It’s time to roll up those sleeves and get to work. Maybe you’ve finally saved up enough money to replace those galvanized steel pipes in your basement, or perhaps you’re purchasing a new home that’s got some plumbing pipes that aren’t very reliable. Your first stop on this plumbing journey is understanding the different types of materials we use for pipes. Gone are the days of lead pipes and galvanized steel, and now we’re huge proponents of copper piping and PVC.
Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to know much about these materials. You might be able to recollect what PVC or copper look like, but when it comes to plumbing in West Palm Beach, FL, many homeowners don’t know why we use these materials so much.
Well, let’s talk about the benefits of each material and point you in the right direction for your next pipe replacement.
When homeowners think of replacing their pipes, sometimes they want the material that will last the longest without the most hassle. If you’re asking yourself “which plumbing material is the sturdiest and the most long-lasting?” Then the answer is copper.
Copper is strong, malleable, and it’s natural. You might not be surprised to hear contractors default to using copper for most plumbing systems. It’s a great replacement for pipes that used to be made out of lead or galvanized steel, because it’s just as sturdy as those materials except without all the associated health risks and hazards.
The only downsides to copper are its susceptibility to corrosion and its price. Copper pipes can corrode more easily than other materials because of the chemical make-up of this naturally occurring metal. It can turn green and start to oxidize from water with higher acidity levels or more minerals. Copper is also one of the most expensive materials to use for pipe replacements because of its reliability. This can sometimes steer homeowners towards PVC piping instead.
PVC pipes are essentially plumbing components that are made from plastic. Before you get the wrong idea, this plastic is incredibly durable and strong. PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride, and the specific makeup of it can differ from brand to brand. The common factors of PVC piping is that it’s reliable, resists corrosion and oxidization, and it’s extremely affordable.
PVC is a go to choice for many homeowners that are on a budget and looking to replace old steel or lead pipes. They’re extremely easy to install from a plumber’s perspective, and a PVC installation job can sometimes take just a short amount of time.
However, one thing is abundantly clear when you compare PVC to copper—PVC doesn’t last as long. PVC isn’t as flexible as copper and it’s not made of a robust metal, meaning it will deteriorate in a shorter amount of time than copper. If you’re just looking for a solution that lasts for a decade or so, then PVC should work just fine. If you’re overhauling your whole plumbing system and you’d like to invest in the future—copper pipes might be the best way to go.