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.