Benefits of Copper Plumbing

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Copper tube is ideal for water- and gas-distribution piping. Use the points below to explain the value of copper plumbing in the homes you build:

  1. Copper's Long Record of Reliability
  2. The Best Choice for Overall Economy and Value
  3. Copper is the Safe Choice
  4. Copper Stands Up Under Extreme Conditions

Copper's Long Record of Reliability

Copper tube has been the material of choice for water-supply plumbing for more than 70 years-or ever since indoor plumbing became the standard for American homes. Today approximately 95 percent of existing homes are equipped with copper plumbing, and even with the development of alternative materials, more than 80 percent of new homes are built with copper water-supply piping.

Copper tube is governed by established product standards and marked with permanent identification. Contractors always know what the material is and which company made it. Copper is accepted by virtually all plumbing codes. And copper is not synthetic; it's a natural, environmentally friendly material that won't crack or crumble years after installation. Copper is naturally corrosion resistant. Copper tube is light and rigid, it doesn't sag over long runs, and it requires fewer supports. Copper capillary fittings yield smooth, neat, strong and leakproof joints that don't break down or pull apart when properly made. With its dependable lead-free solder connections, copper tube generally outlasts the building it's installed in, and it requires virtually no maintenance. Copper tube is the only plumbing material available with such a long record of reliability.

The Best Choice for Overall Economy and Value

An all-copper plumbing system costs little more than other, less-reliable materials. In some cases, the final installed cost for a copper system is even less than for so-called cheaper materials. Easy handling, forming and joining save installation time, material and overall costs, especially when you factor in copper's long-term reliability. Over the long haul, copper plumbing requires less maintenance and fewer repairs. That means fewer hassles and lower expenses during the period the buyer lives in the home. Real estate agents confirm that all-copper systems add value when it comes time to sell.

Copper is the Safe Choice

Installation of copper tube does not require solvents that contain volatile organic compounds, so its use does not harm the environment. Solvent-based adhesives used to join other types of tube may contribute to air pollution, breakdown of atmospheric ozone and global warming.

Because of copper's superior thermal conductivity, electrical resistance heating can be used for joining where an open flame may be of concern.

Copper tube and fittings do not burn or support combustion and, therefore, will not give off toxic gases in a fire. Copper systems maintain pressure when subjected to flames. Fire temperatures can reach in excess of 1,500°F; copper's melting point is well beyond that at nearly 2,000°F. And as plumbers know, it's virtually impossible to melt a soldered joint with water in the system. Copper is non-combustible and will not carry fire through floors, walls or ceilings. That's why it's preferred over plastic pipe for fire sprinkler systems, as well as potable water distribution systems.

Copper is impermeable and biostatic: Contaminants cannot penetrate it, and it actually inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.

Copper Stands Up Under Extreme Conditions - Easy to Repair

Copper can handle extreme conditions-more than 1,000 pounds per square inch of pressure, even though normal system pressure is about 50 to 80 psi. And it can withstand repeated freeze-thaw cycles although, of course, no plumbing should be allowed to freeze. Easy, open-flame or electrical-resistance heating can be used not only for joining, but also to melt frozen water in copper tube-because of copper's superior thermal conductivity.