White PVC pipe is the current material of choice for most drain lines. Existing black ABS pipe can be replaced with PVC. If you use a transition fitting, you can connect PVC to galvanized drainpipe. Special fittings also allow you to attach PVC to cast-iron pipe.
Using PVC for supply lines is not allowed by many building codes; check with your local building inspector before using it. CPVC is approved for many outdoor uses, such as lawn sprinkler systems.
Plastic pipe is easy to assemble, but take care to do it right. Joints must be primed and glued completely or they may leak. If you install a fitting that makes a turn, such as a tee or an elbow, use alignment marks to ensure the fitting faces the right way. Mistakes can't be corrected -- if a glued joint points in the wrong direction, you must cut out the faulty section and start over. Before you tackle the real thing, practice cutting and gluing pieces until you feel proficient.
About an hour to make a simple repair
PVC saw and miter box, utility knife, tape measure, felt-tip pen, PVC pipe cutter
Measuring, cutting PVC
Spread a drop cloth to catch any spilled primer and glue.
PVC pipe and fittings, primer, cement