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    The 8 Types of Plumbing Pipes Used In Commercial Buildings

    The 8 Types of Plumbing Pipes Used In Commercial Buildings

    What are the different types of pipes used in commercial buildings?

    1. Copper
    2. Galvanized iron
    3. Brass
    4. Cast iron
    5. PVC
    6. PEX
    7. Stainless steel
    8. CPVC

    Any kind of plumbing pipe that you can find in a commercial building can be made up of different materials, and provide varying performances in different applications. This is why different kinds of plumbing pipes can’t be used interchangeably. 


    To understand which kind of pipe might work best for your particular application, it’s important to know the different types of pipes for commercial buildings. Most importantly, you need to know what sets each of them apart from one another. Read on to learn more! 





    Copper pipes are a common material in commercial buildings. They come in two types: flexible and rigid. 


    Flexible copper pipes are typically only used for short stretches of piping, as it does not have the strength or temperature tolerance to be applicable for long distances. 


    Rigid copper pipes, on the other hand, are strong, corrosion-resistant pipes. It has good tolerance to pressure, which means it can be cut in long lengths. But they can be difficult to install, as soldering and welding are needed to connect different pipe sections. Furthermore, this material is more expensive than alternatives.


    Galvanized iron

    Galvanized iron


    Galvanized iron pipes (GI pipes) are iron pipes that have been coated with a protective layer of zinc. This layer prevents the oxidation process, which increases its resistance to rust and corrosion. In return, this increases the pipe’s durability and lifespan. 


    Galvanized iron pipes are hardy, versatile, and relatively low maintenance, so they’re ideal for many heavy-duty plumbing applications in commercial buildings. In particular, they can be used for water supply systems, sewage treatments, irrigation systems, and more. 


    Galvanized iron pipes are also one of the most ideal materials for plumbing pipes when you factor in their cost-effectiveness and easy maintenance.




    Brass pipes are another common piping material found in commercial buildings. They’re often used for hot and cold-water distribution, though they can also be used for water waste lines. 


    Brass pipes are fairly resistant to rust and corrosion, which makes them a good choice for water pipes. In some cases, buildings can use brass pipes as an alternative to stainless steel ones, especially if cost is an issue. 


    Cast iron


    Cast iron pipes are most commonly seen in commercial drain lines, but can sometimes also be found in water distribution systems. 


    As the heaviest plumping pipe option on this list, their usage is somewhat more restricted than others. However, their heavier weight means that they are built extremely robust. They handle heavy water pressure well and are capable of delivering large volumes of liquid.


    In addition, cast iron pipes offer enhanced fire resistance and possess natural soundproofing qualities.



    Also known as Poly-Vinyl Chloride, PVC pipes are one of the newer piping materials used for commercial buildings. They are typically used for waste and drain lines. PVC pipes are lightweight yet strong despite that and are relatively easy to form, cut, and install. 


    That said, these types of pipes are not recommended in applications where they will be exposed to extreme temperatures — both hot and cold. PVC pipes are also intolerant of UV light, similar to PEX pipes, so they do best inside commercial buildings, particularly in areas where the temperature is mild and stable. 




    Also known as Cross-linked polyethylene, PEX plumbing pipes are a kind of pipe that is exclusively used for water and plumbing purposes. They are more common in smaller commercial buildings, as they tend to be more expensive than others on this list. 


    However, the benefits of PEX plumbing pipes are that they are incredibly flexible, color-coded, and requires minimal ongoing maintenance after installation. 


    One thing to note is that they should never be chosen for outdoor applications. PEX plumbing pipes react badly to UV light and can deteriorate very quickly when exposed. 


    Stainless Steel

    Stainless steel

    One of the more expensive plumbing materials on the market, stainless steel pipes are not as prevalent in commercial buildings as others in this list. Nonetheless, there is still a considerable number of buildings that opt for this type of pipe due to its high corrosion resistance. 


    Stainless steel pipes are especially ideal for applications where adverse weather is a deciding factor. These also have a superior aesthetic appeal, which is a benefit for applications wherein the pipe may be exposed to viewers. 




    Chlorinated Poly-Vinyl Chloride (CPVC) pipes are the final kind of pipe that you can find in commercial buildings. They offer good heat resistance but do not do well in extremely cold temperatures. That said, they can be used for hot and cold-water supply lines for buildings. 


    CPVC pipes are easy to install and maintain and feature high-pressure resistance — all while being relatively inexpensive compared to some alternatives. 


    Key Takeaway


    There are many types of pipes for commercial buildings. Some of them are rigid and rustproof, while others are flexible and light. Given how many choices you have, it may be difficult to pick the right one for your particular application. 


    If you need assistance, message Supreme Pipe. We have years of experience supplying pipe products for various commercial properties and plumbing projects. Just reach out, and our team will make sure you are given the most reliable and cost-effective options to choose from!