Access to a potable water supply is necessary for health measures. Safe drinking water is our fundamental human right. And more than anything, you wouldn’t want to compromise your family’s health with unsuitable plumbing materials.
Substances like lead and arsenic are just some of the contaminants in the water. These substances mostly come from unregulated plumbing products. That’s why you always want to make sure that your pipes and other fittings are free from harmful substances.
If you want to install your water supply system, make sure that you have acceptable plumbing materials. Today’s market offers a variety of pipes and fittings, but these are not always reliable and food-grade.
So, before installing anything, make sure that the appropriate water authorities approve it. The best pipe material for drinking water supply must meet all of their requirements.
There are two types of plumbing materials in pipework: the metallic and non-metallic water pipes. The most commonly used materials for plumbing include:
- Galvanized steel or iron
- Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
- Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC)
- Cross-Linked Polyethylene (PEX)
The most common among them are iron and PVC or polyvinyl chloride. But over the years, iron or galvanized steel seems to decrease its acceptability. It’s because of internal corrosion that poses more health risks for drinking water. Unplasticized PVC became more popular as an alternative to iron in plumbing works.
Let’s take a look at some of the acceptable pipe material for drinking water, as we have outlined in this simple to follow guide.
What are the Best Materials for Drinking Water Pipes?
Galvanized steel is a traditional pipe material. It is mostly used for outdoor plumbing since these pipes are bigger in diameter. Galvanized steel pipes are also the sturdiest. However, they have received disapproval when it comes to drinking water because of corrosion.
Copper tubing is quite similar to galvanized steel. Only, they have a smaller diameter and experience a lesser degree of corrosion. This is the best type of pipe for your hot water supply. They also tend to last longer than all other types of plumbing materials. PVC is popular but may also be more prone to leakage.
This is our best choice for durable drinking water pipes. They are 20% thicker than regular hoses; that is why they are more resistant to leaks. You won’t waste your time replacing worn-out hoses time and time again. You should choose reliable hoses for your plumbing works.
The best thing about Camco’s hoses is the approval and certification from governing authorities. They have complied with California’s AB1953 and the Vermont Act 193. Such certifications guarantee that the products are lead-free and BPA-free.
If you want a high-end plumbing hose, you can opt for Camco’s TASTEPure Heated Drinking Water Hose. It has an energy-saving thermostat that is ideal for freezing temperatures. For extended periods of low temps, especially on your camper, freezing water in the pipes can be disastrous. This particular type of drinking water hose will keep your water flowing, so you don’t have to worry about having to find another potable source.
Camco’s TASTEPure operates on 120 VAC electrical outlets. It comes with a female-to-male adaptor that allows you to connect any hose end, depending on your electrical source. To prevent crimping, you may also pair this with Camco’s 90-degree elbow to save your hose from straining. This will allow you to swivel from the source to keep your hose from tearing in the end.
PEX or Cross-linked Polyethylene tubing is an alternative to galvanized steel and PVC. Nowadays, they are used for most industrial and residential plumbing and water supply systems. PEX is more flexible, making it easier to install. Flexible pipes are also resilient to damage. They are the ideal choice when it comes to cooling or heating water.
Sharkbite’s PEX pipe is the best pipe when it comes to the changing weather. They can accommodate water distribution from 33°F up to 80°F. These pipes are also functional for water pressure of about 160 PSI to 80 PSI burst. This flexible hose tends to expand and contract depending on the temperature changes. Other types of hose may burst when the water freezes, and the pressure increases. PEX pipe hoses may swell up a bit but retains its form without cracking.
When it comes to harsh weather, from subzero temperatures (-40°F) to the extreme (140°F), polymer hose is ideal. Hybrid polymer hose combines flexibility and durability to withstand temperature changes. They are lightweight and abrasion-resistant. Hoses are prone to kinking when they are exposed to different temperature changes. They also do this when they are old, which gives way to cracks and holes.
Flexzilla’s hybrid polymer hose is designed to handle all those elements. They are abrasion-resistant and crush resistant with anodized aircraft aluminum fittings. Not all garden hoses are meant for drinking water plumbing. That’s because, as mentioned, there could be the presence of harmful substances.
Flexzilla is food-grade and drinking water-safe and lead-free. Polymer hoses also have a memoryless characteristic. This means they lay flat, coil easily, and resist kinks, making them easier and lighter to stow away.
RV life becomes hassle-free with a high-pressure hose with RV hookups! Valterra’s AquaFresh makes a durable choice for all of your camping water needs. They are engineered for 160 PSI burst and can withstand high pressure. It has a hose gripper to allow quick installation to your RV.
Plus, they are lightweight, making them ideal for your outdoor needs. Valterra specializes in manufacturing plumbing supplies; that’s why you can guarantee that the products are highly engineered for durability and precision.
Valterra’s AquaFresh has NSF-listed materials. This means that these materials are certified as safe for drinking products and your plumbing needs. It is a quite versatile option and can be used almost anywhere. It is very well worth its price.
PVC or vinyl hoses have come a long way when it comes to providing potable plumbing supplies. They are the most versatile and trusted materials for drinking water and other water supply needs. The Zero-G Series from Teknor Apex leveled up the game by creating high-quality and lightweight hoses.
More people are looking for durable pipes with lesser mass. You can easily carry them for various uses, even for the outdoors. Zero-G hoses weigh 50% less than other PVCs. This 50 feet long hose weighs only at about 4.5 pounds!
This abrasion and leak-resistant pipe can also handle water pressure of more than 600 PSI. It is kink-free and can withstand the weather so that you can use it for a longer time. Plus, it has a woven jacket to protect it from outside pressure. This prevents leaks and tears, even if you drag it across the gravel. They are lead-free and BPA-free, so no worries!
Polyurethane hoses have the combined properties of both plastic and rubber. These products are flexible and tear-resistant. There had been issues regarding the use of plastic piping in the past; however, these hoses combine plastic with other raw materials to enhance the quality of materials. For this reason, they became acceptable for drinking water use. The polyurethane resin in this Water Right series provides technically safe and food-grade level water.
The Water Right design is adaptable to weather changes. They can withstand hot or freezing elements. This ensures crack-free and leak-free drinking water and plumbing pipes. This particular 50-foot-long Water Right Series can handle 4.5 gallons per minute of current at 70 PSI pressure. They come with stainless steel fittings, preventing any lead contamination.
Kinking is the number one problem among pipes. This happens because of the changing temperature. An upgrade from other Teknor Apex hoses, the Neverkink series guarantees non-kinking. A translucent strip that runs the entire length of the hose is the solution. This is the patented Non-Torsion System of the Teknor Apex. No matter how many weather changes, drags, and tangles, they are resilient enough to bear it.
Neverkink is also drinking-water safe. It has complied with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that evaluates lead-free products. This is one of the best pipe material for drinking water supply for residential and outdoors. Neverkink is a decent addition to your RV, camping, and boating essentials.
Speaking of camping and boating, consider Element’s Swan products. This is an ideal drinking water hose for your outdoor adventures. With a burst strength of up to 400 PSI, it can tolerate high water pressure. It also has a stainless-steel coupling that bears the strength of your water source.
This lead-free hose has met the standards of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. It is a trusted brand when it comes to drinking water material. The patented armor technology of Element also makes sure that Swan products are resistant to kinks and tears.
If you need something smaller, space-saving, yet durable, then you can try Water Right’s coiled hose. This retractable polyurethane hose expands to up to 65 feet from its original 15 feet dimension! This makes it a little more perfect for your RV life. It is lightweight and features strain resisting ends. It also has a 12-inch tail feature on both ends of the hose for easy installation to faucets.
Water Right’s coiled hose is 100% lead-free and FDA-grade and is safe for drinking. One of the benefits of the coiled hose is the stress-free struggle with tangled lines. It’s also flexible and prevents hose kinks. However, this is best for lightweight use. It only has a 3/8 diameter, which is smaller than the traditional hose. But just in case you need something portable for smaller drinking water needs, we recommend this series.
How to Choose the Best Pipe Materials for Drinking Water Supply
Living with crazy summers and dead winters, you need to consider the pipe’s ability to withstand such conditions. Not all pipes are the same. And the main problem among consumers is the eventual kinks and cracks that pipes develop. Leaks, tears, and bursts are common with substandard pipes and hoses. It’s pricey and time-consuming to re-install, that’s why it is important to pick the one with the best material from the get-go.
Today’s modern innovations in plumbing have introduced pipes and tubes offering improved resilience to extreme temperatures. But drinking material pipes are not something you randomly pick at a store because, well, it is a pipe. Most garden hoses do not equate to being a safe drinking water supply hose. You need products that have undergone proper certification from authorities. This way, you can be sure you are not filling your body with toxic substances.
Since this is about drinking water, choose the one that does not leave your mouth with a bad taste – literally, and quite figuratively. In general, look out for these product qualities:
- Drinking-water safe
Also, choose products that can withstand even extreme circumstances. Cost-effective drinking water materials need to be:
- Can withstand subzero and hotter temperatures
- Handles high water pressure
The best pipe materials for your drinking water supply ensure that you will have potable water. Whether you will be using it for your pet, or to fill up your pool, don’t compromise your family’s safety. Chemicals leaching into drinking water cause more health hazards than you think.
All pipes, valves, and fittings should not contain toxic substances exceedingly more than the specified levels. Not all garden hoses are created equal. You cannot choose just any materials for your drinking needs. International, national, and state standards will give you more of a direction on the safety of the materials you are using. Thus, you need to look out for such guidelines when choosing the pipe system material for your home.
The durability of the water pipe depends on the quality of the materials used. Some products may be costly but are ultimately a wise investment. Flexible types of piping materials offer more resiliency against elements and other forces. In conclusion, choosing the right plumbing materials comes down to two things: health standards and cost-efficiency.