3 Types of Drain Pipes in the UK

What are 3 types of drain pipes UK

Socketed clayware pipes used to be the main type of drain pipe for domestic drainage. However, advancements in technology led to them being replaced with larger types that are now used in public sewer systems. These pipes are also known as stoneware or salt-glazed pipes. They are typically replaced when they become exposed or when they break. One drawback of socketed clayware pipes is that it’s difficult to achieve watertight joints. This is because rigid mortar joints are very expensive to build.


Drainage pipes are made from a variety of materials. In the UK, most homes use two types of pipework – surface water and foul water. Surface water includes water from roofs and downspouts, and foul water includes water from toilets and showers. Both types of pipework must be maintained and repaired properly in order to function properly.

There are several different types of plastic drain pipes. Some are made of PVC, while others are made of HDPE. Both materials are strong and durable, and are ideal for sanitary waste drainage. But both PVC and HDPE have their pros and cons, and the right choice depends on your needs.

Before the industrial revolution, clay pipes were used for drainage. They were originally shaped like horseshoes. They were first used on the estate of Sir James Graham in 1810. For thirty years, they were the standard drain pipe. This invention marked an important era in drainage history. The horseshoe shape of the tile was the first drain tile, and its name came from its horseshoe shape. Some of these pipes even lacked a sole at the bottom.

Cast iron

Cast iron pipes have a large variety of different sizes, from 2″ to 6″. Unlike other types of drain pipes, they don’t require any flanges or joints. Instead, they can be attached to other parts of the pipe by means of a hub system. Originally, cast iron pipes were connected using melted lead and the hubs and stubs were wiped with oil to keep water out. These days, however, the connections are made using rubber or plastic fittings.

In 1917, the British Standard BS 78 was adopted to help standardise cast iron water pipes. It established a number of different classes and standardized the outer diameter of pipes for different pressures. In the UK, there are four pressure classes, and each class specifies the wall thickness and outer diameter of the pipes. For example, sizes 12 to 27 share a common diameter and two classes of larger pipes are available for higher pressures.

Unfortunately, cast iron drain pipes are not as readily available as they were 50 years ago. To find a suitable pipe for your needs, you’ll need to call around a few different companies or consult an online resource such as Drainage Online. Alternatively, you may want to consult a building yard, which may have cast iron pipe for sale.


Generally, a PVC drain pipe has smooth walls and minimum friction, delivering excellent flow rates. However, there are some differences between PVC and clayware pipes. PVC manufacturers often differ in size tolerances by millimetres, so check with your local plumbing authority before installing a PVC drainage pipe. Plastic drainage systems made to British Standard can be interconnected without adaptors.

Most domestic drainage installations are made from PVC pipe. It is lightweight, durable, and relatively cheap. PVC drain pipes are also easily identifiable due to their terracotta colour. Most UK drainage pipe is manufactured to BS EN 1401 and BS 4660 standards. In the past, underground drainage pipes were made from cast iron, pitch fibre, asbestos cement, and vitreous clay.

These pipes are available in different diameters, from 150mm to 600mm. This makes them suitable for different applications. For example, they are commonly used under roads and paths and in heavy duty areas.


PEX drain pipes are a common fixture in both domestic and commercial buildings. As a result of their low cost and easy installation, they are an attractive choice for plumbing systems. They are also compliant with a number of standards, including CSAB137.5, ASTM876 and ASTMF877.

PEX is made from high-density polyethylene, and its cross-linked structure provides it with flexibility and high-pressure capability. PEX drain pipes are more durable than their rigid counterparts. However, they can still break in cold temperatures. Therefore, it is important to avoid freezing your pipes in cold weather.

The process used to manufacture PEX piping produces some chemical byproducts, the most prominent of which are MTBE and TBA. These substances can leach into drinking water. In a test conducted by the AQUAPEX company, MTBE levels were as high as 17 ppb and TBA levels reached 6900 ppb. The main cause for this leaching of chemicals from PEX pipes is over-chlorination. As such, it is important to consider the water quality when deciding whether or not PEX is a good option for your home. Chlorine concentration should not exceed four parts per million.

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