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9 Reasons Why Copper Is Used In Plumbing

Copper is one of the most important metals used in plumbing today, but it is also one of the most maligned. Copper, PVC, and brass materials are used as alloys to provide durability, corrosion resistance, and longevity. There are many different types of copper plumbing fittings and pipes available.

Copper plumbing fittings have many benefits. As long as they are properly maintained and used in their appropriate applications, copper piping can be used for many years without any problems. Copper is a very soft metal compared to other metals used for plumbing and must be handled with care.

For example, when a copper pipe is cut for a new installation, it will show visible signs of damage. These dents and dings can be hammered out successfully by the average person with the proper tools. However, in most cases, it is recommended that a professional plumber from Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing perform any repairs or replacements to prevent further damage and ensure that your plumbing installations will last for years.

1. Durability

Copper is one of the most ductile and malleable metals, which means that it can be easily drawn into wires and bends without breaking. This ductility also means that copper plumbing fittings and pipes are very durable. Copper is particularly useful in homes where water pressure can vary significantly because copper expands and contracts with temperature changes much less than other metals.

2. Resistance to Corrosion

Copper has been used in plumbing for thousands of years because it is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. This property also makes it resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for plumbing because the piping handles water and other corrosive liquids. Many materials that were used in plumbing fixtures after copper, such as lead, were found to deteriorate and release chemicals that are unsafe for both humans and the environment. This led to a widespread initiative to remove lead pipes from American homes. Copper fittings and pipes do not need to be replaced because they do not rot or rust, even in corrosive environments.

3. Longevity

Copper has been used for thousands of years in plumbing applications, and experts say that it is unlikely to become obsolete anytime soon. In fact, copper plumbing fixtures have a lifespan of 70-80 years. PVC pipe, by contrast only lasts for about 25-45 years. As you can see, you get more value for your money when you use copper plumbing fixtures.

4. Cost

At first glance, the cost of copper plumbing fittings and plumbing pipes can appear to be somewhat prohibitive as it is definitely more expensive than PVC and PEX pipes. However, if you consider that copper has essentially double the lifespan of PVC pipes, the initial cost is worth it. Also, the fact that your home has copper pipes can add to its market value if you choose to sell your home.

5. Availability

Due to its widespread uses, copper plumbing fittings and pipes are much more widely available than other metals and are readily available from local hardware stores. This availability is beneficial for the average consumer and large contractors who use even larger quantities of copper plumbing products. Copper has been used in plumbing applications for so long that copper piping has been manufactured and sold in all shapes, colors, sizes, and configurations imaginable, making it easy to find the part you need.

6. Recyclability

Copper is one of the most widely recycled metals, which is essential for the environment and your pocketbook. When copper plumbing products are recycled, they are shipped to smelters, where they are melted down and shaped into new products.

Copper is one of the most in-demand metals at recycling centers, so you’ll always get top dollar. Depending on where you live, recycling centers typically offer $3.50-$4 per pound of copper, which can definitely help to offset the cost of new pipes. Some contractors will even remove your copper pipes for you and deduct the cost of the recycled material from your overall invoice, which saves you time, effort, and money.

7. Easy to Work With

One of the best benefits of copper in plumbing applications is that it is very easy to work with. When it comes time to install a new fixture or repair an old one, copper fittings are readily available and will fit together easily. You will only need to work with copper fittings when you are replacing a damaged section of pipe or fitting. While copper is not as strong as steel and aluminum, it is very flexible and malleable, which means that it will bend easily into shape without breaking.

8. Ease of Maintenance

One of the main reasons why copper plumbing fittings are so popular is that they are easy to maintain. Copper has excellent resistance to corrosion, which means that only minimal amounts of chemicals or water will be needed to maintain its surface. For all-natural cleaning, cut a lemon in half. On the inside, sprinkle salt or baking soda. Then, rub the lemon half on the pipe. This should take care of any stains.

For hard-to-reach places, simply get a copper cleaner, add it to a cloth, and wipe. There are a number of readily available copper and brass cleaners at home improvement stores or online retailers. These cleaners are inexpensive, effective, and convenient.

9. Flexibility

Another reason copper is used in plumbing fittings and piping is that it is very flexible. This is especially true of larger, uninsulated pipes. Copper pipes can be bent without breaking or kinking, which means they are used to manufacture circular rings or even arches. For this reason, copper is often used for custom installations or for plumbing or water features that require unique shapes and sizes. This is why artists have been making sculptures, statues, installations, jewelry, and more out of copper for thousands of years.

This flexibility makes copper ideal for the parts of your plumbing system that are exposed to the elements, such as under a deck or downspout. Exposed copper pipe will often be protected under a concrete or masonry foundation, further protecting it from the harsh winds and rain that may damage the pipe.

Contact Us Today

If you are having problems with your plumbing system or need to install new copper piping for a new gas line or water heater in Tucson, AZ, and surrounding areas, contact a professional plumber to help you with all your plumbing needs. We’re proud to maintain an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. In addition to plumbing, we also offer comprehensive AC/Heat maintenance, service, and installation. Ask us about our $89 AC/Heat tune-up special!

At Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we offer a wide range of expert plumbing services to residential and commercial customers. Our services include new copper plumbing, drain cleaning and repair, clogged drains and sink stoppages, leaky faucets, toilet repairs, water heater repairs and replacement, home water filters, toilets, and urinals installed or replaced as well as many other plumbing services. We will help you with all your residential or commercial plumbing needs. For more information, contact us today.