Copper Or PVC Pipe?
Each has numerous benefits and advantages.
Posted 15:31 November 12, 2022
Last Updated 15:44 November 12, 2022
If you're getting ready to renovate a part of your home where there is plumbing (such as a bathroom or kitchen), there are several different kinds of pipe you might run into. What you find depends on the age of your home, along with where in the world your home was built. Clark County and Las Vegas Nevada are known for their dry, aired climates. Because of the intense heat during our summer months, selecting a the right kind of plumbing is more important than one might first imagine. Numerous options are available. Here are a few choices to help you select the best piping for your southern Nevada home.
Copper pipe is the best material available for water supply pipelines. It is available as both rigid or flexible pipe, and chromed copper is a popular choice for exposed areas. Copper pipe resists corrosion while sweat-soldered joints are extremely durable and have proven to last over time.
Rigid copper pipe is approved for home water supply lines by all local plumbing codes. It is available in 3 wall thicknesses:
A thin and inexpensive pipe. It is a good choice for bathroom plumbing and do-it-yourself projects.
A strong and easily soldered pipe. It is the preferred choice of plumbing contractors who wants top-notch, quality bathroom plumbing.
The heaviest wall thickness available. It is most often used for underground water service lines where durability is paramount.
Flexible copper pipe comes in only 2 wall thicknesses: types L and K. Type K is traditionally used for water lines and type L is traditionally used for gas lines.
DWV (drain, waste, and vent) copper pipe is only approved for drain and vent systems. Copper DWV pipe comes in larger diameters than the other types of copper pipe. It is distinguished by its yellow markings. It also has thinner walls than the other types of copper pipe, as it is not submitted to the same pressures that water supply lines are. The thin walls of DWV copper pipe can only withstand a maximum pressure rating of 15 psi. It can often be found in older homes, where as newer homes tend to use less expensive PVC pipe.
Copper piping, while expensive, is the very best one can get. There are no concerns about toxicity to drinking water with copper pipes, and the extreme Nevada heat does not affect copper like it does other piping materials. For those looking to eliminate future plumbing problems, you just can't go wrong with copper pipe. However, the cost of copper piping can be prohibitive.
Lightweight, easy to use, and inexpensive, plastic pipe is popular choice for residential plumbing purposes. Plastic pipe is available in PVC, CPVC, ABS, and PEX forms. There is also PB, but its use is prohibited by many local codes.
Available in both flexible and rigid forms, plastic pipe is the most commonly used pipe in construction today. It is known to have high durability and a much lower cost than copper pipe.
PVC pipe (polyvinyl chloride) is resistant to heat and chemical damage. It meets all plumbing code requirements for above ground use. PVC pipes are often the pipe of choice for many different plumbing applications. It's typically used indoor as it's soundproof, so you won't hear water flowing through the system.
CPVC pipe (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) withstands the high temperatures and pressures of water supply systems. It is more durable and lasts longer than PVC pipe. The chemical composition of CPVC makes it much more resistant to corrosion and degradation over time than PVC. PVC's maximum operating temperature is 140 degrees, whereas for CPVC it is 200 degrees. CPVC is also more resistant to many chemicals and solvents.
All of the added benefits of CPVC pipe also add to its price. CPVC pipe is more expensive than PVC pipe.
ABS pipe (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) contains a chemical called bisphenol A, also known as BPA, and PVC doesn't. BPA is used in various types of resins and plastics because it creates a very durable pipe. Though there is some disagreement as to the potential health risks of BPA to humans and animals, ABS pipe considered safe in certain amounts by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. ABS piping is a cost-effective alternative for residential and commercial uses. It will not flake, disolve, peel, fade, rot, or leak - unless it is punctured or damaged. It's a prime choice for use underground, outside, in the extreme cold, and where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight. It's most often used in drain, waste, and vent piping systems. ABS pipe is frequently used in sewer systems for drainage, septic systems, and as electrical insulation pipe.
PEX pipe (polyethylene cross linked) is the newest type of plastic pipe available today. It is commonly used in water supply line applications. It features an easy to used crimp installation method that involves crimping a ring around a ribbed fitting using a specialized tool. PEX can even be retrofitted to copper or PVC pipes using the crimp method and specialized fittings, making it a great repair pipe.
PEX pipe has shown to be susceptible to deterioration from ultraviolet rays. As a result these pipes can't be used outside, or in the state of California. But in Nevada they are a great choice when repairing water supply lines.
There are many different kinds of pipe to choose from when starting a home renovation project. What you choose will depend on your intended use and budget. If the choices seem a bit overwhelming, contact the professional plumbers at All Trades for a no-obligation consultation. We can complete your renovation project fast and give you the peace of mind that comes along with professional installation. We service Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and most parts of Clark County Nevada.