Two popular options frequently considered are copper and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipes. It is essential to decide which type of piping is best suited to your project as you can't attach the two different materials once installed.
In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between copper and PVC piping, helping you make an informed decision for your plumbing needs.
Formed from durable, corrosion-resistant copper, which has been used in plumbing for centuries. It contains natural antimicrobial properties, making it a popular choice for water supply lines and indoor plumbing systems.
Crafted from synthetic plastic materials known as polyvinyl chloride. This type of piping is lightweight, flexible, and resistant to corrosion, making them a preferred choice for a variety of plumbing applications.
Generally, copper piping is more expensive than PVC pipes due to the higher cost of copper as a raw material. However, copper's longevity and durability can offset the initial investment, making it a cost-effective choice in the long run.
PVC pipes are relatively more affordable than copper pipes. Their lower material and installation costs make them an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners and contractors.
DURABILITY & LIFESPAN
Renowned for their exceptional durability and longevity, copper pipes can withstand high temperatures and pressure, making them suitable for both hot and cold-water applications. Containing an average lifespan of 50-70 years or more, copper piping is an excellent long-term investment.
Typically lasting 25-40 years, PVC pipes have a good lifespan. However, they may be susceptible to damage from exposure to extreme temperatures and certain chemicals. They are more commonly used for cold water supply lines and non-potable water applications.
Copper pipes require skilled installation due to their ridged nature. They usually need soldering or brazing together, which demands the appropriate tools and expertise. Copper is not as flexible as PVC, meaning they are less suitable for intricate or complex plumbing layouts.
PVC pipe is lightweight, easy to handle, and offers great flexibility during installation. They are often joined together using solvent cement or threaded fittings, meaning an overall faster installation and fitting process. The flexibility of PVC proves an ideal choice for applications where bends and turns are required.
MAINTENANCE & CORROSION
Copper piping is known for its corrosion resistance, providing an excellent and eco-friendly long-term option and performance. However, in areas with aggressive water conditions or acidic soil, harmful corrosion can occur over time. Within these cases, it is recommended to carry out regular maintenance, such as monitoring pH levels and water quality to prevent any potential issues.
PVC Piping is even more resistant to corrosion than copper piping. They also protect against chemical degradation, making them a low-maintenance option. They do not require protective coatings or regular inspection to prevent corrosion-related issues, unlike copper pipes.
When it comes to choosing between copper and PVC piping for your plumbing needs, it's essential to weigh the factors of cost, durability, installation, and maintenance. We recommend consulting with a licensed plumber to ensure you're meeting your specific plumbing needs, local regulations, and building codes to make the best choice for your project.
Copper pipes offer longevity and proven performance, while PVC pipes provide affordability and ease of installation. Ultimately, the decision will depend on your specific requirements, budget, and preferences.
At The Plumbline, we understand the importance of making informed choices for your plumbing projects. Our team of experienced professionals is here to provide expert guidance and quality products to ensure the success of your plumbing endeavours.
Contact us today using our Contact Us page to explore the wide range of options and find the perfect solution for your plumbing needs. Alternatively, you can visit one of our five branches, and find your nearest branch using our Branch Locator.