Expansion joints are routinely used in plumbing for your home, where expansion and contraction (from heat and cold) or movement (ex. structural settling) could damage connections. Why is this important? Correctly and well designed plumbing can prevent leaks for years to come. Nothing man-made can escape deterioration from use and exposure to the weather, but high quality materials and good design can certainly help extend the life of your plumbing.
There are a few different types of expansion joints that are commonly used:
PVC – By far, the most common expansion joint used for the home is PVC, which is the least expensive option. These expansion joints do the job for most applications, but they are the most rigid and therefore can breakdown faster because of lower tolerance for change.
Metal – This includes copper, brass, galvanized steel, and cast iron. All metal expands (heat) and contracts (cold), so building in some flexibility is key to designing any plumbing system.
Rubber (bellows) – This is a strong bladder type of joint that allows for more movement due to settling of structures and heat expansion / contraction.
Flex – You might see these used around sinks and toilets, but a more heavy duty application can be used in your homes plumbing, where flexibility is needed.
Teflon (PTFE – Polytetrafluoroethylene) – Strictly used for commercial applications and rarely found or needed in residential applications. The Teflon greatly reduces friction and hence wear. It is also very resistant to harsh chemicals and extreme cold or heat exposure.
Maple Valley Plumbing designs and builds residential and commercial plumbing systems that meet the demands of today’s market. Whether you’re building new or remodeling, we can create a plumbing system that will stand the test of time.