Most people don’t understand the importance of their plumbing system in the health of their home – you could think of it as the veins of your home. It helps circulate water through your home and ensures that everything is clean and waste is disposed of!
Like with your blood, when something goes wrong with your plumbing, it can be devastating. So, as with knowing some first aid, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of your plumbing system and how to fix certain problems yourself, before having to call in the experts.
One particular issue is copper piping:
Copper Piping – Should It Stay Or Should It Go?
Many houses have copper plumbing all through the house. Indeed, 20 years ago copper was the only choice! Now we have the choice between copper and several plastic piping solutions. The general opinion seems to be that copper piping is bad, in that the water easily corrodes the pipes, resulting in frequent leaks. Copper traces in the water is also generally regarded as undesirable.
The older the home the more potential problems that can arise – you will need to check the plumbing thoroughly. You are either going to want to patch up or replace any leaky pipes that you find in your house.
Copper is a familiar material to most people and some feel it is more durable and it is relatively cheap.However, it is quite hard to work with – you will need to learn how to solder joints (which can be difficult and dangerous), buy all the relevant equipment and are restricted to the joint selection carried by your hardware store – as flexible copper tubing is not recommended in many situations and tends to kink easily. Fixing leaks in copper joints can also be difficult for the inexperienced.
You can improve your copper piping plumbing system by adding insulation to the pipes, or preferably just replace them! This will guarantee the long-term viability of your plumbing system. Check out the available products at your local hardware store for some ideas about options and pricing.
Plastic piping is becoming more and more common in both renovations and new construction. It is easy to use, quick to install, durable, adaptable and transfers less temperature, and so is more energy efficient.
There are a few different kinds of plastic piping suitable for use in plumbing, the most common being CPVC (Chlorinated Poly Vinyl Chloride) and PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) tubing. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, requiring no special skills to cut,fit and join the piping.
If you do decide to replace your copper pipes go to a scrap yard and sell the copper. This will help offset some of the replacement cost of your new pipes.
Your choice should be made according to local code, your personal skill level, and your personal preferences, although as we say above, the move from copper to plastic seems inevitable, but at the end of the day it is your own choice.