Re: Copper vs. Aquapex
Posted by Sylvan Tieger on June 10, 2004 at 14:12:58:
In response to Re: Copper vs. Aquapex
: I have the option of puting copper or pex in my house. Cost and installation aside, which would be better and more durable in the long run? Thank you very much.

From every thing I have read I love copper for Proven longevity. Look at copper roofing exposed to the elements for over 300 years and still going strong.

Copper is natural and is found in the body of mammals. Copper can be joined several ways and is much stronger than its plastic counterpart, solder is not as toxic to work with as glues or primer.

In case of fire, some plastic fumes can kill you long before the fire will.

Now copper pipe once cut has to be reamed properly (always a great idea) to prevent erosion at this point.

Copper the maximum suggested velocity is around 8 fps (Feet Per Second or 2.44 Metre Per Second) other wise you not only get erosion you have a noisy piping system that can be prone to failure.

Copper is one of the easiest materials used in plumbing to repair and it can resist freeze ups more readily than its plastic counter part.

Copper does resist vibration very well (used on ships) and high pressure pumping systems. Copper can be recycled and is a proven winner for over 3000 YEARS.

Copper excels in pressure fluctuations by taking hydraulic shock without rupturing.


The problem with copper is it is a non ferrous metal subject to failure under certain water/soil conditions and the CDA (Copper Development Association) should be contacted after you take a water pH test. You may have to do a water treatment program and ask your local Licensed Master plumber not a "6 week wonder"

Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) by conservative estimate, more than 50 percent of the
piping systems in the chemical process and other industries are now within the pressure size and temperature capabilities of such advanced PPS thermoplastics as PVC / CPVC / PP and PVDF

Since thermoplastics are nonconductors, they are immune to the electrolytic or galvanic corrosion that attacks and often destroys metal piping materials, particularly installed under ground.

Plastic piping system has one of the lowest "friction losses " of all piping systems (no internal corrosion or sediment build up)

CPVC can (according to some manufacturers) handle temperatures to 210 degrees (98�C). Plastic piping is not subject to erosion and therefore can go as high as 10 feet per second (3.04 metres per second) BUT it is supposed to be designed to be 5 FPS (1.52 MPS).

Up to now I am not impressed with any plastic valve.
I also don't care for the load factor (plastic buried under ground can crush if not protected properly).

I also do not know if "plastic" or the glue/primer leach into the potable water system?

Plastic piping installed is cheaper than its copper counter part, and requires minimum skills to install and is used by many contractors who want to get in and get out of a job as fast as possible.

I also have no idea if the long term effects of drinking water flowing through this piping
System will affect you or your family.

One more point about Copper and Stainless steel is that no bacteria can grow on these metals as far as I have read like door knobs and toilet handles are copper type products.

THINK about it copper and Stainless used for medical and food handling.

. There are also lots of documented failures with some plastic piping systems used in some heating systems and domestic water systems.

Personally if water conditions allow I would only trust copper for my family's health as copper is safe and has proven itself over the test of time. Good luck.

Sylvan LMP Licensed Master Plumber

"Plumbers Protect The Health Of The World."

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