Deciding which material you will use for your plumbing fittings should always be worth careful consideration. After all, you do not want to become embroiled in constant repairs or overspending.
Copper is a very common material in plumbing and for good reason. Discover just why you should consider copper plumbing fittings:
The United States recognise copper as the material of choice for plumbing fittings. In fact, 95% of American homes are equipped with a copper plumbing set up. Despite the development of alternative materials, most newly built homes in the States are still fitted with copper plumbing. This is in no more small part because of its reliability and durability.
Firstly, copper is environmentally friendly and it simply will not crack or ruin, even after years of use. It is resistant to corrosion meaning that it can withstand extreme water temperature and pressures.
Copper fittings are strong, visually attractive and extremely leak-proof; they very rarely break down or pull apart. Unless outside influences affect the structure of your plumbing, copper requires virtually no maintenance and often outlasts the building that it has been installed in.
- Value for Money
Copper plumbing fittings are comparable in value to other materials. In fact, in most cases, raw materials and installation is cheaper than other less-reliable materials because of the abundant availability of copper.
The versatility of copper means that man hours are significantly reduced and its reliability means that once installed, you will not need to spend any more money on repairs.
A sound copper plumbing system will also add value to your house when the time comes to sell.
Copper fittings do not support combustion and will therefore not run the risk of letting off toxic gases in the case of a fire. In fact, copper will not even melt in a fire due to its high melting point (2000F) and will not carry a fire through walls or ceilings.
The installation of copper fittings does not require any solvents that contain environmentally harmful compounds. It is therefore the most naturally friendly choice of material.
The resistant nature of copper means that no contaminants can penetrate it; no harmful bacteria or other dangerous substances can enter the piping or fittings.
- Easy to Repair and Install
Not only can copper withstand very extreme conditions, if anything does go wrong, it is very easy to repair when compared to other materials used in plumbing.
The pliable nature of copper means that it can be easily shaped to appease any issues with leaks.
Open flame or electrical resistance heating can be used in both re-joining and to eliminate any frozen water blockages. This is because of the superior thermal conductivity in copper.
Not only is copper durable and corrosion resistant, it is comparatively malleable, meaning that working in tight spaces, or a lesser amount of material than normally required becomes far easier.
Copper fittings are also versatile in that they suit almost every design application and are extremely easily obtained.
It is likely that in 100 years’ time, copper will still be used in fittings and piping for plumbing works. The resources of copper globally far outweigh the current demands. Literally, thousands of years could pass before copper supply runs out, even if we stopped mining now.
Add to this the amount of copper that is recycled on a daily basis, and you have a true forever material.
With the amount of copper being used in plumbing and its vast number of aforementioned positives, why isn’t every plumbing installation in the world made from copper? Well, despite being value for money compared to some other popular materials, it is far more costly than plastics. This means that copper fittings are restricted to certain, more financially stable areas of the world.
While copper is fantastic in withstanding high temperatures, it fairs far worse facing cold temperatures. Extreme cold weather can cause water to freeze in the piping, which consequentially splits the copper. This would mean substantial repair works, which would cost a considerable amount.
Lastly, copper is probably an unsuitable material for your plumbing if you live in an area where the water is highly acidic. This is one of the few things that can corrode copper, in spite of its well-known durability.
While these negatives are serious factors to consider, it should not put any potential customer from buying copper plumbing fittings. It is one of the most frequently used and reliable materials in the industry and most professionals would recommend copper as a potential option.
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