If you live in an older home and you know that you have old plumbing, there’s a strong possibility that your pipes are made of iron, steel, or lead. These materials are no longer used in household plumbing and today’s water pipes are usually made of copper, although polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes are gaining in popularity as well.
If you have old iron pipes, you should consider replacing them with copper or PVC pipes, and if your pipes are made of lead, then they should definitely be replaced.
Why switch to copper or PVC water pipes?
Some reasons why copper and PVC are the best alternatives for your plumbing system:
- They are both relatively non-toxic. Copper is not only a natural material, but it is safe for people’s health. PVC pipes are also safe, whereas lead is highly toxic and can corrode into the drinking water system.
- Copper doesn’t absorb other substances when it’s exposed to contaminants, thus it protects the household water supply. PVC is also a safe material that carries drinking water.
- Iron pipes corrode easily, copper and PVC pipes don’t.
- Due to the “ductile” quality of copper pipes, it’s softer than iron and lead and therefore easier to work with. PVC is also much easier to shape.
- Copper usually means lower installation costs because it’s easy to join by brazing or soldering.
Not only are copper pipes highly durable, but they also handle heat well without compromising strength.
- Copper pipes are resistant to corrosion and high-water pressure.
- Copper and PVC pipes are recyclable materials, so they have a minimal impact on the environment.
- Copper is an abundant resource in the United States and nearly half of the copper used in the U.S. comes from recycled scrap metal.
- Copper fittings can add value to your home.
- Copper is low-maintenance, and it looks great.
These points explain why copper and plastic are the most trusted and commonly used materials in today’s modern plumbing.
Another common favorite among plumbers and home builders is chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) piping, which has replaced PVC in many areas because it is believed to be even safer than PVC. CPVC pipes are essentially plastic pipes and are also easy to work with.
Should You Choose Copper or Plastic?
Which material is right for your home? Your best bet is to contact A-1 Sewer & Septic Services Inc. and ask one of our Kansas City plumbers to help you decide. Your choice will come down to your budget, how long you intend to live in your home, the quality of your water and where you live.