Over the years, plumbing has drastically changed; we now use materials, processes, and technology that is more efficient, durable, and easy to repair.

When it comes to pipes, copper and lead were commonly used back in the day. Once the hazardous effects of lead were discovered, copper became the preferred metal for plumbing systems. However, in recent years, plastic has become a popular material for piping.

Deciding between copper and plastic is tricky. However, once you’ve made the decision, you need to stick to it―so you need to be sure what material you’re using.

Here are some of the pros and cons of copper and plastic pipes:

Pro #1: Handles Heat Well

Since these pipes are made of metal, they can bear higher temperatures than PVC pipes. This is ideal for places like Maryland, where residents use hot water throughout the year. The pipes are also strong enough to take on high water pressure without bursting or cracking.

Pro #2: Has A Longstanding Reputation Of Durability

Copper pipes have been used in plumbing for decades. Many older homes still have the same copper plumbing system that was installed when the home was built. It has a longstanding reputation of being durable, and many homeowners prefer it over other materials.

Con #1: More Expensive

Copper pipes are expensive. Owing to the higher expenses across the copper pipe manufacturing chain, they’re a much more expensive choice. However, their durability and longevity make up for the initial outlay.

Con #2: Water Might Taste Metallic

Unless you have a water filtration system in your home, the water from copper pipes might have a metallic taste. This can be off-putting and deter you from having water out of the faucet.

Con #3: Risk Of Pipes Bursting If The Water Freezes

Pipes often freeze in the crisp, Maryland winters. Copper pipes, especially, have a higher risk of bursting in low temperatures. Homeowners need to consider the temperature changes throughout the year before deciding on the right material for their plumbing system.

PVC pipes used in the plumbing system of a multi-family property

PVC pipes

Pro #1: Simple To Install

Working with PVC is easier for plumbers, making the installation faster too. The simple installation also means any repairs in the future will be easier to deal with.

Pro #2: Cheaper Than Copper

PVC pipes are much cheaper in comparison to copper and are perfect for homeowners on a budget.

Pro #3: Little To No Loss Of Heat

When the correct PVC pipes are used, they offer great insulation for hot water running within. There is little to no heat loss once the water has left the water heater, until it reaches the faucet or shower.

Con #1: Not Resistant To Solvents

Solvents easily corrode plastic, damaging them even from the slightest exposure. With plastic pipes, you can’t use chemical drain cleaners since they’ll eat through the plastic pipes and cause leaks or bursts.

Con #2: Not Ideal For Outdoor Usage

Sunrays can damage plastic pipes. UV light is known to damage plastic. Therefore PVC pipes aren’t recommended for outdoor plumbing.

Con #3: Choosing The Right PVC Pipe Is Essential

There are a variety of PVC pipes available on the market. Each has its unique specifications and is suited to certain tasks. All PVC pipes don’t perform well with hot water―their lifespan shortens when hot water flows through them. A professional will be able to guide you when choosing PVC pipes.

If you’re in Prince George and are looking for a reliable local plumbing company, get in touch with Your 1 Plumber. The company is known for its five-star service and fair pricing. Their fully licensed, insured, and bonded experts are highly trained and know what they are doing. Other areas they serve include Montgomery County, Howard County, and Frederick County. Call 888-5407-586 to book a service.