Soil pipe v waste pipe: the differences

There are a lot of pipes that go in and out of a standard house and it can be really difficult to know which pipe does which job without some training in plumbing. A lot of people find it difficult to differentiate between soil pipes and waste pipes, so let’s take a look at the main differences between the two.

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Soil pipes

These pipes carry soiled water and faeces from the toilet to the sewer. Any pipe could technically do this job; however, a soil pipe must have some very specific qualities to comply with building regulations.

Firstly, it has to have the right dimensions to enable the soiled waste products to pass through it; secondly, it is vented to reduce odours in the house and keep the environment safe. Soil pipes are vented close to the top of the building to enable odours and gasses to be released into the environment safety. They do this through the soil pipe stack. This type of ventilation in the pipe is an important part of the building regulations, as any negligence can be hazardous to health.

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Waste pipes

These carry water from the sink, bath, shower and washing machine, which is usually dirty but uncontaminated. The water carried through a waste pipe does not contain harmful odours and gasses; therefore, it does not need the same venting system as a soil pipe. As it only carries water, it can be smaller in dimension than a soil pipe – nothing solid has to pass through it.

If you are planning to carry out any pipework yourself, don’t forget to consider using pipe protectors. These are non-threaded caps that fit over the openings of your pipes and protect them from any damage. Pipes that take water outside your house are subject to damage from the elements and possible impacts. If you buy pipe protectors from Meterbox or another stockist, you will find that they are relatively inexpensive and can protect your pipes and make the work you have done last longer.

Now you know the differences between soil pipes and waste pipes, you can enjoy your DIY experience; however, do remember that if you are really unsure about something, it may be better to call in the professionals than attempt to tackle it yourself.

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