CPVC vs. Copper: How to Choose the Best Plumbing Pipes for Your Home


Plumbing pipes make up a significant part of your home's plumbing system. They transfer water from the mains to appliances and fixtures. Thus, choosing the right piping material can determine the efficiency and durability of the pipes. Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) and copper are two common piping materials. How do you choose between these two plumbing pipes? Below are three key factors to consider.

Pipe flexibility

When installing piping in a new house, you can get away with rigid materials such as copper. Since the house isn't plastered yet, you don't have to worry about drilling holes to accommodate the installation. However, if the structure has plastering, a more flexible material such as CPVC would be a better option. The physical flexibility of CPVC allows it to fit inside fixtures without requiring you to drill holes. Thus, it's an excellent option for residential pipe replacement.

Resilience to high temperatures

One drawback of traditional polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes is their inability to withstand high temperatures. CPVC is a better version of the material. The extra chlorine in CPVC makes it more resilient to high temperatures. However, the maximum service temperature for CPVC is around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above this temperature can cause premature wear of the material. 

Copper can withstand temperatures of around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it a more superior material when it comes to heat resilience. However, note that the maximum temperature on residential water heaters is around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, you can use both CPVC and copper for hot water piping without worrying about premature wear and tear. 

Resistance to corrosion

Corrosion is a significant issue to consider when choosing between CPVC and copper pipes. Although copper has been widely used for decades, it is prone to corrosion. Corrosion of copper occurs due to iron deposits from a rusty water heater. Other causes of corrosion include flux deposits, water chemicals, and improper soldering. Eroded copper pipes are prone to leaks, which can wreak havoc on your structure.

CPVC is a plastic material; therefore, it is resistant to corrosion. The material is also resistant to water-soluble household chemicals. However, it is not resistant to water-insoluble chemicals. If you are using CPVC for water plumbing, you may not need to worry about this. For your wastewater system, choose a different material such as concrete, especially if you occasionally dump water-insoluble chemicals in your drains.

Residential plumbing pipes should last for decades. Thus, choosing the right material can save you from frequent repairs and pipe replacement. Contact a plumber if you need help to select the best piping material for your home.

About Me

Pedro's Plumbing Info

Yo! My name is Pedro and my number one passion in life is plumbing. If you are interested in finding out about the joys of plumbing, I invite you to read my wonderful blog. I should point out that I am not a trained plumber. While I have much respect for those who work in the plumbing industry, I have never been trained myself. My knowledge comes from my interactions with plumbing contractors. As well as calling in contractors to complete work around my property, I also like to hang out with them when I get the chance. Over the years, I have learnt all kinds of cool things.

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