Why Is Copper Used For Pipes?

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Copper is a common and popular material to use for piping, both in Europe and across the US. There are several reasons why copper is favoured, including its composition and durability.

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Easy to Work With

Because copper is lightweight compared to other materials and it is also malleable, it is an easy material to work with, especially for customisation and on-site fitting, and it doesn’t require a large range of tools. Copper can be joined simply with soldering, so the installation of copper pipes can be both straightforward and quick, making copper a good option for plumbers.

Conductivity

Copper is an excellent conductor of heat, so it is an ideal choice of material for water pipes and radiant heating systems. Copper pipes heat up carrying hot water through the house and stay warm for longer, keeping the temperature of the water consistent. Underfloor heating systems have become more and more popular in recent years, but the system of running hot water underground is not new. Recent discoveries in Britain include a Roman villa complete with a full underfloor heating system. Copper can efficiently keep water hot for water systems and underfloor heating to heat a house.

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Durability

One of the benefits of copper is that it is extremely durable. Copper does tend to cost more than other materials, so using copper can involve a larger initial outlay, but because it lasts longer than other pipes, it offers long-term value for money. However durable pipes are, often pipes require pipe protectors to protect from weathering and damage, such as those available from https://www.meterbox.co.uk/pipe-protectors.

Recyclable

Because copper is both long-lasting and recyclable, it has a lower impact on the environment than PVC piping, for example.

Anti-Microbial Properties

Whereas PVC, iron and lead can leach dangerous toxins into water, copper pipes do not, and in fact, anti-microbial properties occur naturally in copper, meaning that copper contains agents which kill harmful microorganisms and pathogens. Growth of slime and bacteria within the pipes is inhibited, and the copper helps to prevent harmful diseases such as Legionella pneumophilia, which causes Legionnaires’ disease, the polio virus and E-coli O157. However, copper is not safe for drinking water that is overly alkaline or acidic, as this can cause corrosion. If copper leaches into drinking water, it can cause issues such as sickness, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

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