- Improve Your Home Before You Build It
- What's Your Best Buy in Plumbing Today?
- Compare Before You Buy, Build or Install
- Copper or Plastic
Building a new home means lots of important decisions. Like what kind of plumbing material to use. Here are some things you should know about copper before you decide:
- You can install copper plumbing – and forget it. It’s virtually maintenance-free.
- Unlike plastic plumbing, copper won’t give off toxic gas if exposed to flame.
- Copper tubes and joints are strong. They can withstand pressure surges and rapid temperature changes without rupturing.
- Copper plumbing lasts. Copper doesn’t become brittle with age. Once installed, it stays installed.
- Copper is an investment. When the time comes to sell your home, the quality of copper plumbing can actually enhance its resale value. Copper is the right choice no matter where you live. It meets or exceeds all standard plumbing codes in all 50 states.
No plumbing product is totally immune to all problems. However, for more than 70 years copper-based plumbing products have continually proved themselves to be the most robust and reliable for all kinds of water delivery and drainage systems. There was a time when we were limited to a relatively small range of basic materials from which to make things: wood, stone, iron, brick, leather, cotton, wool, and of course, copper. Copper is man’s first and still most indestructible non-precious metal.
Because copper withstands corrosive elements better than any other engineered metal, it long ago set the standard for plumbing systems. The 1940s fostered the Age of Synthetics, an era of technological change. It was the natural outgrowth of an economic system that stressed mass production and sought substitute materials that would do the same job for less money. Manufacturers looked at plastic for a wide range of building products–especially plumbing. Lower first cost, rather than long-term reliability, was the driving force.
Recently, however, we have seen a growing reaction to this "throw away" economy. Consumers realized that the "cheapest" was not necessarily the least costly in the long run. In many cases, they found that some of the old, basic materials are still the best, still the most economical, because they last and give years of reliable trouble-free service. Copper plumbing (for supply, distribution, drainage and fire sprinkler systems) is often a target for the "We can do it cheaper!" sales approach. Various plastic materials, for example, are promoted for plumbing tube and fittings at a lower coast per pound than copper. Outfitting a home or building with a plumbing or fire sprinkler system that gives you a lifetime of completely dependable, trouble-free service means your initial investment for copper saves call backs, saves money and maintains the value of your property. Buying cheap is false economy. We believe it will be to your advantage to carefully examine the benefits of copper. See why we say that without exception copper is your best buy.Back to Top
You owe it to yourself, your customers and your pocketbook. Weigh all the pros and cons. When considering any plumbing product or material, ask yourself some basic questions:
Here’s why generations of homeowners and professionals in the building community feel copper plumbing is the best and most economical:
- Copper plumbing has a 70-year track record of nationwide acceptance for water, waste and space-conditioning use.
- Well-defined standards govern the composition and properties of copper products for specific applications. And all products can be tested to ensure conformance to these standards.
- Precision and control in manufacturing assure a quality product and long service life.
- Copper tube products have permanent product identification, including type, size, manufacturer and country of origin. You know what you’re installing. Inspectors and owners know what’s been installed. The manufacturers back their product with a 50-year limited warranty.
- Nationwide, codes and standards assure reliable installations.
- Plumbers have more than a half-century of know-how, experience and customer satisfaction with copper tube and fittings.
- Copper systems can be installed, tested and used year-round at any temperature in any climate.
- Copper systems can be tested immediately after installation.
- Copper is not damaged by either near-freezing or boiling water temperatures.
- Copper plumbing requires virtually no maintenance and can be protected more easily from damage than plastic.
- Copper’s superior thermal conductivity allows the use of simple thawing methods, if required.
- Copper can be stored or used anywhere, indoors or outdoors, without harm or deterioration caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays or weather conditions.
- Copper is non-flammable. Unlike plastics, it doesn’t burn or melt or support combustion. It maintains water pressure even when subjected to flames.
- Copper plumbing will not “pipe” flame through walls or floors. It does not violate the integrity of fire blocking.
- Copper plumbing products do not give off toxic gases when exposed to fire.
- Copper does not require special provisions for hazard, unlike plastic drainage pipe, which must be encased with gypsum board.
- Copper tube is rigid, requires fewer supports and does not sag over long runs. Copper, unlike plastic, will not fail from the abrasion normally encountered in service.
- Copper tube is flexible (whether it’s hard-drawn or annealed) and has a smooth, polished interior – which means it’s easily installed anywhere and will not impede the flow of water.
- Copper soldering is a safe, reliable and non-toxic operation. Lead-free solders will not contaminate water.
- Copper is fatigue-resistant. Copper systems do not present the problems associated with excessive expansion and contraction caused by extremes in temperature. Well-installed copper joints are for keeps; they will not break down or pull apart.
- Copper does not absorb organic materials, nor is it softened by them in plumbing service. In other words, possible contaminants cannot penetrate copper and enter potable water.
- Copper is biostatic. It actually inhibits bacterial growth.
- Copper scrap has a high value when sold for recycling.
- Copper does not rely on domestic or foreign oil production for its manufacture.
- Copper tube is all natural. No synthetics are introduced or used in its manufacture. It is environmentally friendly.
- Copper is a noble metal combining extraordinary corrosion-resistance and high strength for plumbing applications.
- Copper tube and fittings can, if necessary, be disassembled and reused.
- Copper plumbing, like copper wiring, has recognized quality and value that helps sell (or resell) the home or building.
- Copper plumbing protects your home investment. Think of it as an insurance policy that pays dividends year after year after year.
- Many decades of in-service experience have proved copper’s reliability. It will outlast the life of the mortgage.
- Copper systems are the worldwide plumbing standard of excellence.
- Copper plumbing products offer unbeatable quality and value.
- Decades of successful service say, “You can trust copper.”