What is a Drainage Pipe?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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A drainage pipe is a pipe that removes water from a particular area. There are many types of drainage pipes; some are meant to drain water off roofs, while others are used to drain water away from land. This type of water removal is vital for preventing flooding of basements, damage to structures, soil erosion, and the creation of swamp-like conditions around a person’s home or property. Often, these drain pipes are made of plastic, concrete, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or ceramic.

The type of pipe a person chooses for his property depends on the drainage situation at hand. Some types of drainage pipes take in water through openings at their joints while other pipes are perforated to take in water all along their length. It’s important to choose a material that is strong enough for its job yet as simple as possible for installation. Choosing based on price alone isn’t usually the best option.

PVC pipes, made of combined plastic and vinyl, are often used for projects in which a drainage pipe has to hold up well against pressure and heavy weight. This type of drainage pipe can be constructed in a range of sizes and is very durable, even when exposed to chemicals. PVC drainage piping can be recycled, which makes it Earth-friendly. It isn’t as flexible as other types of pipes, however.


Concrete is a frequent and inexpensive choice for drainage projects that require heavy-duty piping. This type of drainage pipe is often used when it’s critical that the pipes stay sound and without leaks. Concrete can also be used to provide structural support to another type of drainage pipe. In such a case, it may be used to create an outer shell for pipes made of materials that aren't as strong.

Some people choose a material called corrugated polyethylene for their drain pipes. This is a flexible type of plastic considered easy to install and manipulate. It is more flexible than many other types of pipe material. Users can manipulate it to send water flow in any desired direction.

Drainage pipes are also made of ceramic. This type of drainage pipe is similar in strength to many types of plastic piping. It is more Earth-friendly than plastic pipes, however, as fossil fuels are not necessary for the creation of ceramic. There are some drawbacks to using it, however, as it is more likely to crack than plastic pipes.


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Post 1

About drain pipes being made of plastic, or PVC: PVC is a type of plastic.

About PVC pipes being made of combined plastic and vinyl: This statement is incorrect because PVC pipe is made from polyvinyl chloride and is not a combined plastic.

Polyethylene drainage pipe is chosen for different applications than PVC pipe. Some people choose this material because it is the most cost efficient product for the job.

It is true that ceramic pipe does not contain any fossil fuel whereas plastics are typically derived from natural gas, the amount of fossil fuel required to dig and transport the clay, manufacture and fire the ceramic pipe and transport the much heavier, per linear foot, ceramic pipe to the job site makes the fossil fuel savings of using ceramic pipe non-existent.

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