What’s Best: PVC Pipes or Copper Pipes?
For years, plumbers and handymen have argued over which is best for your home’s plumbing: PVC or copper piping. Like any two-option scenario, each has their own pros and cons, but there is no need to worry, Ohio Buckeye Plumbing is here to help! We put together some pros and cons for you so you can reach a decision on your own. If you aren’t sure what would work best for your situation, call our experts at (440) 283-9377, and we can help you decide which pipe fits your needs.
Copper pipes were once the only option for in-home plumbing, so most older homes have copper pipe systems already set up. Copper is a long-lasting and flexible metal that can be used to form pipes with very thin walls that are still very strong. It’s often a professional’s first choice, but there are some downsides like adding a metallic taste to your water.
|Last longer than PVC pipes (when the water running through is not acidic)||Cost is significantly higher compared to PVC pipes|
|Fits into tighter spaces thanks to thin walls||Prone to bursting if they freeze|
|Resist vibration damage better than PVC due to flexibility. Great for earthquake zones||Pinhole leaks can develop in acidic or corrosive water conditions|
|Cleaner and lower health risk as it contains no chemicals||Harder to install and requires more fittings and joints than PVC pipes|
|High resistance to chlorine and bacteria growth in normal municipal water conditions||Water may produce a metallic like taste|
|Usable outdoors||Noisier than PVC pipes, especially when at higher pressures|
|Lifespan of over 70 years|
|Accepted in municipal codes all across America|
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a strong, lightweight, and durable plastic compound that plumbers have used as pipes for years. This plumbing material is the main alternative in most new homes and is especially favored to help with reduction of theft and gutting of vacant homes.
|Resistant to corrosion because plastic doesn’t corrode in normal conditions||Doesn’t last as long due to cement used to bond the joints can break down and leak over time|
|Resistant to abrasions and impact damages better than copper pipe due to thickness||Joints aren’t as flexible|
|Less noise compared to copper piping, even with higher water velocities and speeds||Can’t fit into tighter spaces due to the thicker material|
|Easier installation vs copper pipes, especially for do-it-yourself enthusiast||Can produce a plastic taste in water|
|Significantly cheaper than other options||More delicate during installation, if dropped or stepped on it can crack|
|Better for areas exposed to high-traffic areas||Solvents used to join fittings and pipes need to be well-ventilated during installation|
|Doesn’t freeze as easily compared to copper||Inner CPVC pipe can support bacteria growth|
Knowing your home and what works best for it can help you to determine the best material to use. Location, age, and type of water system also make an impact in the decision to use a specific material. If your home already uses one material, and you are happy with it then stick to what has been working. If you are replacing the pipes or building a new home and need to decide on the right material, you’ll need to consider whether you live in a high-traffic area and the acidity of the water in your area. You should also choose based on whether you live in an Earthquake zone, but we don’t really have that problem here in Cleveland.
And as always if you are still unsure or would like a professional opinion, call your local plumber. For more information on copper and PVC pipes, or any plumbing needs call Ohio Buckeye Plumbing today at (440) 283-9377.