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Copper vs. PVC Pipe


Copper vs. PVC vs. Galvanized – Which Pipe Works the Best?

Some people pull their hair out trying to decide which pipes to buy for their indoor plumbing projects. In order to make it easier for you to decide, you need to know what material indoor plumbing pipes are made of. The three most common kinds of indoor pipes are listed as follows:

  • Copper
  • Galvanized
  • PVC

Now that you know that the main three types of indoor plumbing pipes are made of, you can analyze each type. Listed below are the advantages and disadvantages of Copper, Galvanized, and PVC. You can decide for yourself which is the best as you explore the advantages and disadvantages of each kind listed below.

Advantages and disadvantages of Copper

Copper is used most often in houses today, and is preferred by homeowners. The reason why, is because copper pipes increase the value of the home. Furthermore, they are safer than galvanized pipes because they do not contain lead. Also, copper pipes are more form fitting than PCV pipe. Copper pipes are smaller in diameter and can be used in tight places. Also, they are biostatic, which means that copper inhibits bacteria growth. Therefore the water is safer to drink. In addition, the insides of pipe to not have as much mineral buildup as galvanized pipes do. Also, they are more resistant to flame than PVC pipes. Copper pipes also are more prone to withstand earthquakes.

The disadvantage of Copper pipes is that they sometimes fail when water temperature is above 180 degrees. Furthermore, condensation often forms inside the pipes. When this condensation freezes, it blocks water flow. Another disadvantage is that coppers pipes cause water to have a slight metallic taste. Also, copper pipes are more costly to repair and install than PVC pipes.

Advantages and disadvantages of Galvanized

Galvanization is the process of coating a metal with zinc. Therefore, galvanized steel, and galvanized iron is more improved than the old steel and iron pipes. The zinc coating helps prevent corrosion and mineral deposits within the line. However, these pipes are better for larger construction projects. Sewage pluming, or and farm irrigation are some used for galvanized pipes.

The disadvantages of galvanized pipes are that they contain lead, and corrode quickly. The average life span of a galvanized pipeline is 40 years. Most homes today have replaced galvanized pipes with copper, because deposits build up in the inside of the water line, and cause extreme water flow blockage.

Advantages and disadvantages of PVC

PVC has many advantages over galvanized steel and copper. To begin with, it is the most lightweight of the three. This makes it easier to install. Also to mention, it is the least expensive of the three types. Also, it can withstand higher water pressure than the copper. Also, PVC is non-conductive, will not rust, and is not as conducive to condensation. In addition, PVC is less noisy at higher water pressure levels. Another advantage is that PVC can be placed under concrete slab without reacting to the concrete. Moreover, it is self-insulating. That is why it can handle hotter temperature water.

Even though it can withstand hot water temperatures, it is less flame resistant. That is one of the biggest disadvantages of PVC. Additionally, the pipes usually only comes in ½ inch to 2 inch sizes. This makes them very inflexible. Along with that, the PVC joints are very bulky. As a result, PVC pipes do not fit as well in tight places as copper. Also, PVC contains volatile compounds which are harmful to the environment. Furthermore, some people have complained that PVC pipes cause water to have a slight plastic taste.

The above descriptions of advantages and disadvantages of each type of indoor plumbing material are not entirely exclusive. It is wise for any one who wants to replace the pipes in their home to do some research. Many factors contribute to making the choice of which pipe material to use in a plumbing project.

Also, a person needs to know that copper and galvanized steel can not be connected together. The reason why, is because the two together can cause a chemical reaction. It is better to have only one type of pipe in your home. Along with that, which ever pipe you choose to use, remember it is best to complete the entire project with one single piping material. The exception to this may be if you are adding a short pipe in the back of the sink or toilet. Other than that, it is better to use all one pipe.

If you want to be sure that you have the safest and best water pipes for your home, you can do further research. Also, you can call a trained plumber to make that decision for you. Additionally, he is inclined to know how to safely install a plumbing system within your home. Therefore, when in doubt, it is best to let the plumber handle the job for you.

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