Should You Get PVC or Copper Plumbing For Your Home
For a long time, there have been debates regarding PVC water pipes are better than copper water pipes when it comes to home applications. As a DIY home improvement handyman or professional plumber, you must have heard debates or even participated in some of them. While this write-up is not about which one is better than the other when you want to lay down a plumbing system for your home’s water supply, it will examine some of the pros and cons of both and let you be the judge. Again, it all depends on your plumbing goals or what you intend to use the pipes for, your budget, preference, and style. To be sure, you can ask professional residential and commercial plumbers, but below is an evaluation of PVC water pipes vs copper water pipes.
PVC Water Pipes
These are made from strong, lightweight polyvinyl chloride material. Since the compound is durable, plumbers and DIY enthusiasts have used it for water pipes for several years. The pros include corrosion resistance, as plastic does not corrode. In addition, it is quieter at high water speeds and more affordable than copper. DIY’ers can also cut and install the plastic easily than they would copper pipe. Besides, it does not freeze easily because it is a poor heat conductor, unlike copper.
The cons, however, include the fact that it is not long-lasting and the cement used to glue the joints together can break down over time, thereby causing a leak. The material is also not very flexible at joints and there are claims that PVC water pipe users are at risk of chemical contamination although no specific health issues have been linked to PVC use. Moreover, it’s thickness makes it hard to fit the PVC pipe into tight spaces, unlike copper.
Copper Water Pipes
Copper pipes once dominated home plumbing systems and older homes still have these pipe systems. Copper strong and flexible and is often used to design thin but strong pipes. Professional plumbers and contractors still consider it their first choice and can add a copper metal taste to your tap water, although not every homeowner likes the taste. The pros include the fact that it is more durable than PVC and fits well into tighter spaces. It is often used in small spaces, as the material is flexible but strong. Moreover, copper is resistant to vibration damage because of its flexibility and can be a good choice in earthquake-prone areas. Unlike PVC, which is made of potentially toxic chemicals, copper is cleaner and contains no toxic material.
Despite the numerous advantages, copper also has several cons as well. It is easily corroded if exposed to acidic water and is much more difficult to install than PVC. Its joints also have to be soldered, which can only be done properly by professional plumbers. Moreover, copper is noisier at higher water pressures and more expensive than PVC.
Now that you have already explored the pros and cons of each material, it is upon you to decide which one you’d prefer to use in your home’s water plumbing system. If you already have a PVC or copper pipe system and you seem to have no major problems with it, then you have no reason to switch. However, remember that your choice of pipe should depend on several factors, including the acidity of the water, the frequency of earthquake occurrence, and the traffic in the area among other factors