All About Pipe! Everything you could possibly want to know about pipe!

Welcome to Are you fascinated by the cylindrical tube that conveys materials to help run our everyday lives? If not, you should be. Pipe is an incredible building material that has an amazing impact on our lives!

pvc pipe and valves says pipe is “a hollow cylinder of metal, wood, or other material, used for the conveyance of water, gas, steam, petroleum, etc.”

This site seeks to educate you about pipe and convey the history of pipe, pipe materials, pipe fittings, pipe valves, pipe uses, pipe installation methods, pipe sizing…and anything else I can think of!

History Of Pipe

It’s hard to say exactly when someone hollowed out a material for the transport of media…specifically water. But the Romans are generally credited with first mass use of pipes to transport water. The Romans used lead pipe for many centuries. It’s a common misconception that the Romans suffered from severe lead poisoning. This is not the case…the Roman water was so hard and full of calcium carbonate, that a layer of plaque on the inside of the pipe prevented the water from being contaminated with lead.

Typical PVC Pipe, Valve & Hydrant Installation

The English then used wooden pipes in the 16th and 17th centuries. They would hollow out logs to transport water. If necessary, they would wrap iron bands around the pipe for strength. The joints of the wood pipe would be joined and sealed with animal fat.

wood pipe

Wood water pipe...note the brass corporation stop for a water service.

Then, from the 19th century – Present, technology rapidly advanced and pipe has been made from a wide variety of materials...copper, iron, steel, concrete, plastic, just to name a few. More history of specific pipe varieties can be found on the ‘Pipe Material’ pages.

rcp and inlet

Typical Reinforced Concrete Pipe & Drainage Inlet Installation

Although most people associate pipe with the transportation of water and sewage, there are many other uses. Pipe also transports petroleum, liquid chemicals and various gases.

Pipes (or Tubes, in this case) are also a valuable structural building material…from light poles to light weight structural members in buildings.