Creative Uses for Schedule 40 Steel Pipe

Drilling into a schedule 40 steel pipe
Schedule 40 galvanized or black steel pipes are commonly used for gas and water lines, but that’s not all they can be used for. Are you feeling crafty? Learn more about galvanized pipes, black steel pipes, and options for creative steel pipe projects you can do at home.

What is Schedule 40 Pipe?

The American National Standards Institute has standardized pipe wall thicknesses for different applications. These include Schedule 10, Schedule 40, Schedule 80, and Schedule 160. Schedule 40 is the most common pipe thickness used in construction work. This standard offers an ideal balance between cost, strength, and ease of installation.

If the pipes are exposed, or if there is a need to transport high-temperature or high-pressure water or gas, then Schedule 80 or Schedule 160 pipes may be required. Schedule 10 is reserved for light-duty applications.

What is Galvanized Pipe?

Galvanized pipe is a steel pipe coated with zinc. The addition of zinc improves the pipe’s resistance to corrosion and mineral deposits, increasing its life expectancy. Galvanized pipe has been used as a water supply line material in homes and businesses for more than 30 years. It’s also a suitable material for sewer plumbing.

Galvanized pipe has many other uses besides water and sewer lines, including fences, railings, scaffolding, and farm irrigation systems. It’s best reserved for large construction projects and has a lifespan of 40 years.

Despite the zinc coating, galvanized pipe still corrodes faster than copper and PVC pipe. It can’t be used for gas lines because the zinc clogs the line when it begins to flake. Flaking zinc can also cause a galvanized steel water pipe to burst. This material also contains lead, which can taint drinking water. The zinc added to galvanized pipe makes it more expensive than regular black steel pipe.

What is Black Steel Pipe?

Black steel pipe is used to transport water and natural gas from their sources to homes and businesses. Black pipe is also used for fire sprinkler systems because of its strong resistance to heat. You can find black pipe in heat exchangers as well, where it transports heating and cooling water. Other possible uses include drain lines and heating pipes. Black steel pipe is not suitable for carrying drinking water because it rusts easily.

Steel Pipe Projects

You can find Schedule 40 steel pipes in galvanized or black steel varieties in hardware stores. With a little creativity and some instructions from useful online sources, you can make DIY steel pipe crafts and add some beautiful industrial accents to your home. Here are a few ideas:

Mr. Rooter® Plumbing can advise you on all your household piping needs. Give us a call today to schedule gas line repair, water line repair or replacement, and any other related services you need.

This blog is made available by Mr. Rooter LLC, for educational purposes only to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the specific subject above. The blog should not be used as a substitute for a licensed plumbing professional in your state or region. Check with city and state laws before performing any household project.