Last updated: August 9, 2021

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When you use your toilet, do the dishes or rinse your toothbrush water at home, this water runs through drainage pipes. Without these pipes, no one in their house or flat would be able to continue these daily routines.

In this guide, we show you which drain pipes are up-to-date and recommended. There are differences in materials and sizes. It is important to consider this decision carefully, as it is very costly to replace the pipes afterwards.




Summary

  • Drain pipes are available in different materials and sizes. Think carefully in advance about which model you choose. Replacing them later can be very expensive and inconvenient.
  • To prevent your sink pipes from clogging, you can take preventive measures such as placing a drain strainer on the drain. Once the drain is blocked, you may need professional help to unblock it.
  • The smaller your drain pipes are in diameter, the steeper the slope should be. To ensure a constant flow of water, you should make sure that the pipes are installed correctly.

The Best Drainage Pipe: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for drainpipes

For drain pipes, there are some factors you should pay attention to. Listed below are the purchasing criteria that should be weighed importantly for an intact drainage system:

The aspects mentioned will now be presented in more detail to give you a more detailed insight.

Material

Drain pipes can be made of a wide variety of materials. Over time, stoneware has been replaced by plastic for modern households. The most common materials are therefore as follows:

  • Plastic: Nowadays, interior drainage pipes are usually made of plastic. They are also called HT pipes and are very temperature-resistant.
  • Vitrified clay: Sewage pipes made of vitrified clay are mainly used in old houses from the 1960s. They are very resistant, recyclable and extremely durable.
  • Reinforced concrete: The material concrete is mostly used for municipal sewage pipes. In many cities, the sewage pipes are made of reinforced concrete. The material is very heavy, but even more heat-resistant than plastic pipes.

For modern times, it is therefore advisable to use plastic pipes. These can be used flexibly and are relatively light. Visible pipe connections, such as those attached to washbasins, are usually made of metal or stainless steel.

Size

The size of the drain pipe is determined by its diameter. Sizes from 100 mm to 300 mm are suitable for household use. The thickness of the pipe is subtracted from the diameter, so there is always 4 mm less diameter than specified.

The smaller the slope, the larger the diameter should be. If you have the possibility to lay pipes almost vertically in your house, you need a smaller diameter.

Weight

Weight is one of the most important factors when laying drainage pipes. A plastic pipe weighs about 7.6 kg per metre, whereas a stoneware pipe weighs 33 kg per metre. The cast iron drainage pipe even weighs 40 kg per metre.

A drainage pipe made of stoneware is almost 4 times heavier than a pipe made of plastic

For the average household, therefore, plastic pipes are the most convenient to install. It is quite sufficient to lay smaller plastic pipes. When it comes to sewage pipes for larger residential buildings or entire towns, it makes more sense to use vitrified clay.

Density

Every material has a different density. Density is defined as the ratio of mass to volume. The most commonly used types are shown in the following table:

Materials density
Plastics in general 800 - 2,300 kg/m^3
Stoneware 1,800 - 2,200 kg/m^3
Concrete 2,000 - 2,800 kg/m^3
Cast iron 7,200 kg/m^3
Steel 7,850 kg/m^3

The density of the most commonly used plastics is actually in the range of 1,000 kg/m^3. Plastics thus have considerably less weight than metals, cast iron or ceramic materials.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about drainage pipes answered in detail

In this section we present and answer the most important questions about drainage pipes. You should be well informed about this topic, as they cannot simply be replaced again.

For whom is a drain pipe suitable?

Drain pipes are standard in every building. Without these pipes, you would not get any water for showering, washing up or flushing the toilet. It would also not be possible to drain the water into the sewage system. Consequently, drainage pipes are a mandatory item in every house.

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Drain pipes are installed in every building. They ensure regulated drainage of the service water. (Image source: emkanicepic / Pixabay)

What types of drain pipes are there?

Drain pipes come in a wide variety of materials. The most popular pipes are listed below:

  • HT pipes
  • PE pipes
  • KG pipes
  • GRP pipes
  • Stainless steel pipes
  • Vitrified clay pipes
  • Cast iron pipes

HT, PE, KG and GRP pipes are all made of plastic and are used for different purposes. A KG pipe is a sewer water base pipe, a HT pipe is grey in colour and is installed in the house, and the PE pipe is used for the discharge of service water and as a base pipe. GRP pipes are stable and resistant to chemical substances, so they are often used for discharging them.

Vitrified clay pipes are mostly used under roads because they can withstand high pressure. They are also significantly higher in price than pipes made of plastic.

What does a drainage pipe cost?

Depending on the diameter and length, the prices of drainage pipes differ noticeably. The following table presents pipes from different price categories that can be used in the household.

Price Description
Low-priced (5€ - 25€) The cheapest drain pipes are usually made of stainless steel and are visible under the sink or small plastic pipes with a small diameter.
Medium-priced (25€ - 80€) In this price category are plastic pipes with a larger diameter for draining the service water into the sewage system.
High-priced (80€ - 250€) In this price category are larger pipes made of cast iron and stoneware.

Drainage pipes that are laid in the ground are priced higher than the alternatives mentioned. However, these are intended more for businesses and cities than for private individuals. You may also need to renovate your drainage pipes after many years of use. If you notice that your pipes are cracked, leaky or blocked, it is better to act preventively than too late.

Conclusion

Drainage pipes are built into the walls of every household. They ensure that you have a regulated water supply and drainage. Without these pipes, it would not be possible to take a shower, do the dishes or use the toilet.

When making your purchase decision, you should consider the purchase criteria mentioned in the article. The size in relation to the slope is a very important aspect. Think about your decision well in advance, as a later replacement is very inconvenient and expensive.

(Cover picture: Mainblick / Pixabay)

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