Copper and PVCs are two of the most popular materials used in creating water pipes and fittings. Copper has been the material of choice over the past few decades; however, PVCs are challenging its dominance for 15 years now. The increasing cost of copper has been contributing to the PVC’s increasing popularity today. Both of which are effective and can last for decades if maintained properly. However, both come with advantages and disadvantages.
PVCs became much more common in the plumbing industry over the past few years; they are more commonly used in residential and commercial buildings. Compared to copper plumbing, PVC plumbing systems will obviously not oxidize and rust. If installed properly, it can last up to 75 years which is many times longer than its manufacturer’s warranty. They are also relatively easier to install than most copper plumbing since you need not solder it. In order to properly install it, the plumber needs a piping, PVC paste, PVC primer, PVC coupling, and a hacksaw to make sure that the length is correct.
Some of the disadvantages of using PVC plumbing system are that the piping is made up of polyvinyl chloride. Polyvinyl chloride is a resin that will release toxic materials that are fatal in the event of fire. It is also not as durable as the copper since it may crack or become damaged when there is an earthquake or any structural damage that may happen to the building. It also has limited sizes available compared to copper plumbing.
The copper plumbing system is tried and tested. It is long lasting and is widely accepted by all plumbing codes. Copper pipes are malleable enough to be bent and manipulated by plumbers into a snake pipe through a certain tight spot or curve. Aside from that, it also increases the value of the home. Copper plumbing system has a relatively smaller diameter than that of the PVC plumbing; thus it helps in conserving space in the entire plumbing system of the house.
When using this type of plumbing system, water may sound loud as it may give out a “hammer” sound. When oxidation occurs, the drinking water may have a slightly metallic taste. Aside from that, it needs to be soldered; thus, it is difficult to install compared to PVCs. The high value for resale of copper plumbing also makes it a potential target for theft.
Price Difference of Copper and PVCs
As mentioned above, PVC plumbing is cheaper than that of copper plumbing systems. Since the value of copper fluctuates over time, the difference may be significant. Because the installation of copper plumbing systems may require great skill than that of PVCs, homeowners can save money with the use of PVCs.
Improving and remodeling old bathtub fixtures will help give the bathroom a modern, customized look that is just within the budget of the homeowner. When buying new bathtub fixtures, you need to look for fixtures that are of the same time, such as single-, double-, or triple- handed faucet. Using the same type of bathroom fixtures makes its replacement easier and it prevents the homeowner from having to change and repair the bathroom walls. It is important that fixtures should be replaced at the right time to prevent water from leaking from the faucet. Note that this task will only require basic plumbing skills; thus, you may not require plumbers if you have the knowledge to do so.
Steps in Replacing New bathtub Fixtures
- For you to be able to access the bathtub faucet, you need to remove the access panel which is found at the back of the bathtub wall. Some access panels may pop out of place, while others may be kept in place with screws.
- You need to turn off the hot and cold water supply to the bathtub faucet. If you see that there are no valves in the access panel, you need to shut off the main water supply in the entire house.
- Using an adjustable wrench or slip-groove pliers, turn the showerhead counter clockwise in order to remove it. Remove the metal escutcheon plate by sliding it off the shower arm and removing the shower arm using the slip-groove pliers.
- Remove the bathtub faucet by using a screwdriver or an Allen wrench. Allen screws or ordinary screws are usually found behind the hot and cold buttons that you can find on the handles.
- Remove the stem collars and slide of the escutcheon plates. These plates are kept on using screws at the bottom portion of the plates; to remove the plates, you need to remove the screws as well.
- Remove the old stems using an adjustable wrench.
- The bathtub spout must be turned counter clockwise with the use of slip-groove pliers or loosen the screw on its underside to remove the spout. Some bathtub spouts can be screwed on and off; meanwhile, others would just slide off as soon as the supporting screw has been removed.
- If you are planning to remove and replace the faucet, you may do this by loosening the hot and cold water pipes with plumber’s wrench.
- With the use of a screwdriver, you need to remove the overflow cover plate screws.
- Remove the drain plug and bathtub drain. This drain requires installation and removal tools which fastens and loosens the drain as the tool is turned.
- Replace the old faucet with the new one. Use a plumber’s tape to wrap both ends of the water pipe unions. Tighten the nuts using a pipe wrench.
- Using plumber’s grease, lube the new stems and install them into the faucet.
- Install new stem collars and escutcheon plates.
- Put the new faucet handles in place and tighten up the screws for installation. Refer to the manufacturer’s instruction to properly replace the faucet.
- Use plumber’s tape to the new shower arm threads. Wrap it in a counter clockwise manner to prevent them from backing off the threads as you tighten the shower arm.
- Install your new shower arm using the slip-groove pliers to secure it snugly. Place the new escutcheon plate over the shower arm and hold the new shower head in place with screws.
- Place the new overflow cover plate according to the instructions of the manufacturer. Note that installation may vary from one manufacturer to another.
- Use plumber’s tape to the new bathtub drain threads and screw it in place.
- Caulk the bathtub spout and bathtub faucet in order to prevent water leakage. Allow it to dry.
- Turn on the water supply to the faucet or the entire house and check if there are any leaks.