Copper vs. Plastic: A Look at Common Plumbing Pipe Materials

January 2, 2020

You need to take care of the plumbing in your Coweta County, GA home—there’s no question about it. When a component on a plumbing fixture acts up or breaks, you fix it. If a pipe or hardware springs a leak, you replace it. Then there’s choosing the type of material for your plumbing pipes. Whether you’re replacing some existing plumbing in a wall or having a new home built, the first thing you’ll do is decide between copper or plastic materials for your water pipes.

Do some research, talk to your plumber and weigh the pros and cons of the two materials before making a decision. Here’s what you need to know.

Copper pipes

Of all the materials used for plumbing pipes, copper is the most traditional and most popular option. Copper pipes have a good history of working well in homes, and plumbers like how simple it is to switch out parts in copper plumbing systems. But this material may or may not be the right type of piping for you.

There are many advantages to copper pipes. Copper is durable, has a long lifespan and can handle a great deal of heat without losing strength. Copper is naturally resistant to corrosion and the negative effects of high water pressure, making it a great option for the main sections of shower plumbing. However, copper is more expensive than plastic pipes. It’s also less flexible, and is prone to sweating as well as freezing. Another downside is that tap water coming out from copper pipes can taste metallic if not filtered.

Plastic pipes

Plastic is another type of pipe material suitable for home plumbing in Coweta County, GA. Plastic pipes are becoming an increasingly popular choice for home plumbing, mostly thanks to their flexibility and affordable price tag. Even though there are different types of plastic piping materials, right now we’re going to talk about polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

PVC is one of the more commonly used plastic materials in plumbing, and for good reason. Its benefits include resistance to corrosion, simple installation process, affordable price and low noise emission. The right type of plastic material can carry hot water without incident, and heat won’t get lost as water travels through the pipes.

Like copper, PVC has some downsides. It’s not completely resistant to solvents, has a shorter lifespan and may need support to increase its strength. A professional assessment is recommended before installation.

Popular alternative plastic pipes

There are also alternative plastic pipe options, such as PEX and uPVC. PEX (cross-link polyethylene) is flexible and better at insulating heat than PVC, though it can be more difficult to install. uPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride) is the longest-running plastic pipe to date. It tends to be more rigid than PVC, and even though it has a high threshold for heat, it is vulnerable to being reshaped if exposed to extremely hot water.

If you need help with the plumbing in your Coweta County, GA home, pick up the phone and call Victor Moody Plumbing Inc. We look forward to assisting you soon.

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