Can Plumbing Pipes be Exposed Safely? An Overview of the Pros and Cons

Can Plumbing Pipes be Exposed Safely?

Can Plumbing Pipes Be Exposed Safely?

Exposed plumbing pipes are considered a design feature in some homes, especially when using copper pipes. The metal pipes extending throughout the space add an extra dynamic to the room, making this option popular in some homes. 

However, while exposed plumbing pipes are trendy, is it safe to leave them exposed? Let’s find out. 

Is It Possible To Safely Leave Plumbing Pipes Exposed?

Leaving your plumbing pipes exposed safely is possible, but there are a few exceptions. While the exposed pipes can add an extra dimension to your home, there are a few times when you may want to think twice.

For example, if you live in an area that experiences harsh winters, you’ll need to be careful with the pipes throughout your home. Frigid and burst pipes are an ever-present issue for houses in cold climates, but the risk level rises for exposed pipes. 

Alternatively, the exposed pipes could be at risk of damage in areas where children and pets could easily bump them (or by moving furniture). When the pipes are hidden within the walls, they have a layer of protection against impact, leaving them less susceptible to breakage.

Of course, you can leave exposed plumbing in your home if these factors aren’t an issue. We recommend consulting your local plumber for advice, as they may recommend covering the pipes to ward off unwanted issues. 

6 Things To Consider Before Choosing Exposed Plumbing

If you’re considering leaving the plumbing in your home exposed, there are a few things you should consider. While some aspects of exposed plumbing are positive, a few drawbacks may impact your decision. So, to help you debate your options, consider these factors:

      1. Damage Risk

Concealed pipes have the protection of a wall between them and children playing or furniture you’re moving around your house. Exposed pipes don’t get this luxury. Instead, they’re prone to damage due to impacts and temperature changes. 

Of course, concealed pipes can undergo substantial damage if the temperature fluctuates or an accident occurs, resulting in busted drywall. However, since they have the extra layer of protection, they’re usually less susceptible to damage. The plumbing is typically recessed in the wall cavity, so the framing in the wall adds an extra dose of protection. 

      2. Cleanliness

With exposed plumbing, you have an extra box on your cleaning list to check off. Dust and debris can accumulate on the tops of the pipes, affecting the aesthetics of the exposed plumbing in the space. 

On top of that, exposed plumbing can block access to the walls behind it, making it tricky to clean the walls. So, if scrubbing the walls in your home each month is a job on your cleaning list, exposed plumbing can make it tougher to complete. 

      3. Aesthetics

Both options offer a unique aesthetic appeal. Concealed plumbing is usually your best option if you prefer sleek, clean looks. The plumbing is tucked away inside the wall cavity, removing the extra task on your to-do list and leaving your walls free for whatever decorations your heart desires. 

On the flip side, exposed plumbing can offer an extra dynamic to your home. If you prefer a unique look that goes beyond the sterile basics of flat walls, exposed plumbing might be the perfect fit. Many folks use copper pipes to add an extra flair to their exposed plumbing, as its coppery color blends beautifully with modern decor. 

That said, if you opt for exposed pipes, be sure to note what pipes you want to leave out. While a few exposed pipes can add a stylish touch, dozens of pipes extending across the walls and ceilings of your home can create a chaotic appearance. 

      4. Ease Of Acess 

Ease of access is one of the most notable perks accompanying exposed pipes. With exposed plumbing, you can easily monitor the pipes and access them as necessary to complete repairs. There’s little to no guesswork involved with pinpointing leaks, as the plumbing is easily accessible.

With concealed plumbing, locating leaks and pipe damage can be tricky, as the walls hide the exact location and extent of the damage. To access concealed pipes, you usually need to open a wall, which creates a mess. So, in this aspect, exposed plumbing is handy. 

      5. Location

As you debate the merits of exposed plumbing, consider the area you want the exposed pipes. As mentioned, exposed plumbing is at a higher risk of damage from impact and similar problems. So, you’ll need to consider these factors as you weigh your options. 

For example, frigid plumbing isn’t typically an issue if you live in the Sunshine State. However, impacts on the plumbing can be a concern, especially if you have pets or children. 

Many homeowners choose to install exposed plumbing in areas of their homes with greater water exposure, like underneath the kitchen or bathroom sink. However, many opt for concealed plumbing in the rest of their home, as there is typically less water exposure in a bedroom.

      6. Repair Costs

Since exposed plumbing is easily accessible, repairs tend to be cheaper. Plumbers can easily access the plumbing to isolate the problem, taking less time to find the issue and resulting in lower overall costs. 

On the other hand, concealed plumbing can make it tricky to pinpoint leaks and pipe damage, as it’s hidden within the wall cavity. Repairs often involve cutting into the wall, finding and repairing the leak, then reconstructing the wall around the restoration. Since this process is considerably more involved than a quick fix with an exposed pipe, concealed plumbing repair costs tend to be higher. 

Need Personalized Help From A Plumber? Ace Solves It All Can Help!

Deciding between concealed and exposed plumbing can be tricky, as each option has its merits. If you’re unsure which to choose based on your scenario, it might be best to seek the help of a professional. Or, if you have one type of plumbing (exposed or concealed) in your home and want to switch to the other, we can help! Contact us today to get started with a service appointment!

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