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Difference Between Black and Galvanized Pipe

Black vs Galvanized Pipe

Homes need gas and water in order to run comfortably. Gas provides heat and fire to cook food and we cannot live without water. Pipes are used to carry these essential materials into homes, buildings, and other construction projects to convey or carry gas and water to supply their needs. Two of the most widely used pipes are black pipe and galvanized pipe.

Black pipes are also called steel pipes and are used to carry water and gas from their sources to the end users. It is the pipe that is used by businesses and homes to convey their supply of natural or propane gas.

It is also used for fire sprinkler systems because of its strong resistance to heat. Heating and cooling water transferred to heat exchangers also use black pipe. It is usually joined by welding or by using mechanical couplings.

While it is used mainly for gas lines, it is also used to connect appliances to their supply lines. In drain lines, heating piping, and natural gas piping, black pipe is used. It can even be used instead of galvanized pipe in projects other than carrying water for drinking.

Galvanized pipe is a steel pipe which is covered with zinc. The zinc increases the pipes life expectancy and makes it more resistant to corrosion and mineral deposits in the line. It is a plumbing material that is used in water supply lines and has been used in homes for more than 30 years.

It cannot be used for gas lines because the zinc can clog the lines when it begins to flake, but it has many other uses. It can also be used in outdoor railings, scaffolding, fence, sewage plumbing, and farm irrigation and it is best used for bigger construction projects and has a life expectancy of 40 years.

Although the zinc that coats galvanized pipe can prevent corrosion, it corrodes quicker than copper or PVC pipes. Aside from this, it contains lead which can be harmful. It is also more expensive than black pipe. The flaking of the zinc in galvanized pipes can cause pipes to burst.

While there are now safer and stronger pipes made from materials other than steel, black pipes and galvanized pipes are still very popular and are being used in homes and buildings.

The thing to remember is to use them according to the specifications of the project and to use only one type of pipe in conveying water or gas to your homes. It is not advised to combine two types of piping material.

Summary
1. Black pipe is made of steel as is galvanized pipe. The difference is that galvanized pipe is coated with zinc, while black pipe is not.
2. Black pipe is best used for gas lines, not for water lines because it rusts easily, while galvanized pipe is the safer pipe to use in water lines, but it cannot be used to convey gas.
3. Black pipe is cheaper than galvanized pipe because of the zinc that is added to galvanized pipe.


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2 Comments

  1. Regarding Galvanized pipe not being allowed for gas, can you cite the IFGC regulation dis-allowing Galvanized for gas? I have been through the standards and cannot find anything. Maybe I am looking in the wrong section.

    Thank you.

  2. Don’t know about the documents you are looking for but if there is the type of corrosion as they say those little bits can fleck off and clog the furnace gas line just before they get to the venturi tubes which you probably already know would lead to a very costly HVAC bill.

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