Is Copper Pipe or Plastic Pipe Better for Plumbing

Is Copper Pipe or Plastic Pipe Better for Plumbing

Water is essential for human life and is intertwined with our day to day activities. Therefore, it is important to understand the system that delivers water to us. We want to make sure we are receiving the best-quality water at all times. This article will educate you on the safest plumbing material (plastic or copper) that you can choose for your job. Comparing risks is a significant element in your choice since it will help you determine which is the best for new construction or renovation work.

Is Copper Pipe or Plastic Pipe Better for Plumbing

Plastic Piping

Plastic piping has been used in the United States for close to 30 years and has continued to be very popular since its inception. Plastic pipes are easily laid down and very versatile when used in construction. Plastic pipes are also inexpensive and can last for fifty years or more. Unfortunately, research done on plastic pipes shows that the chemical compounds found in them can leach into our water. These chemicals release volatile organic compounds which are an assimilable organic carbon that can lead to bacterial growth and other contaminants.

Unfortunately, this can cause a deterioration in the quality of drinking water due to leaching of organic compounds from materials directly in contact with water.

Advantages of Plastic Pipe

  1. It is cheaper.
  2. It is flexible and is a good alternative to rigid copper.
  3. It installs quickly.
  4. Has a lower labor cost.
  5. Plastic does not corrode.
  6. It can expand 8 times its size before freezing.

Is Copper Pipe or Plastic Pipe Better for Plumbing

Copper Piping

Copper piping is a good substitute for plastic piping. Copper pipes have been in use for many years, since ancient times. When compared to plastic, copper is antimicrobial and does not have the same risks that plastic pipes do. Despite being antimicrobial, copper has its own risks. Research shows that trace amounts of copper leach into our water directly from the pipe. This leaching depends on the types and amounts of minerals in the water, the period water stays in the pipe, the acidity of water, and the water temperature. When we have too much copper in our bodies, it may lead to nausea, liver diseases, kidney failure or other ailments. However, leaching and corrosion have been controlled by use of EPA and inhibitors such as fluoride. Copper pipes are also safer due to the reduction of lead to around 0.25 percent.

Because copper tends to leach when idle for more than six hours, it’s advisable to run drinking water for around a minute before using it. Also, hot water tends to leach copper more than cold water. It’s good to make sure that your copper pipes are checked by a licensed professional to make sure that the copper levels don’t get past the recommended level.

Advantages of Copper Pipes

There is no general consensus. However, it’s preferable to work with a material that has been well-known for years rather than one with unknowns.

Is Copper Pipe or Plastic Pipe Better for Plumbing

Plastic vs. Copper

There are a number of questions we need to ask ourselves when we want to choose the best piping material. Some of them are:

  • Which Pipe Is Quicker to Install?

Plastic pipes are more flexible as compared to copper pipes. This makes them quicker and easier to install than copper pipes.

  • Which Material is More Expensive?

To keep up with the market as copper keeps rising, plastic has become a cheaper option. But when comparing the cost of installing plastic pipes, it is more expensive than installing copper pipes.

  • Which Pipe Leaks Easier?

When copper pipes are tightly fit, it can take up to 25 bars of water pressure or more before they start to leak. While plastic can only take up to 10 bars of water pressure.

  • Which Material Can Handle More Heat?

Copper has a melting point of 1100 degrees, while plastic pipe is safe only up to 92 degrees. More importantly, copper pipe solder cannot withstand temperatures over 250 degrees.

  • Which Is the Best Pipe to Buy?

Plastic pipe is definitely the most versatile.  With a variety of fittings, you can easily reach almost any spot you want to bring water to. Additionally, it is more flexible than copper.  However, it is not as long-lasting.  You will have to take your exact criteria into consideration and make the best choice for you.

  • Which Is the Best Plumbing Pipe in Your Home?

If your space and budget allow, try to do everything in copper. Copper pipes have been in use for many years. With plastic pipes, you won’t know what will happen to the pipe after 30 years. If copper pipes are well installed, the pipe will not give trouble for well beyond your lifetime.


You can see that there are no plumbing pipes that are a hundred percent perfect. Therefore, it is best to select the best of the two for your exact building conditions. Weigh all of your options before making a choice.


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