Why is plastic pipe better than copper or is copper the better option?
Just below Martin Smith an experienced emergency plumber explains why plastic pipes are better than copper piping. Here are some questions and the answers to follow.
- How long does plastic pipe last for compared to copper?
- How much quicker is it to fit plastic pipe than it is to fit copper piping?
- Which is more expensive, copper pipe or plastic?
- Is plastic pipe more likely to leak that copper?
- Can the plastic pipe survive the cold weather better than copper?
- Can copper take more heat than plastic pipe?
- Can plastic take more water pressure than copper?
- Are there any restrictions to fitting copper pipe?
- Is fitting plastic pipe a better alternative to copper?
- What is the best plastic pipe I can buy?
How long does plastic pipe last for compared to copper
Unlike plastic copper is metal based, when combining water and air, a corrosion can take effect and over time the copper can disappear. Plastic does not corrode under water and air, however there are other factors where the rubber seal, if knocked can leak due to the rubber overtime going hard. In Martin’s opinion, the copper is more likely to disappear before the fitting leaks.
How much quicker is it to fit plastic pipe than it is to fit copper piping
Fitting plastic pipe is an extremely quick process due to the flexibility and the speed of fitting the fittings together. To connect a speed fit fitting it can take about 5-seconds. To fit compression fitting it can take on average 40-seconds
Which is more expensive, copper pipe or plastic
Plastic pipe seems to becoming cheaper as copper keeps rising, however the cost of the fitting for plastic is very expensive and as an overall can sometime work out cheaper. At the moment the cost seem to be similar including the fittings. Depending where you but the pipe and fitting either one or the other can work out more expensive.
Is plastic pipe more likely to leak that copper
Plastic pipe can take up to 10-bars of water pressure. The amount of pressure on the copper pipe depends on how tight the fitting have been place on. It has been report that a sound system can take 5-bars but as soon as the pressure goes up, then this depends on how tight the fitting are. It has been known that a fitting can take up to 25-bar or more. ‘So they say’.
Can the plastic pipe survive the cold weather better than copper
As an Martin Smith an emergency plumber, the experience of fitting splitting in comparisons to the copper are at a similar level, however the copper attracts the cold more leaving it in poll position the split first. Plastic pipe also has more of an expansion where copper splits easier.
Can copper take more heat than plastic pipe
The maximum working heat on a plastic pipe should not go above 92˚C for Speedfit. The heat of a copper pipe as a melting point of 1100˚C. It is not the melting point of the copper you have to worry about but the solder which is the temperature of 250˚C. You more likely going to get a steam of pressure that would rupture the copper before it would rise to such heat.
Can plastic take more water pressure than copper
Another question of the plastic pipe taking more water pressure is covered in the above question ‘Is plastic piping more likely to leak than copper pipes’
Are there any restrictions to fitting plastic pipes
Unfortunately there are restrictions as followed in the fitting instruction such as boiler’s. One example of instructions are, the plumbing to the boiler must be in copper to a minimum of 1-metre. Other instructions to other appliances may apply.
Is fitting plastic pipe a better alternative to copper
In Martin Smith’s opinion (an Emergency Plumber), plastic pipe has now been around for more than 20-years and has evolved into a high quality material. It is quicker and more flexibility. The plastic pipe has not been around long enough to say how long it will last however there are people saying the rubber only has a 25-year life span within the fittings. Due to the age of pipe and the installation, the quality of the rubber is un-proven has yet. It is also found that today there is an estimated 50 to 60-percent of properties that have plastic in the home. It is also found that copper fitting in comparison to pipe and plastic fitting is very similar when it comes to requiring an emergency plumber. Where copper fitting are not evolving, plastic is changing all the time.
What is the best plastic pipe I can buy
The best plastic pipes in Martin’s opinion is the John Guest Speed Fit. I believe Nasa use them as the famous name John Guest gives it away. But also within the last 5-years there has been a change in the way the fitting are made. John Guest fittings are always evolving.