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The Pros and Cons of Copper vs. Plastic Plumbing Pipes

Updated: May 3, 2023

When it comes to plumbing repair and installation, there are two main types of pipes used: copper and plastic. Both materials have their advantages and disadvantages, so the choice between them can be a tricky one. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each type of pipe so you can make an informed decision when you’re ready to get started on your project.

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Copper Pipes

Pros: Copper pipes are widely regarded as being extremely durable, long-lasting, and reliable. They also require minimal maintenance due to their corrosion resistance, which means that your plumbing will last for years with no additional work required from you. Copper is also very easy to install because it comes in pre-formed pieces that can be connected quickly and easily.



Cons: The biggest downside to copper pipes is the cost—it’s usually more expensive than plastic piping options. Additionally, if your local water supply contains highly acidic or alkaline compounds, then these compounds could cause corrosion in your pipes over time. Finally, copper piping requires specialized tools for installation; this means that if you don’t have the necessary tools on hand, then you may need to hire a professional or purchase those tools before getting started on your project.


Plastic Pipes

Pros: The primary benefit of using plastic pipes is the cost—they are typically much cheaper than copper piping options. In addition to being cost-effective, plastic pipes are also lightweight and easier to install compared to copper pipes since they can be cut into any length and shape with relative ease using basic tools like a hacksaw or a miter saw. Furthermore, unlike copper pipes, plastic won’t corrode over time due to water chemistry imbalances in your local area.



Cons: The biggest downside of using plastic pipes is their durability; they aren’t as strong as copper pipes and may not hold up over time in areas where the soil shifts frequently or experiences regular temperature fluctuations. Additionally, some types of plastic pipe (such as PVC) require special sealants for installation; otherwise they may leak over time due to expansion or contraction caused by temperature changes in your area. Finally, it’s important to note that some plastics contain chemicals that could leach into drinking water if not installed properly; this is why it’s always best to hire a professional for any plumbing job involving plastics piping materials!


In conclusion, both copper and plastic plumbing pipe offer unique benefits depending on your needs and budget; however it's important to consider all factors before making a final decision on which material is right for you! With its durability and corrosion resistance, copper provides long-term reliability while plastics offer cost savings but may require additional maintenance down the line due to potential leakage issues caused by temperature fluctuations in your area. Ultimately it's up to you (and/or your professional contractor) decide which material best fits into your budget while providing the performance needed for successful completion of any plumbing job!

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