available in various sizes and shapes, such as corrugated or flat profiles. However, the thickness and width of metal piping can lead to greater pressure loss due to friction when water moves through it than with plastics because less energy is required for water to flow through it.

Corrosion resistance:

One of the major drawbacks of using metal pipes is that they degrade due to corrosion, leading to leaks and affecting water quality. Unlike metal piping systems, plastic pipes do not corrode or rust over time because this compound does not react with air and water the way metal does. This leads to the safe transport of potable beverages and significantly longer pipeline service life.

Resistance to bacterial growth:

Biological contamination is a severe concern for many plumbing applications. Metal pipes contaminate the water, making them unsuitable for use. Plumbing plastic pipes and fittings are resistant to bacterial growth.

Firmness and durability:

Metal pipes are less resistant to breaking because they need to be handled more carefully than plastic pipes when installed (you want to avoid kinks). Plastic tubes with high strength and good impact resistance should become an advantage to choose from. Unlike metal pipes, Plastic pipes are flexible, so they are ideal for tight areas.


When metal pipes are corroded, they are prone to rust and failure, resulting in leaks. Meanwhile, plastic pipes are not corroded, minimizing the risk of leakage. Plastic pipes do not rust even in hard water environments.


Lead poisoning is a safety concern that makes metal pipes the wrong choice for transporting drinking water. Lead not only causes human health problems but also pollutes the environment on a large scale. Plastic pipes are made from environmentally friendly compounds, lead-free and non-toxic. This makes it safe for potable water distribution.

Long-term cost savings:

Plastic pipes are lighter in weight and easier to work on. They are not as heavy as metal pipes and are easy to move. Installation is easy with simple tools that are not very expensive. Since plastic pipes do not corrode, regular maintenance is not required. Low maintenance cost compared to metal pipes. They last longer than metal pipes and are a cost-effective alternative.

Whether you choose metal pipes or products such as plastic pipes, the first thing you should pay attention to is the quality of pipes before installation and regularly check to ensure the water supply and drainage system. Always in good condition, the family's water source is clean and safe.

Contact Local Rooter Corp.

If you would like a free quote on inspecting your plumbing system in San Jose and surrounding areas, our professional plumbers at Local Rooter are here to assist you. Call us at 408-641-9245 or contact us here

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