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Copper piping?

This topic contains 7 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  theamcguy 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #719936

    dadajo
    Pro

    Is there really an advantage to copper piping? I’m a remodeler and people ask me sometimes and I have to direct them to a plumber. I should be able to give them something basic.

    #719950

    CB
    Pro

    Is there really an advantage to copper piping? I’m a remodeler and people ask me sometimes and I have to direct them to a plumber. I should be able to give them something basic.

    “Advantage”? As opposed to?

    When considering any advantage that Y has over X, the X under consideration needs to be known. But in the absence of what you are comparing copper to, here’s a stab at the usual suspects…

    Advantages of Copper over PEX

    Rats, and even some insects, can chew threw plastic. If a mouse wants to get from stud bay A to stud bay B, and the hole through which the PEX pipe passes isn’t quite wide enough for her to squeeze through, and there is a metal stud jacket surrounding the pipe penetration through the stud, then the plastic is the next easiest thing to chew through to get where the mouse wants to go.

    Fire, not the catastrophic kind, but just the small fires that get put out in time, can burn through plastic, with its lower melting point, much quicker than it can smelt copper.

    Sustainability, non existent with PEX in the current market. Copper is recycled. PEX is landfill, and part of the entire plastics regime that is clogging our oceans.

    Sun, can’t use PEX for outside hose bib feeds and irrigation. The UV rays degrade the plastic overtime, leading to embrittlement and eventual failure.

    Advantages of Copper over Galvanized Piping

    Here, a picture is worth 1,000 words:

    #719952

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I personally prefer type L copper for water supply lines.

    I don’t bother with CPVC after seeing how easy their joints can fail.

    Galvanized no thanks.

    PEX, agree with CB about critters chewing through PEX in attics and wall cavities. But one big advantage of PEX is you can minimize the number of joints significantly. If I pipe with PEX I would run the cold supply to where the water heater is, then have two manifolds one for cold one for hot and do “home runs” for each kitchen and bathroom and each can be turned on or off individually. To do that with copper would be cost prohibitive.

    Even if you use plastic most likely the last few feet to the stubouts would be in copper anyways, to add some rigidity to mixing valves, to avoid plastics for at least 36″-48″ of a water heater outlet side etc…

    I have heard in some locales copper pipes do develop pin holes quickly due to water PH.

    #719965

    Sorpa
    Pro
    Pierrefonds, Qc

    I’m a copper guy.
    Maybe because I have all the tools. And I like to weld/solder. All subjective I know.

    #719979

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    PEX is cheaper and easier to run in the walls. That’a about it.. copper is better most every way.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #725475

    KenW
    Pro

    For those homeowners who are fishkeeper’s it might be an issue having copper piping. Any leaching of the copper into the water supply will become toxic to their fish, shrimp and snails. Saltwater systems are especially sensitive to copper.

    #725573

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    we have used PEX in our homes since 2001 without a problem. I think the downside of it is greatly exaggerated. In our area unless it is a real small job, with just a few feet of copper, the plumbers will not touch it without transitioning to PEX. The pricing for labor on copper and the associated material is out of sight.

    I have never had any PEX on a job with a pinhole from the factory but I have had copper come that way.

    In a lot of ways the growth of PEX on jobsites boils down to the lowest common denominator just like a lot of other things. It is easier to install than copper is “correctly” so a lower skilled installer can do it. Unfortunately, with the labor shortages in out industry, we will wee this more and more in many of the products we sue.

    #725584

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    The pricing for labor on copper and the associated material is out of sight.

    I can believe it. Pex is so much easier to use. By now all the “teething” problems have been solved. The only real issue is longevity. Will it last a lifetime like copper.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

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