Copper was the first metal used by human beings and by approximately 4500 B.C., we had mastered the art of smelting copper to make jewellery, coins and cooking pots. Today, copper piping is widely used in the construction industry for various heating and plumbing applications.
However, why use copper instead of plastic pipes? Can copper be safely used for drinking water? Below, we address some common questions about copper piping.
Why is copper the preferred material for pipes?
There are several reasons why copper pipes and copper pipe connectors are favoured in construction trades. Firstly, copper is highly durable and resistant to cracks and splits. It is particularly suitable for underground installations due to its exceptional corrosion resistance, making it impermeable to external sources.
Copper pipes and copper pipe connectors also have a long lifespan and can function optimally for decades. Lastly, copper is easily recyclable, which makes it a sustainable choice.
Is copper piping safe for drinking water?
Copper possesses antimicrobial properties which makes it a superior choice for transporting drinking water compared to other materials like plastic. It can also help reduce lead levels in water by approximately 0.25%.
In rare cases, very old pipes may release trace amounts of copper into the water system over time. However, as copper is seen as a dietary mineral which does not affect health, acceptable levels of copper in drinking water are 87 times higher than allowable levels of lead.
Copper pipes are generally safe for drinking water and can be relied upon for many years. It is advisable, however, to run the tap for a few seconds before pouring a glass of water. Regular inspections are recommended to ensure maximum efficiency and prevent any buildup of deposits, as with any plumbing system.
Is copper piping cost-effective?
Yes, copper piping and copper pipe connectors are an affordable option. While copper may be slightly more expensive than alternatives like plastic, its durability, safety and sustainability make it the superior choice for a reliable pipe network. Copper pipes are also available in various sizes, lengths and types to suit different requirements.