If the plumbing in your home is old, it is likely that your water pipes are made from iron, steel, or lead. Modern water pipes are almost always made from copper, although plastic or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes are becoming popular too. You should consider replacing old iron pipes with modern copper or PVC pipes, and lead water pipes should certainly be replaced.
The Advantages of Copper and PVC Water Pipes
Copper and PVC water pipes are relatively non-toxic. Copper is a natural material that has been proven to be safe to health. PVC pipes are also safe. Lead on the other hand is extremely toxic. Lead is corrosive and can leak into the drinking water system. Exposure to lead can lead to a range of health problems and eventually end in death. Lead cannot be removed once it gets into a person's system.
Copper is non-permeable. It doesn't absorb other substances with which it comes into contact so it protects against contaminants to the water supply. PVC is likewise a safe material to carry drinking water.
Copper and PVC water pipes do not suffer easily from corrosion, while iron corrodes relatively easily.
Copper is relatively easy to work with because it is much softer than iron or lead. PVC water pipes are also much easier to shape. Copper water pipes usually have lower installation costs because copper is easy to join by soldering or brazing.
The ductile quality of copper pipes mean that it is often possible to eliminate elbows and joints, which contribute to the integrity of the system as well as lowering installation costs. PVC water pipes can be molded to the required shape, which can likewise contribute to the integrity of the system.
Copper water pipes are durable. Copper pipes are good at handling heat without losing strength or shape and are resist corrosion and high water-pressure.
Copper and PVC pipes offer value for money, especially when installation costs and durability are taken into account.
Copper and PVC pipes have a minimal impact on the environment because copper and PVC are recyclable materials. Almost half of the copper used in the U.S. comes from recycled scrap. Copper is also an abundant resource in the U.S.
Copper fittings keep their value and can add value to a home.
Copper is a low-maintenance option for water pipes because it never requires painting to protect it from corrosion, and it looks good.
These points make it is easy to see why copper and PVC are the most common materials used in modern plumbing.
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