OPUS

Domestic Water: Stainless Steel Pipe

Image provided by Victaulic

Domestic hot and cold water systems generally convey potable hot and cold water used for...
Read more...

Stainless steel defines a class of ferrous metals with high alloy content to enhance certain...
Read more...

Benefit of Material to Systems Application

Stainless steel pipe provides domestic water systems with a level of corrosion resistance not found in other steel pipe systems. Due to its durability, stainless steel pipe is typically used for domestic water systems when pipe larger than 6 inch diameter is needed. Larger diameters of copper pipe are more subject to impact damage; therefore copper pipe is more commonly used for smaller domestic water piping systems (under 6 inch). However, fluctuations in the price of metals can often dictate the specified material for the job.

Stainless steel pipe has been used for many years in both hot and cold domestic water systems, and is most commonly used in commercial and industrial work. Stainless steel pipe is recognized by many national and international drinking water agencies as an acceptable material.  Its strength and internal pressure capabilities make it suitable for use in structures from one story to high rise buildings and industrial applications.  

System Application and Material Usage

When using stainless steel pipe for domestic water systems, it is the contractor’s responsibility to determine if the pipe the supplier is providing is approved for drinking water applications. There are many different grades of stainless steel, and they all contain a varying percentage of chromium, molybdenum and nickel.

The most common "family" of stainless steel is austenitic, which includes the stainless steel pipes made to the specifications of ASTM A312 in Types 304/304L and 316/316L. These materials are almost always the stainless steel option for domestic water systems. Types 304/304L are for general corrosion applications and Types 316/316L have a higher corrosion resistance to chlorides and may be desired based upon the chemical composition of the water supply. The “L” designation means that the stainless steel contains less than 0.03% carbon. This is beneficial if the pipe needs to be welded.

Stainless steel pipe is generally available in diameters up to 36 inches with dimensions ranging from Schedule 5S to 160S with Schedule 10S being the most common for domestic hot and cold water systems. Schedule designations indicate the pressure capacity of the pipe. When specifying the Schedule of stainless steel pipe, an “S” is added after the Schedule number to differentiate stainless steel from other steel pipe.

The system working pressure and pipe joining method will determine the required pipe wall thickness for each application. 

Stainless steel pipe may be installed using a variety of joining methods including grooved, welded, flanged, and threaded. Push and crimp-type fittings are becoming a popular choice for joining plain end pipe in domestic water systems.

An additional source for general information on stainless steel is http://www.stainless-steel-world.net/.

Manufacturers and Suppliers Participating in OPUS

ANVIL International

Anvil International offers a full line of domestically-produced iron fittings, steel nipples,......
(click for details)

Embassy Group LTD

Embassy Group LTD is a 100-percent member owned, 3.2 billion dollar corporation consisting of......
(click for details)

F.W. Webb Company

F.W. Webb Company is a multi-faceted distributor of plumbing and heating, HVAC and controls,......
(click for details)

Ferguson

Ferguson specializes in providing PVF, Plumbing, HVAC and Related Specialty Products and......
(click for details)

Galloup Company

J.O. Galloup Company is a premier distributor of commercial and industrial piping products,......
(click for details)

Hajoca Corporation

Founded in 1858, the Hajoca Corporation is the largest privately owned wholesale distributor of......
(click for details)

Jomar Valve

Founded in 1966 by former Navy Commander Joseph Martin, Jomar Valve set out to change the way......
(click for details)

Metraflex Company

For over 55years Metraflex has met the needs of the contractor. The MetraLoop, a flexible pipe......
(click for details)

MORSCO

MORSCO is a leading U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing, HVAC, and PVF, with......
(click for details)

Team Industries, Inc.

Team Industries, Inc. offers a 3000# Generation III and 3000# Generation IV (hydraulically......
(click for details)

Tri Tool Inc.

Tri Tool Inc. designs and manufactures cutting and prepping tools for pipe and tube from .12 to......
(click for details)

Victaulic

Victaulic is the world's leading manufacturer of mechanical pipe joining products. For over 80......
(click for details)

Viega

Founded in 1899, Viega manufactures and distributes the highest quality plumbing, heating and......
(click for details)

Weldbend Corporation

Weldbend Corporation is a manufacturer of carbon steel welding fittings and forged steel......
(click for details)

Winsupply

WinWholesale, Inc. is comprised of over 525 wholesale distribution locations. Along with Noland......
(click for details)

Applicable Joining Methods

Flanged

Flanging maybe used for threaded or plane-end pipe. After a flange component is installed on the...
(click for details)

Grooved

Grooved pipe joints consist of two grooved pipe ends (typically roll grooved) connected with a...
(click for details)

Press

Press joining is a form of mechanical connection for copper and steel tubing which uses a...
(click for details)

Threaded

A connection in which an internal threaded fitting and an external threaded piece of pipe or...
(click for details)

Welding

Welding is generally defined as the act of joining together two or more components by heating...
(click for details)