Stainless steel was used in the 1970s for the central heating system when copper was pricey. Sizes of stainless-steel pipe would be the same as copper 15mm, 22mm, and 28mm. It can be cut with a hacksaw or pipe cutting tool and bent using a bending machine. It’s a lot easier to create joints in stainless-steel with compression match ¬tings instead of with capillary fittings.
There are 3 types of plastic pipe avail¬able to be used as cold and hot water pipes inside homes:
* flexible polybutylene (‘Acorn’)
* semi-flexible cross-linked polyethylene (‘Pipex’)
* rigid CPVC (“Hunter Genova’).
Pipex and Hunter Genova come in lengths of 2m and 3m; Acorn comes in much longer rolls, making it more economical to use as fittings can frequently be dis¬pensed with on long runs.
The two Acorn and Pipex may be trimmed with a sharp knife or a unique secateur-type cutter; they’re combined either with plastic push-fit fittings (expensive) or by using normal compression fittings with a metal insert to support the pipe.
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Hunter Genova pipe can’t be bent around curves and requires a hacksaw or pipe cutter to cut it. It’s joined with special fittings utilizing solvent-weld cement. Even though these are cheap and fairly easy to use, adequate ventilation is critical since the cement gives off powerful fumes and the joint has to be left until the pipe is utilized.
For running pipes out, medium-density polyethylene pipe (colored blue) is used. This is combined with special brass compression fittings prevent having any joints under a floor.