When it Comes to Quality, Copper is the Answer
There are so many reasons why copper's the best choice for your plumbing system. But it's also the best choice for other things, like flashing and wiring. In this section, discover all the benefits of this versatile material.
What system in your house is the least likely to cause you any problems?
It's your plumbing system—but only if it's copper plumbing. Up until the mid-70s, virtually all hot and cold-water distribution plumbing was copper, much as the plumbing in the palaces of the Pharaohs had been 5,000 years ago. Homeowners with copper plumbing systems correctly believe their piping is the one thing they never have to think about. So, why is there an issue?
Know What You're Getting
For the last decade or two, plastic manufacturers have entered the home plumbing market, mainly because plastic can cost less—at least initially. Also, some builders are driven by competition to cut costs and accept inferior alternatives. It may take years of use to prove their lack of wisdom.
Take the Test
Before you unknowingly accept what you haven't seen in a new home or make a hasty decision based on what appears to be a lower initial cost, do yourself a great favor. Take the 12- Point Plumbing Test below. And remember, you do have a choice!
- Does your plumbing material have a long-term proven performance record?
- Is it impermeable; can it block contaminants from penetrating its walls?
- Can the joints withstand rapid pressure and temperature changes?
- Will it perform well in all weather; is it easily thawed, if necessary?
- Does it resist punctures and abrasions and not embrittle with age?
- Can it inhibit the breeding of harmful germs?
- Will it not burn or give off smoke or toxic fumes when exposed to fire?
- Will it withstand the weather and the sun's ultraviolet rays in outdoor applications?
- Is it virtually maintenance-free; does it have a low lifetime cost of ownership?
- Will it add to your home's resale value?
- Does it have nationwide approval of building inspectors and engineers?
- Does it have inherent quality and value, or is it false economy?
The Facts About Copper
It should come as no surprise that copper is the only plumbing material that can answer yes to all 12 questions. Copper is used in more than 85% of all U.S. homes.
And for good reason—with its dependable lead-free solder connections, copper plumbing can outlast the life of your home.
Copper systems require no maintenance. Joint fittings won't break down or pull apart. Copper meets or exceeds building codes in all 50 states. It's governed by strict, long-established standards.
For Your Health
Copper is impermeable and biostatic. Contaminants cannot penetrate it, and it actually inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Copper is a natural, environmentally friendly material—not a synthetic.
Plumbers know how to install and test it, year-round in any climate. Copper is rigid. It won't sag over long runs and requires few supports. It can handle extreme conditions. It will withstand more than 1,000 pounds of pressure per square inch—10 to 20 times normal system pressure.
Copper tube and fittings won't embrittle with age—no cracking or crumbling years after installation. Copper tube can endure repeated freeze-thaw cycles—although no plumbing should be allowed to freeze. If it ever does, a brief application of open flame or electrical-resistance heating can solve the problem. Copper's superior thermal conductivity does the trick in a flash.
For Your Safety
Copper tube and fittings won't melt, burn or give off toxic fumes in a home fire. In houses tragically destroyed by fire, many times the only thing left intact is the copper plumbing.
Copper is preferred for fire sprinkler systems. It maintains pressure when subjected to flames. It doesn't"pipe" flame through walls or floors, a phenomenon that often causes fire to spread.
For Your Pocketbook
The cost for copper quality and reliability is surprisingly low. An all-copper plumbing system costs about the same as others made with less-reliable materials, especially when after-installation repairs are factored in.
A copper plumbing system adds value to your home when it comes time to sell—just ask your local real estate agent.
According to a 1996 study, the overwhelming majority of home plumbing contractors in the USA prefer copper. More than 9 out of 10 have it their own homes.
Make your choice for quality—copper.
Copper is the Answer
Copper has proved itself in American homes for more than 70 years. Not only do the vast majority of homeowners and plumbers prefer copper, so do commercial building owners, builders and remodelers, plumbing officials and suppliers, mortgage lenders and real estate agents.
Don't ignore what's hidden behind the walls until it's too late. Do what 94% of plumbers do: Use copper in your home—and enjoy worry-free plumbing.