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Question DetailsAsked on 5/16/2011

Copper vs. PVC

Any opinions on which is better or why to choose one over the other? I need to replace some sections of pipe in the basement and want to know which to ask for. I currently have copper.

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3 Answers

0
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When I purchased my home, it had full copper plumbing. I have replaced some, and adde more as things get rearanged and such I have replaced some with copper and some with PVC. If your not used to plumbing (and actually even if you are) PVC is far easier to work with, requires no special tool, and is by far cheaper to use. Other advantages are it will bend slightly to line up with holes through floors and walls easily. A saw and a package that contains a primer, and a glue are all that is required (other than pipe and fittings) when working with plastics. Remember to remove the burr from inside the pipe after cutting.

The down side of PVC (or any of the plastics) is being more difficult to thaw if it freezes, and when frozen fittings tend to break open unlike copper where the pipes tend to split.

Copper Although harder to work with, and requiring more tools to install has a different set of advantages. Copper can take more of an impact than the plastics without breaking (IMHO), you will not need as many clips to keep it from bending and sagging from the weight of the water in it. because it is a better conducter of heat, when frozen it thaws faster with simple tools (hair dryer). Another advantage, is it has stood the test of time for generations already.

There is also a new system out as well (Shark Bite) it is easier than either to work with. It is a thin wall highly flexible pipe, with fittings that just slide on the ends (no glue required) (Fittings will connect to existing copper pipe too) I generally try to avoid this (although there is some in my home now) because of the high cost of fittings ( $4.00 - $7.00 locally compared to $.06 - $.75 for copper or plastic)

Answered 7 years ago by Woogyeman

0
Votes

Don't use either. Go to Home Depot or Lowe's and rent a pair of pex crimpers for $6.00/day. Use pex to replace your copper. You can make transition from copper to pex using a SharkBite connectors.

Answered 7 years ago by Mike the Plumber

0
Votes

We use the copper, and no complaints we have.

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Answered 7 years ago by mischelle




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