Copper Development Association Newsbriefs

January 15, 2003


75 th Anniversary of Copper Plumbing

NEW YORK, NY— The Copper Development Association is conducting a yearlong, nationwide search to find the oldest copper plumbing installations in America, to commemorate the 75 th anniversary of this home-improvement milestone. Tradesmen and homeowners from coast to coast are encouraged to take up the challenge of this "scavenger hunt for the plumbing-minded." Although it may be impossible to determine the exact location of the first all-copper plumbing system, evidence indicates that it occurred sometime around 1927-28. To find examples, CDA is seeking historic, noteworthy or otherwise significant copper plumbing installations from that era, and Certificates of Authenticity will be awarded. "It won't matter if the plumbing is in a castle or an outhouse," says spokesman Ken Geremia, "as long as it's suitably ancient, still in service and made of copper."
[Reader response may be directed to: Copper Plumbing 75, Copper Development Association Inc., 260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016]

Structured Wiring CD-ROM

Exhaustive research conducted by the Copper Development Association has resulted in "Structured Wiring for Today's Home," a groundbreaking CD-ROM compilation of interviews, information and frequently asked questions on new category-type communications wiring for both homes and businesses. According to CDA vice president, Bill Black, "This disk is the most comprehensive source of information we have put together on structured wiring. It contains dozens of interviews with everyone from builders and developers to homeowners and new-homebuyers. We learned quite a lot, not only from asking the obvious questions, but also from the detailed answers we got on many 'not-so-frequently asked' questions that should be asked about this subject." The CD-ROM is available from CDA at no cost to professional builders and tradesmen.
[Readers may obtain a free copy by visiting the Publicatoins List]

Copper in Your Home

An all-new Internet feature section designed specifically for homeowners and consumers has been added to The Copper Page Web site hosted by the Copper Development Association. The new section, Copper In Your Home, offers a wealth of user-friendly information about the many ways that copper, brass and bronze products enhance our homes and our lives. Topics range from understanding today's home communications wiring to how residential plumbing and heating systems function. Other areas of the site feature hands-on projects and crafts homeowners can make with copper, interior design tips, recipes, games for children and information about copper's role in health and nutrition.
[Readers can view this informative, entertaining and highly interactive Web site by visiting our Copper In Your Home section]

New Copper Tube Handbook

To educate as well as inform tradesmen and the public about copper, the Copper Development Association has announced the release of a newly revised edition of the Copper Tube Handbook, reflecting the latest in industry standards and technical data. The new Handbook includes step-by-step instructions and photographs as well as recently increased pressure ratings for copper tube and soldered copper joints. Copies of the new Copper Tube Handbook are now available from CDA.
[To view or download copies of the Handbook and other technical references, readers can visit our Plumbing Section section]

A Handy Installation Primer

Installing structured communications wiring for the home is not much different, or more difficult, than installing the old-style (and obsolete) telephone wiring it replaces. But like any new technology, it can pose challenges to the uninitiated. In cooperation with a major national how-to publication, the Copper Development Association offers a detailed structured wiring installation "primer" directed at the advanced Do-It-Yourselfer. It provides a valuable, detailed overview of what is required to retrofit a home with modern communications wiring, whether the owner is doing the work or hiring a pro. Reprints of this article cover the benefits of structured wiring, how it works, the options available, the tools needed to install it, and how to install it.
[Reprints are available to both consumers and professionals. For information, contact Harry Schmitz]

The Case for Gas-Fueled Fireplaces and BBQs
A growing trend among homeowners is converting their portable-tank gas barbecues and wood-burning fireplaces to permanent piped gas systems-and that's keeping appliance manufacturers and installers very busy. The Copper Development Association promotes the use of copper tube for these and other types of residential fuel-gas distribution applications. Using soft, pliable, small-diameter annealed copper tube is a preferred method for retrofitting gas installations, because it is less costly than alternatives and easier to work with. In fact, copper has the lowest installed cost of any material used to supply gas fireplaces and all household appliances.
[For more information, visit our Fuel Gas Section section]

Hazardous Electrical Wiring

The question of what to do about aging electrical wiring is the focus of an ongoing campaign undertaken by the Copper Development Association. Like antique furniture, older homes offer wonderful decorative details and craftsmanship, but building materials-including wiring-don't last forever. The USA has an enormous stock of housing, some built before World War II and some after, that contains inadequate or obsolete wiring that must be brought up to date. CDA has alerted consumers and homeowners nationwide through newspapers and is working to develop articles on this critical subject.
[For data, support materials and electrical wiring experts, Editors can contact Harry Schmitz]

Zero-Energy House Project

A unique demonstration-home project that combines energy-efficient construction design, techniques, materials and products is underway in Atlanta, thanks in part to the efforts of the Copper Development Association. Initially sponsored by Ted Turner's Captain Planet Foundation, the Zero-Energy House and Cottage are examples of just how self-sufficient a home can be. CDA is providing all of the copper tubing for the hot- and cold-water plumbing, solar water-heating systems, and geothermal heat pumps that use the earth itself as part of their heating and cooling operation. Copper is also used in the electric wiring and in sophisticated structured-wiring communications systems, which allow occupants to network home computers, distribute audio and video throughout and install home-automation features in the future.
[For information, contact Harry Schmitz]

Buying Broadband Connections

Where Internet service distribution is concerned, many consumers (and even industry professionals) are still in a muddle. To help sort it out, the Copper Development Association is offering comparative information on the relative merits of DSL versus cable-Internet connections. "Broadband," originally a technical term, has become the popular description for any high-speed Internet access, including digital subscriber lines, or DSL, and cable technologies. More than 12 million American homes now have broadband access and the number keeps growing. It is estimated that broadband service is available to 45 percent of U.S. households over ordinary telephone lines and to 70 percent over cable television lines.
[For more information, contact Harry Schmitz]

Soldering Procedure Specifications

There is currently no industry wide soldering certification program for tradesmen and other professionals. In an effort to remedy this, the Copper Development Association-utilizing existing accepted practices-has created Guide Specifications, an effective qualifications standards and information guide that can be used by local unions or contractors to create their own certification programs. "This will help ensure the highest standards of soldering are met on a consistent basis nationwide," explains Andy Kireta, Jr., CDA national program manager for Tube, Pipe & Fittings. The 28-page guide has already proved helpful to local unions in a number of states.
[For additional information, go to Technical References]

Faster Home Networks

More and more, computers are talking with each other-and that's a good thing, because more than 160 million American households now have access to the Internet. Many of these homes have more than one computer, plus printers, modems, fax machines and other connected devices that any number of family members need to access at the same time. According to the Copper Development Association, most home networks initially are used to share Internet access, but owners quickly discover that networks can be also used to share computing power, disk space, printers, photos, music and more.
[For more information on getting connected in the home, contact Harry Schmitz]

Copper in the LAN

Copper is now and probably always will be the workhorse of LANs, or Local Area Networks, in commercial buildings. To help architects, engineers, planners, builders and developers prepare for the inevitable, ever-increasing communications requirements of tomorrow, the Copper Development Association recommends multiple runs of category-type wiring to every workstation in every business office, retail location and multifamily dwelling.

Inside the Telecommunications Industry

Find out the story behind the story. For consumers, installers, tradesmen and anyone else who wants to understand the state of residential communications wiring today, transcripts are available of interviews with Bill Black, vice president for Wire & Cable for the Copper Development Association. In this "big picture" conversation, Black discusses the history and current trends in structured wiring for the home, along with the implications for the future of the telecommunications industry.
[For more information, editors can visit our Telecommunications section]