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If you need any type of plumbing repairs done in your home, you may need to replace the entire plumbing or certain sections of the plumbing. In these situations, you’ll usually be given the option of choosing a material that you’d like to work with. There are many different options to choose from. Popular choices include copper pipes, galvanized steel pipes, Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC) and more.
Copper pipes are by far some of the most popular choices for plumbing repairs. They’re compatible with both old and new homes. This article will look in-depth at copper plumbing and the unique advantages and disadvantages that they offer.
What Are the Different Types of Copper Plumbing?
There isn’t just one type of copper plumbing. There are actually two different types that you can choose from: rigid copper and flexible copper tubing. The option that you choose will depend on the type of plumbing repairs that your home needs.
Rigid copper is difficult to work with due to the fact that it’s hard. There isn’t a lot of leeway. In general, the licensed contractors will need to cut large plumbing into smaller pieces and then solder them together. Working with rigid copper can be time-consuming and costly.
The other option is flexible copper tubing. This type of plumbing is much softer and malleable. It’s a great choice for repairs that need to be performed in tight and small areas. This type of plumbing will offer a lot more flexibility, which is why you’ll often find them in corners or in supply lines that connect to the faucets.
Understanding the Different Sizes
Other than types of copper plumbing, there are also different sizes of copper plumbing. Copper pipes can be measured by diameter or by thickness. Some of the most common diameter sizes include 15mm and 22mm. If you need larger or thinner pipes, you may need to get a custom job from the plumbing company.
When it comes to the thickness of copper pipes, you’ll need to familiarize with a distinct grading system. This grading system separates copper pipes into three different categories:
- Type M, which is the thinnest type of copper plumbing found in homes. This type of plumbing can be used for water piping; however, it’s more often than not used for drains.
- Type L, which is of a medium thickness. This is the type of copper plumbing that you’ll usually find connecting the hot and cold supply lines to other sections of the plumbing.
- Type K, which is the thickest type of copper plumbing out there. Type K copper plumbing is often used for underground service lines. They may also be recommended to those who live in extremely harsh winter environments.
If you’re not a professional, you may not necessarily know what thickness is best for the plumbing repairs that you have in mind.
Pros and Cons of Copper Pipes
Are copper pipes necessarily better than galvanized steel pipes or Polyvinyl Chloride Pipes (PVC)?
Like with most things, there are many factors that you should consider before deciding to use copper parts and pipes for your repairs in San Antonio, TX. Copper pipes come with its unique advantages and drawbacks.
Benefits of Copper Plumbing
You’ll find that many old homes have copper pipes in them. Many newer homes will also have copper pipes in them. Copper pipes are simply a very popular material. There’s a reason why this material has been able to stand the test of time. It can offer some very unique benefit, like:
- Increased longevity. Did you know that copper pipes have some of the longest shelf lives out there when it comes to plumbing? This is why they are some of the most common pipes used in plumbing repairs. This material can easily last over 50 years, which means that the plumbing repairs will likely last your entire lifetime. They’ll be someone else’s problem if they start acting up.
- Enhanced durability. Copper pipes are some of the most common materials used in plumbing repairs. They are very sturdy and are not prone to leakages or corrosion. They are also able to tolerate extreme temperature changes without breaking down.
- Safety and cleanness. Here’s another interesting fact. Bacteria cannot live in copper plumbing. Due to this reason, many people consider copper plumbing to be cleaner than other alternatives.
- Environmentally-friendly. We really need to start appreciating the planet that we live on and the resources that it provides us. Copper plumbing is environmentally-friendly because it is recyclable.
All of these unique characteristics of copper plumbing have made it a common choice for those who are opting for plumbing repairs. The replacement copper pipes are well worth their price.
Drawbacks to Consider
Although copper pipes come with many advantages, they also come with some drawbacks as well that may make some people hesitate to use them. Some of the more commonly known drawbacks of copper pipes include:
- Overall cost. Copper plumbing tends to be more expensive than other types of plumbing supplies. This is especially true as copper prices have gone up over the years. If you plan on using copper pipes in your plumbing repairs, be prepared to spend a pretty penny.
- The cost of mining copper. Although copper is an environmentally friendly material because it is recyclable, it does come with a rather high environmental cost. Copper mining and manufacturing does take a significant toll on the environment.
Despite these drawbacks, copper plumbing is a very popular choice. If you want to figure out whether copper plumbing is a good choice for your situation, speak to a specialist. One of our contractors can come out to assess your home situation to see whether it’ll be worth it for you to use copper pipes as replacement parts.
Speak to One of Our Professionals for More Information
If you are interested in learning more about copper plumbing, do not hesitate to speak to one of our licensed contractors in San Antonio, TX. Here, at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, our licensed contractors have worked with a wide range of materials. They know the advantages and drawbacks of each material like the back of their hands and can help you find a material that is suitable for your situation.