Choosing the Right Material for Your Pipe Installation

When needing a new pipe installation for a heating and air conditioning system, it is important that you carefully consider the different materials that can be used and choose the right one for the purpose and budget. OLBY Mechanical Services are a pipework contractor offering a wide range of pipework services including more traditional material, along with newer materials and can install whichever your preference.

Steel Pipe Installation

Carbon steel

Carbon Steel is a very strong material, more durable than Stainless steel.  A weakness of this material is it is not resistant to corrosion and may rust when exposed to moisture and certain fluids. Therefore, it needs to be selected when non-corrosive substances are used.  Carbon Steel is an excellent choice for hot water heating systems.


Stainless Steel is an alternative to Carbon Steel, as it is Water Regulations Advisory Scheme approved, meaning it is safe to use for a freshwater system, providing drinking water. This material can also withstand high pressure and temperature.

Galvanized steels

This type of pipework installation is coated with zinc to stop corrosion, and best utilised in water lines and for outdoor pipework. With being galvanized, even in highly corrosive conditions, pipes can last up to 100 years.


Soft Copper

Copper can come in soft or rigid form. Soft Copper is made to be workable, allowing it to easily bend and fit around corners and different obstacles. It is a very popular choice in heating and cooling works including air conditioning due it is long lifespan. However, due to the work required to change the state of the copper to be malleable, it is usually more expensive.

Rigid Copper

Rigid Copper is brought in lengths, providing a straight tube, and is mostly used for water lines. Many methods can be used by the pipework contractor to join the pipes together, often via pre-made shaped copper bends.

Coppers main drawback is the price, being likely the most expensive on the market due to it being a raw material.

Plastic PVC

A more modern material choice is Plastic PVC, a pipe installation that can be a perfect choice for HVAC installations. This is due to it being durable, a better insulator than metal and resistant to corrosion. However, if you need industrial pipework services using hot water or outdoor pipework, PVC will not work as it will become misshapen in heat.

Contact Us

If you are looking to begin a pipework installation project, please contact expert pipework contractors OLBY mechanical services by emailing or calling our Bromsgrove base on 03301331453