No matter what room you’re in or what you’re doing, you’re probably near a gas or water pipe. It makes sense to get familiar with these materials before there’s a problem. Unfortunately, we don’t usually think about the various tubes running through our homes and offices until something goes wrong.
The Most Common Types of Tubing in The Plumbing Industry
In the plumbing industry, copper and PVC are the two most common types of pipe used inside homes and businesses. Choosing the right one for your house depends on several factors, including cost, durability and ease of installation. In this article, we’ll examine what makes each pipe unique. Also, we’ll compare Copper and PVC to help readers decide which tubing is best for them.
Copper pipe is a fairly simple material. It’s malleable, conductive and not affected by water. So why isn’t it the most popular piping option available? Well, there are a few reasons. It is more expensive than other materials, it’s harder to install and it takes longer to dry. Despite its shortcomings, copper piping provides a solid and resilient seal that reduces the risk of water leaks even over time.
Copper is an excellent material for water pipes because it is resistant to corrosion, unlike iron or galvanized steel. Plumbing pipes made of copper aren’t only safer, but they can also be more aesthetically pleasing. Copper can be bright and shiny, or it can be dark brown or green to give it a more aged look. Either way, copper pipe is going to last a very long time.
PVC is short for polyvinyl chloride, and it’s one of the best materials on the market today. It’s so good that companies routinely use it for drain pipes. Believe it or not, PVC is stretching the limits of modern-day technology. PVC is tough, durable, lightweight and a lot cheaper than other materials out there.
Since its invention in the 1930s, PVC piping has become a mainstay of building plumbing systems. It’s cheap, easy to install and very popular.
Copper Versus PVC
The debate over copper and PVC plumbing pipes has been around for decades. Each type has its attributes and drawbacks. Remember that whichever one you choose will be a long-term investment. Before spending, it’s best to compare their strengths and weaknesses.
Which Is Less Expensive?
You could expect to pay $8,000 to $10,000 to have a plumber replace old pipes with new copper piping. When considering expense, the winner is PVC.
Which Lasts Longer?
Copper pipes are more expensive than PVC pipes, but they can last longer. Copper pipes can last for over 100 years. Although PVC is durable, copper is the winner.
Which Is Easier to Install?
PVC pipe joints are quick and easy to assemble, but they won’t last as long as soldered copper pipe joints. You can make a PVC pipe joint by gluing the edges of the PVC pipe with PVC cement or solvent cement. The glue absorbs into the soft plastic of the pipe and turns into a rubber-like material. On the other hand, copper tube joints require soldering during installation. It’s definitely easier to install PVC than copper.
Which Is More Prone to Breaking?
Unfortunately, PVC is a type of plastic. When exposed to hot water, PVC piping will warp. When exposed to cold water, it contracts and shrinks. This could cause the pipe to crack and leak all over your bathroom floor. For resisting breakage, copper wins.
Which Is Better in Freezing Temperatures?
Ultimately, the type of pipe you choose will depend on the area in which you live. If you live in a cold climate, most plumbers will recommend PVC pipe to prevent freezing. If you live in an area where freezing temperatures aren’t common, copper may be a better choice because it’s more malleable. PVC is generally less susceptible to freezing conditions.
Which Fits in More Spaces?
PVC pipe is generally thicker, and it can’t fit into tight spaces as well as copper pipe can. Some PVC plumbing pipe is so thick it won’t even fit over a three-quarter-inch copper tube. For this consideration, copper comes out ahead.
You Be the Judge
While these two pipe types are both durable and reliable, they each have their pros and cons. PVC pipe is the most popular choice for HVAC because it’s inexpensive and easy to install. In contrast, it’s almost impossible for copper pipes to leak. Whichever one you choose, your decision will ultimately depend on your home and personal preference. If you’re in the Las Vegas area and require further information on this topic, turn to BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair. We can not only install your new pipes and perform a complete range of plumbing services, but we also perform heating and cooling installation, repair and maintenance. Call us today.