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The Different Types of Plumbing Supplies and Their Uses

Plumbing systems are essential in every home, ensuring the flow of clean water and the proper disposal of waste. To make sure these systems work efficiently, you need the right plumbing supplies. This article will cover the various types of plumbing supplies and their uses, helping you make informed decisions when it comes to your plumbing projects. So, let’s dive in!

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Common Types of Plumbing Supplies


Pipes are the backbone of any plumbing system, transporting water and waste to and from fixtures. There are several types of pipes available, each with its unique advantages and applications.

PVC Pipes

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes are lightweight, durable, and affordable, making them a popular choice for residential plumbing systems. They are ideal for water supply lines and drainage systems. However, they are unsuitable for hot water applications due to their low heat resistance.

Copper Pipes

Copper pipes have been a staple in plumbing systems for decades. They are corrosion-resistant, long-lasting, and suitable for both hot and cold-water applications. However, copper pipes are more expensive than PVC and require soldering for installation, which may be a drawback for some homeowners.

PEX Pipes

Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipes are gaining popularity due to their flexibility and ease of installation. They are resistant to both freezing and scaling, making them suitable for a variety of applications, including hot and cold-water supply lines.

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More Plumbing Supplies to know about


Fittings are used to connect pipes and change the direction or size of the plumbing system. There are several types of fittings, including:


Elbows allow pipes to change direction at a 90- or 45-degree angle. They are available in various materials, such as PVC, copper, and brass, and are essential for navigating around obstacles in a plumbing system.


Tees are used to split or combine the flow of water in a plumbing system. They have one inlet and two outlets, forming a T-shape. Tees come in various sizes and materials to accommodate different pipe types and applications.


Couplings are used to connect two pipes of the same or different sizes. They can be made from various materials and are available in both flexible and rigid designs.


Valves control the flow of water in a plumbing system. They come in different types, each designed for specific purposes.

Ball Valves

Ball valves use a ball with a hole through it, which rotates to open or close the flow of water. They are ideal for shutoff applications, providing a tight seal and easy operation. Ball valves are available in various materials, such as brass, copper, and PVC.

Gate Valves

Gate valves control water flow using a gate or wedge that moves up and down. They are used for both on-off and flow control applications. Gate valves offer a more gradual control of water flow than ball valves, which can be advantageous in some situations. They are available in materials such as brass, bronze, and cast iron.

Check Valves

Check valves allow water to flow in one direction only, preventing backflow in your plumbing system. They are essential in applications where backflow could cause damage or contamination. Check valves come in various designs, such as swing, lift, and ball check valves, and are available in materials like brass, stainless steel, and PVC.


Fixtures are the visible components of a plumbing system, such as faucets, showerheads, and toilets. They serve both functional and aesthetic purposes.


Faucets control the flow of water from a supply line to a sink, bathtub, or other fixture. They come in various designs, finishes, and materials, allowing you to choose the best match for your home’s style and your personal preferences. Some faucets are equipped with advanced features, like touchless operation or built-in water filters.


Showerheads deliver water in a spray pattern for bathing. They are available in various styles, such as fixed, handheld, and rain showerheads, each offering a different shower experience. Some showerheads are designed to conserve water while still providing an enjoyable shower experience.


Toilets are essential fixtures in every bathroom, handling the disposal of human waste. They come in various designs and technologies, such as gravity-fed, pressure-assisted, and dual-flush toilets, catering to different preferences and water-saving requirements.

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Choosing the Right Plumbing Supplies

Selecting the right plumbing supplies for your project is crucial for the success and longevity of your plumbing system. Consider the following factors when making your decision:

  1. Material: Choose materials that are durable, corrosion-resistant, and suitable for specific application.
  2. Compatibility: Ensure that your chosen supplies are compatible with your existing plumbing system and fixtures.
  3. Quality: Opt for high-quality products from reputable manufacturers to ensure reliable performance and long-lasting durability.
  4. Budget: Keep your budget in mind while choosing plumbing supplies, balancing affordability with quality and functionality.

Tips for Using Plumbing Supplies Effectively

  1. Plan ahead: Before starting any plumbing project, carefully plan the layout and gather all necessary materials and tools.
  2. Follow local building codes: Ensure that your plumbing system meets local building codes and regulations to avoid potential fines or safety issues.
  3. Use appropriate tools: Invest in high-quality tools designed specifically for plumbing projects to ensure proper installation and reduce the risk of damage.
  4. Seek professional help: If you are unsure about any aspect of your plumbing project, consult a professional plumber for advice or assistance.

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There is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the best pipe material depends on the specific application, budget, and personal preference. PVC, copper, and PEX are popular choices, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Consult with a professional plumber, like Jilly Plumbing, to determine the best option for your specific needs.

The lifespan of a plumbing system depends on the materials used and the quality of installation and maintenance. Copper pipes can last up to 50 years, while PVC and PEX pipes typically have a lifespan of 25-40 years. Regular inspections and maintenance can help extend the life of your plumbing system. Contact Jilly Plumbing for a thorough assessment and expert recommendations.

While minor repairs, like fixing a leaky faucet or unclogging a drain, can be done by homeowners with some DIY skills, more complex repairs and installations should be handled by a professional plumber. Jilly Plumbing offers a wide range of plumbing services, ensuring your plumbing system is functioning efficiently and safely.

Installing water-saving fixtures, like low-flow showerheads and dual-flush toilets, can help reduce water waste. Regularly check for leaks and fix them promptly. Jilly Plumbing can provide water-saving solutions and leak-detection services to help you conserve water and reduce your utility bills.

When looking for a plumber, consider their experience, qualifications, and customer reviews. Jilly Plumbing has a team of skilled, licensed, and insured professionals who are committed to providing exceptional service and top-quality workmanship. Contact Jilly Plumbing today to discuss your plumbing needs and schedule a consultation.

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The right plumbing supplies are essential for a reliable and efficient plumbing system. By understanding the various types of pipes, fittings, valves, and fixtures available, you can make informed decisions for your home’s plumbing projects. Keep in mind the tips for using plumbing supplies effectively, and don’t hesitate to consult a professional plumber for guidance when needed.

Contact us!

Don’t leave your plumbing projects to chance and trust the experts at Jilly Plumbing to get the job done right. With years of experience, a team of licensed professionals, and a commitment to customer satisfaction, Jilly Plumbing is your go-to source for all your plumbing needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and let us help you maintain a reliable, efficient plumbing system.

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