Better Plumbing Options

Major advances in technology have changed the way we construct and renovate our homes. Two decades past, copper pipe was the standard in as far as plumbing jobs were concerned. In fact, it was the only material used in plumbing works. Not anymore. Today’s construction and renovation projects use either copper or plastic in their plumbing jobs.

Which one should you use in your home construction or renovation? Just like with other construction materials, your choice will be based on the pluses as well as the tradeoffs of using these materials for your specific construction or renovation jobs.

Copper is a popular plumbing material for most people and is also perceived to be a more durable alternative. On the other hand, plastic plumbing materials transfer less heat and are considered as energy efficient option. However, there are certain areas where the use of plastic plumbing materials is restricted under existing safety regulations and building codes.

Copper is an inexpensive option, but will require a certain degree of competency and skill set for proper installation. If you are planning to perform the plumbing job yourself, then you would need to develop the skill of soldering copper joints. In addition to this, you also have to use a set of tools in order to perform the job. These include torch, pipe cutter, flux, emery paper and solder. Your range of choices of copper joints will be limited by what is available in your local home stores or plumbing supply outlets.

You can use copper tubing as an alternative if you can’t find the appropriate copper joints that you require in your plumbing job. The major downside of copper tubing is that it easily bends and may pose some safety issues in your plumbing job. In most instances, you have to solder the copper joints that go through tight areas. Repairing leaking copper joints is a challenging task even for those who are considered experts in copper plumbing jobs.

One of the major reasons why you will have to use copper in your plumbing is its availability. It has been in use for more than two decades and in countless construction and renovation projects. Its codes are well established and uncomplicated. In most renovations, copper is the logical choice as it is usually the material used in the existing plumbing systems. Experts attest to the fact that with the proper learning methods and tools, one can easily develop the proficiency and skill in soldering copper fittings the right way.

On the other hand, there are certain construction or renovation requirements that make plastic piping a better alternative to copper. Plastic piping is now turning to be the more common material in new construction and renovation projects. Compared to copper, plastic piping is easier to use and install. It is also a flexible and durable plumbing material.

You can choose from a wide range of plastic piping material depending on the requirements and specifications of your construction or renovation project. The most common types of plastic piping are the cross-linked and the chlorinated polyvinyl chloride tubing. Other types of plastic tubing include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride. These latter set of plastic piping are usually utilized in non-pressure applications such as the sewage, in applications where potability is not an issue and in underground plumbing jobs where UV exposure is not a concern.

For those who understand how to approach the job, plumbing is a pretty simple task regardless of the plumbing material being used. Your choice of plumbing material shall be based on existing building code, your skill and competency and your personal choice. No matter which type of plumbing material you use, if the job is performed the right way, copper or plastic piping will give you topnotch performance for many years to come.