Copper plumbing is very common and offers several advantages to homeowners. It is flexible, durable, safer in natural disasters, and resistant to bacteria and ultraviolet rays. However, several issues may bring about problems that will demand immediate repairs. Plumbing problems tend to get worse if not dealt with promptly; thus, homeowners should always contact a qualified plumber as soon as they notice any issue with their plumbing.
Two Things To Consider With Copper Piping
When the construction industry made the move from lead to copper piping in homes, many people thought that these pipes would last up to 25 years. However, they failed to consider two things:
- The quantity of the water
- The quality of the copper pipes
Mostly, the quality of copper plumbing is acceptable; however, many homes built in 2004 and later use piping shipped from China, most of which is defective. Thus, many homes are experiencing plumbing failures as early as two years after installation. Although the rate of import of these pipes is decreasing, they are still available, so builders and new homeowners should be careful when buying plumbing pipes.
By far the most common problem that homeowners face with copper piping is the tiny leak resulting from a localized corrosive action known as pitting corrosion. While copper pipes are relatively resistant to corrosion, they, nevertheless, will corrode under the right conditions. After all, copper is a metal, which corrodes when it oxidizes from contact with other substances. Copper piping corrosion usually goes undetected until small leaks begin to form, resulting in mold buildup, drywall damage, and more.
Being a metal, copper has less give than other materials, such as plastic. Thus, copper plumbing is vulnerable to freezing and bursting due to extreme temperature exposure. If the piping is exposed to freezing temperatures, the water inside may freeze and expand, causing it to burst. Pipe burst are emergency plumbing repairs that need to be handled by a qualified professional as soon as possible.
Most types of metal piping, including copper, will inevitable scale over time, resulting in buildup of material inside the pipe that gradually decreases its diameter, blocking the flow of water. This decreases the efficiency of the plumbing system and causes corrosion. Thus, homeowners should address this issue before it gets out of hand.
The phrase that comes to mind for homeowners who install copper piping systems in underground or buried applications is, out of sight, out of mind. This expectation is well supported when one considers the durability and excellent corrosion resistance of copper piping. More often than not, however, many plumbing installers install the piping without fully understanding the pitfalls of their actions. It is important to know where to run plumbing pipes to prevent expensive repairs and re–piping.
For any questions about a plumbing issue in your home or for any other of your plumbing needs, contact Robinson Plumbing. Robinson Plumbing is a local, family owned company that offers a wide variety of services. Our priorities are quality service with exceptional customer care at an affordable cost.