Copper Usage In Plumbing Installations
The plumbing industry uses different materials for different plumbing needs. The application, cost, and durability of the materials determine the one to use. Some materials have versatile features that make them suitable for multiple applications. Below is an overview of copper metal as used in plumbing systems.
Plumbing manufacturers produce copper pipes and fixtures for use in different parts of plumbing systems. The following three copper applications are common.
Water Supply Pipes
Plumbers use copper pipes to deliver water to different house parts, fixtures, and appliances. The copper pipes handle both hot and cold water. For example, copper pipes can deliver water to the bathroom and kitchen.
Copper pipes are also suitable for drainage pipes, including underground ones. The material is also suitable for vent stacks and branches.
Fuel Delivery Pipes
Plumbers use copper pipes to deliver fuel safely and effectively. The plumbers use copper pipes to carry natural and LP gas to buildings and fuel appliances, such as gas furnaces.
Copper plumbing pipes are either rigid or flexible. The flexible version suits complicated connections in confined areas since plumbers can mold them into different shapes.
Copper plumbing is also available in different types based on their thickness. Below are the common types:
- Type K – This is the thickest type of plumbing copper pipe. Type K is suitable for underground installations since the weight of overlying soil won't deform it.
- Type L – The material features medium thickness and suits exterior and aboveground exterior plumbing applications.
- Type M – Type M is thinner than the two types above and is best suited for interior connections with minimal damage threats.
The application and relevant plumbing codes determine the best type to use. Your plumber will advise you on the right pipes and fittings for each application.
Copper has numerous benefits that make it suitable for many plumbing applications. For one, copper is nontoxic, so you don't have to worry about it contaminating your residential water. Secondly, copper is corrosion-resistant and rust-proof because it doesn't contain iron. These features reduce the risk of wear and tear on copper plumbing and make the material durable.
Third, copper is also malleable enough to bend easily without deformation or damage. For example, plumbers can bend or deform pipes for different fittings without fracturing. Lastly, copper is relatively lightweight, making it easy to handle during installation.
Plumbing contractors understand suitable materials for different applications. Consult with a plumber to get the best material for your needs.