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Piping System Differences: Copper Pipes vs. Plastic Pipes


You’ll never guess how often the question is asked about the difference between copper water pipes and plastic water pipes - all the time! When you research this, it’s easy to become more confused as there’s a lot of information available.

You’ve come to the right place for the right information, we’ve got all the information you could ever want on copper and plastic water piping... and repiping!

What are Copper Water Pipes?

copperwaterpipesCopper water pipes are older than plastic water pipes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad.

In fact, there are some plumbing technicians that prefer to work with copper piping because it’s easier to install than plastic piping.

While more expensive than plastic, copper piping certainly has its benefits; for instance, copper piping is incredibly durable and won’t degrade easily in UV light. This type of piping is also a great way to resist bacteria growth.

What are Plastic Water Pipes?

plasticpipesPlastic water pipes or PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) is the newer form of water piping used in homes today.

This type of piping has several benefits, such as fast installation and fewer fittings and connections that are needed.

Tight spaces are also ideal for plastic piping. PEX piping is also flexible, which reduces the chance for leakage. Another benefit to plastic piping is that it will not freeze or corrode like copper piping can.

Considerations for Repiping

The type of water pipes used in your home is dependent heavily on your unique needs and the functionality you’ll expect out of the water pipes. If you’re considering repiping your home with new water pipes, and aren’t sure if you should go with copper or plastic, it’s important to make decisions based on realistic facts.

While we listed a lot of the positives about both copper and plastic piping above, it’s important to consider the following possible drawbacks that can be experienced with either one.

Copper Piping Cons

  • More expensive than plastic piping (up to 10 to 15 times more!)
  • Depending on the PH levels present, this pipe may be susceptible to corrosion
  • Copper pipes have a higher capability of freezing as compared to plastic piping
  • There is a possibility of copper leaching into the water supply

Plastic Piping Cons

  • Cannot be used outside
  • Pipes are not impermeable like copper, which means water can be contaminated
  • Rodents have been known to chew through and eat PEX pipes, leading to costly replacement

repipingWhen you’re considering the piping you plan to use, think about potential problems you may incur with your piping in relation to your home’s circumstances. This can help you make the right decision and avoid certain issues.

If you think your home is due for service on your water pipes or want to have their condition assessed, it’s important that you don’t delay; piping clean water into your home is a top priority.

Our experienced and certified technicians here at PlumbCrazy are ready to come out and ensure you have the right piping in your home. Call us at (410) 679-7575 to schedule your appointment today!