Water pipe

Water pipe

:"For the various smoking devices, see hookah or bong. For other uses, see pipe."

thumb|200px|A_system_of_copper water tubes used in a radiator heating system.] Water pipes are pipes or tubes, frequently made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC/uPVC), ductile iron, polyethylene, or copper, that carry pressurized and treated fresh water to buildings (as part of a municipal water system), as well as inside the building.


For many centuries, lead was the favored material for water pipes, due to its malleability (this use was so common that the word "plumbing" derives from the Latin word for lead). This was a source of lead-related health problems in the years before the health hazards of ingesting lead were fully understood; among these were stillbirths and high rates of infant mortality. Lead water pipes were still in common use in the early 20th century and remain in many households. Lead-tin alloy solder was commonly used to join copper pipes, but modern practice uses tin-antimony alloy solder to join copper in order to eliminate lead hazards.

Wooden pipes were often used in Montreal and Boston in the 1800s. The pipes were hollowed-out logs, which were tapered at the end with a small hole in which the water would pass through. The multiple pipes were then sealed together with hot animal fat.
Iron pipe was long a lower-cost alternative to copper, before the advent of durable plastic materials but special non-conductive fittings must be used where transitions are to be made to other metallic pipes, except for terminal fittings, in order to avoid corrosion owing to electrochemical reactions between dissimilar metals (see galvanic cell).

Bronze fittings and short pipe segments are commonly used in combination with various materials.

Pipe vs. Tube

The difference between pipe and tube is simply in the way it is sized. PVC pipe for plumbing applications and galvanized steel pipe for instance, are measured in IPS (iron pipe size). Copper tube, CPVC, PeX and other tubing is measured nominally, which is basically an average diameter. These sizing schemes allow for universal adaptation of transitional fittings. For instance, 1/2" PeX tubing is the same size as 1/2" copper tubing. 1/2" PVC on the other hand is not the same size as 1/2" tubing, and therefor requires either a threaded male or female adapter to connect them.

Piping is available in rigid "joints", which come in various lengths depending on the material. Tubing, in particular copper, comes in rigid hard tempered "joints" or soft tempered (annealed) rolls. PeX and CPVC tubing also comes in rigid "joints" or flexible rolls. The temper of the copper, that is whether it is a rigid "joint" or flexible roll, does not affect the sizing.

The thicknesses of the water pipe and tube walls can vary. Pipe wall thickness is denoted by various schedules. Pipe wall thickness increases with schedule, and is available in schedules 20, 40, 80 and higher in special cases. The schedule is largely determined by the operating pressure of the system with higher pressures commanding greater thickness. Copper tubing is available in four wall thicknesses. Type DWV (thinnest wall; only allowed as drain pipe per UPC), Type 'M' (thin; typically only allowed as drain pipe by IPC code), Type 'L' (thicker, standard duty for water lines and water service), and Type 'K' (thickest, typically used underground between the main and the meter). Because piping and tubing are commodities, having a greater wall thickness implies higher initial cost. Thicker walled pipe generally implies greater durability and higher pressure tolerances.

Wall thickness does not affect pipe or tubing size. 1/2" L copper has the same outer diameter as 1/2" K or M copper. The same applies to pipe schedules. As a result, a slight increase in pressure losses is realized due to a decrease in flowpath as wall thickness is increased. In other words, 1 foot of 1/2" L copper has slightly less volume than 1 foot of 1/2 M copper.

Demand for copper products have fallen due to the dramatic increase in the price of copper, resulting in increased demand for alternative products including PEX and stainless steel, however numerous PEX failures have been reported and rumored across the US, leading to many to question the quality of this type of alternative system.Fact|date=June 2008


ee also

*Pipeline transport
*Pipe (material)
*Domestic water system
*Plastic Pressure Pipe Systems

External links

* [http://papers.nber.org/papers/W9549 Lead Water Pipes and Infant Mortality in Turn-of-the-Century Massachusetts]
* [http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HEC/CSEM/lead/ Case Studies in Environmental Medicine - Lead Toxicity]
* [http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts13.html ToxFAQs™: Lead]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • water-pipe — c.1400, conduit for water, from WATER (Cf. water) (n.1) + PIPE (Cf. pipe). The smoking sense is first attested 1824 …   Etymology dictionary

  • water pipe — water .pipe n 1.) an underground pipe used to carry the public water supply 2.) a pipe used for smoking, consisting of a long tube and a container of water = ↑hookah …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • water pipe — n. 1. a pipe for carrying water 2. a kind of smoking pipe in which the smoke is drawn through water, as a hookah …   English World dictionary

  • Water pipe — Wa ter pipe A pipe for conveying water. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • water pipe — water ,pipe noun count 1. ) a pipe that takes water from one place to another 2. ) a HOOKAH …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • water pipe — noun an oriental tobacco pipe with a long flexible tube connected to a container where the smoke is cooled by passing through water a bipolar world with the hookah and Turkish coffee versus hamburgers and Coca Cola • Syn: ↑hookah, ↑narghile,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • water pipe — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms water pipe : singular water pipe plural water pipes 1) a pipe that takes water from one place to another 2) a hookah …   English dictionary

  • water pipe — Hookah Hook ah (h[oo^]k [.a]), n. [Per. or Ar. huqqa a round box or casket, a bottle through which the fumes pass when smoking tobacco.] A pipe with a long, flexible stem, so arranged that the smoke is cooled by being made to pass through water.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • water pipe — Nargile Nar gile, Nargileh Nar gi*leh, n. [Per. n[=a]rgh[=i]l, prop., a cocoanut; prob. so called because first made of a cocoanut.] An apparatus for smoking tobacco. It has a long flexible tube, and the smoke is drawn through water. Also called… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • water pipe — vandentiekio vamzdis statusas T sritis automatika atitikmenys: angl. water pipe vok. Leitungsrohr, n; Wasserleitungsrohr, n rus. водопроводная труба, f pranc. conduite d eau, f; tuyau d eau, m …   Automatikos terminų žodynas