The jury is still out when it comes to a definitive answer to the question of which type of pipe is better for plumbing in your home. Some experts still prefer to use copper pipe even though other types such as plastic CPVC and PEX are very popular.
Copper pipe has advantages over plastic pipe, and most plumbers and contractors agree: when it comes to the choice of whether or not to use copper pipe in your home, you should consider your specific needs, such as where you need to place the pipes and what kind of climate you live in. The advice of a trusted and reputable contractor is vital; they can offer you their expert opinion based on experience with all types of pipe and offer suggestions for your unique situation.
Copper pipe has been used for plumbing for a very long time. Many contractors swear by it and love working with it because it is so easy to install, and fewer tools are needed. Again, preference seems to vary with different contractors.
Durability and flexibility are important features of copper pipe. In a natural disaster, copper pipe may flex and resist snapping, making it a safer choice for earthquake prone areas. Copper pipe is also a good choice for the environment because it can be recycled.
Copper pipe is bacteriostatic, meaning that it is resistant to bacterial growth, which keeps the water in your home clean. It also resists corrosion more than other metals do. The down side of this is that copper can corrode; if it does, your water may have a metallic taste due to copper levels present in the water.
When it comes to weather and functioning properly outdoors, copper pipe is very resistant and durable. It is not affected or degraded by ultraviolet rays. If there is a fire, it releases no harmful toxic gasses due to its resistance to burning.
There are a few disadvantages to using copper pipe. As was mentioned, it can corrode, although it does resist corrosion. Copper has also become expensive, sometimes ten to fifteen times more expensive than PEX piping. Copper pipe can also freeze and break in extremely cold temperatures.
Some plumbers like the fact that copper pipe is joined together with solder which creates strong, reliable joints. Some prefer the ease of being able to turn off each segment of piping when using PEX pipes and don’t mind the extra tools required. It really depends on your area of the country and your plumbing contractor as to which type is best for your home.
If you are replacing pipe in your home or building a home and are considering copper pipe, do some research and be sure to check with builders and plumbing contractors in your area to be sure you have all the facts.