Copper plumbing is very common, especially in older buildings. Newer buildings tend to favor PVC for many plumbing fixtures.
Types of Copper Pipes
There are four main types of copper pipes that can each be used for different plumbing fixtures.
Type K copper pipes are most commonly used for main water lines and underground installations. These are the thickest of all four kinds of copper pipes. It is commonly used for HVAC, water distribution, oil, and fire protection. It is not used for water lines as often as other types due to how expensive it is.
Type L copper pipes are most commonly used for interior branch water supply lines. It can also be used for HVAC and fire protection. These are the most common type of copper pipes because it can be used for many different types of plumbing systems. It can be used in indoor plumbing as well as outdoors.
Type M copper pipes are most commonly used for branch plumbing lines. It is often used for replacements, repairs, and extensions for indoor water lines. Since type M pipes are thinner than type K and L, they are less expensive. This makes them more favorable to use for indoor plumbing fixtures. One thing to look out for is the plumbing code for type M pipes. Not all areas will allow it, so check your local plumbing code before installing it.
DWV pipes are used for (drain-waste-vent) pipes. These have been widely replaced by PVC and ABS pipes. This type of copper pipe is usually present in older homes. It can only be used above ground, and has a low pressure rating.
Advantages of Copper Plumbing
There are many advantages to having copper plumbing in your home. Copper is a great material for your pipes, but it’s important to look into all the available options.
Copper is a very durable material for your plumbing. It can hold up for 50-70 years. It is also able to withstand hot and cold temperatures. If you’re worried about your copper pipes freezing in the winter, you won’t be worrying much. They are a great pipe for fighting against cold temperatures, as well as hot.
Copper plumbing is also lightweight. This makes it easier to be installed and less time consuming. This also makes it more flexible and easier to use in long distances.
Doesn’t Contaminate Water
Copper pipes don’t release harmful chemicals into your water. Lead, iron, and galvanized steel pipes will do this once they start to wear down. Copper is one of the few materials that won’t do this. Copper pipes are great for your plumbing and your health.
Less harmful to the environment
Copper is less harmful to the environment compared to other materials. For example, PVC pipe is made of plastic and releases chemicals into the environment. Copper pipes release a substantially smaller amount of chemicals into the air while they are being made. Also, pipes like PVC aren’t able to be recycled once they are no longer usable. Copper is a material that can be recycled, which is great for the environment.
They have a high thermal rating, which allows them to be resistant to fire. This not only means it won’t cause a fire, but it will also not spread fire in your home.
Disadvantages of Copper Plumbing
While copper is a great material for your plumbing, it also has its disadvantages. Even though there are more benefits than drawbacks, it’s still valuable to know all the available information.
Can’t handle acidic water
While copper can handle a lot, they don’t do so well with acidic water. If your water has high acidity levels, this can lead your pipes to becoming damaged after a few years of installation. We recommend connecting your copper pipes to a sanitary municipal water supply system.
Copper pipes are more expensive than other types of pipes. This is a big reason for why they are not as commonly used as PVC pipes. Cost is always a big factor for the types of materials that are being used.
Metallic Taste to Water
If you have copper plumbing in your home, you may notice a metallic taste in your water. This may not be strong enough for you to notice, but it is still noticeable enough in certain situations. This isn’t something that will cause harm, but it’s still something that people might see as off putting.
Copper plumbing can be great for your home, but there are still disadvantages to look at. It is also important to find out what type of copper pipe is the best for your home. There are many situations where old copper pipes are replaced with other materials such as PVC. This doesn’t mean copper pipes are not longer a good pipe, it just means there are more competitors. If you need a copper pipe repaired, replaced, or installed and you don’t know how to do it or which type to use, call your local plumber to help.
Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need any plumbing, drain cleaning, or excavation service. 1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.