PLASTIC VS COPPER: PROS & CONS OF DIFFERENT PLUMBING PIPES
When it comes to plumbing installations in your property, taking the right decision regarding your pipes is foundational. Even though “pipes” may seem like a not-so-important aspect of the project, it can very well make or break the final outcome of plumbing construction. Each material has its own advantages and limitations and the project conditions also factor-in on the engineer’s decision on which materials would be best.
Whether you’re deciding to go with plastic pipes or copper pipes for your home/business place, it is not feasible to switch between materials after the initiation of the project. Therefore, this article will help you weigh the pros and cons of the most commonly used pipe materials that are available in today’s market.
Copper pipes, a persistent market leader, with great durability, have been the traditional plumbing choice since the 1960s. However, the main drawback of copper pipes is its high price, soldering requirements and additional fittings. Moreover, given its high value, openly exposed copper pipes are very often susceptible to theft.
Let us assess the Pros and Cons of Copper pipes :-
|Copper is a non-penetrable metal and hence is resistant to water leakage||Expensive to buy and install|
|It is heat tolerant||Tap water may taste metallic if not treated/purified|
|Old copper pipes can be recycled||Old copper pipes may contain lead contamination that is hazardous to health.|
|It’s corrosion resistant properties makes it highly durable||Copper mining and manufacturing processes are not environment friendly. Hence, copper is not considered a green metal|
Common applications of copper piping include hot and cold drinking water supplies, and refrigerant lines for HVAC systems. Type K copper pipes are commonly used in underground service lines, owing to their greater thickness. Whereas, Type L and Type M are commonly used for wall supply lines.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)Pipes
Owing to its versatility and low cost, PVC pipes are growing in popularity— namely flexibility and price. Let’s assess the Pros and Cons of choosing PVC pipes.
|Resistant to corrosion and rust||Cannot be used as pipes for hot water|
|Low cost||Corrodes when exposed to sunlight (so outdoor installation is a no-no)|
|Strong and durable. Can withstand high water pressure||Not safe as drinking water pipes|
|Versatile– can bend into any shape to fit your space||Non-recyclable|
Although PVC pipes are most widely used for a lot plumbing projects, here are some great alternatives of plastic pipes that may be helpful–
- Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC)-
Although a little above the price range of PVC, CPVC pipes are more suitable for hot water and drinking water pipings, owing to its high chlorine content. They have all the better properties of normal PVC, plus they are more durable.
- Cross-link Polyethylene (PEX)-
PEX is one of the greatest innovations in plumbing– extremely flexible (pipes similar to a hose) and uses compression fittings (no glue required).
It is a great choice for reparations and renovation as it can fit along with existing pipes of copper or other materials. It is also well-suited for spaces with low ventilation as the use of glue may be dangerous there. This material can be used for both hot and cold water supplies.
- Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (UPVC)-
As the name suggests, UPVCs do not contain plastic, BPA or phthalates, making them remarkably safe and environment friendly. UPVC pipes are long-running pipes with more durability than PVCs. They are low cost and low maintenance pipes, widely used in building water distribution systems, bathroom and kitchen water supplies, laboratories, etc.
With the wide variety of piping materials available in the market today, it may get pretty challenging to choose that perfect material for your plumbing project. Astro pipes is a company that manufactures all the aforementioned materials in-house, and many more. Although this article is meant to educate you on the variety of options out there, we recommend you to get in touch with a professional plumbing engineer in order to choose what’s absolutely best for you. This way, you can rest assured that all your installations will use the most suitable material for your project, that also fits your budget.
Hope you understand Are Plastic Plumbing Pipes Better Than Copper Pipes !