In the long history of plumbing, many different materials have been used, starting with hollowed-out wood. In the era of modern indoor plumbing, the most popular material for many decades was galvanized steel, which proved more durable than any metal used before. Steel allowed indoor plumbing to become common, and many homes and businesses still have steel pipes today.
But because of steel’s tendency to corrode over time, copper pipes have superseded galvanized steel as the metal of choice during the last 70 years. Copper faces competition today from plastics such as PEX, PVC, and CPVC, but it still remains a popular choice. We’ll look at what makes copper an attractive choice for plumbing—and why sometimes plastic is the better option.
When you need a plumber in Gaithersburg, MD to take care of your plumbing, no matter what it’s made from, call Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing.
Copper Pipes: Advantages
Copper is a naturally corrosion-resistant metal, while galvanized steel will eventual leak and break because of corrosion damage. Although it is a durable metal (capable of withstanding 1,000 psi of pressure), copper is also lightweight, which makes it easier to work with (saving on labor costs) and also easier to extend over long stretches without supports. It’s also less expensive than steel and lead-free.
Copper is more environmentally friendly than plastic pipes because it consists of naturally occurring metal, whereas synthetic plastic creates a large amount of emissions during its manufacture.
Copper Pipes: Disadvantages
Although copper pipes are superior in almost all ways to galvanized steel pipes, there are places were PEX and CPVC pipes surpasses copper. Although copper costs less the steel, it costs more than plastic. Copper pipes also encounter problems from water acidity, so they are not good to install for plumbing systems that draw water from a well.
Copper is flexible as far as metals go, but plastic pipes can bend to fit into almost any space necessary. The color-coding of plastic pipes makes them much easier to use for plumbers, who can designate certain colors for hot and cold piping.
When it comes to providing plumbing for your home, you don’t need to make a decision of all copper pipes or all plastic pipes. A skilled plumber will mix the two, using copper for main lines and then PEX and CPVC for branching lines, identifying the best material for each job. This is why you should always trust your plumbing to a knowledgeable professional instead of an amateur.
Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing offers high quality service when you need a plumber in Gaithersburg, MD. Call us today for all your needs for pipe repair and replacements.