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The pros and cons of copper vs. plastic plumbing pipes

When it comes to plumbing pipes, two popular options that homeowners often consider are copper and plastic. Both materials have their advantages and drawbacks, and understanding their pros and cons is essential for making an informed decision. In this article, we will explore the benefits and limitations of copper and plastic plumbing pipes to help you choose the right option for your home.

Copper Plumbing Pipes:


  • Durability: Copper pipes are known for their exceptional durability, making them a reliable choice for long-term use. They can withstand high water pressure and are resistant to corrosion, making them less prone to leaks and bursting.
  • Longevity: Copper pipes have a long lifespan and can often last for decades. They are not easily affected by UV rays, which makes them suitable for both indoor and outdoor plumbing applications.
  • Safety: Copper is a natural material and does not release harmful chemicals into the water supply. It is a preferred option for those concerned about water quality and health.
  • Heat Resistance: Copper pipes have excellent heat resistance properties, making them suitable for both hot and cold water applications. They are commonly used in water heating systems.


  • Cost: Copper pipes tend to be more expensive than plastic pipes, both in terms of material cost and installation. This factor should be considered if you are on a tight budget.
  • Prone to Theft: Copper has a higher scrap value, which unfortunately makes copper pipes a target for theft. If you live in an area with a history of copper theft, additional security measures may be required.

Plastic Plumbing Pipes:


  • Affordability: Plastic pipes, such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), are generally more cost-effective than copper. They are a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners.
  • Easy Installation: Plastic pipes are lightweight and flexible, making them easier to handle and install compared to copper. They require fewer tools and fittings, reducing installation time and cost.
  • Resistance to Corrosion: Unlike copper, plastic pipes are not susceptible to corrosion, which eliminates the risk of leaks and reduces the need for maintenance.
  • Quiet Operation: Plastic pipes absorb sound better than copper, resulting in quieter plumbing systems.


  • Limited Lifespan: While plastic pipes are durable, they generally have a shorter lifespan compared to copper. Extreme temperature variations and UV exposure can impact their longevity.
  • Susceptibility to Chemicals: Plastic pipes can be sensitive to certain chemicals and solvents, which may affect their structural integrity over time. It’s important to choose the appropriate type of plastic pipe for the intended use and consult professional advice when in doubt.
  • Not Suitable for High Temperatures: While plastic pipes are commonly used for cold water applications, they may not be suitable for high-temperature water or certain hot water systems. Always verify the manufacturer’s guidelines for temperature limits.

Choosing between copper and plastic plumbing pipes involves weighing the pros and cons of each material. Copper pipes offer durability, longevity, and excellent heat resistance, but they come at a higher cost. On the other hand, plastic pipes provide affordability, easy installation, and corrosion resistance, but may have a shorter lifespan and limitations in high-temperature applications.

Consider your budget, specific plumbing needs, and the advice of professional plumbers in Oldham when deciding between copper and plastic pipes. By making an informed choice, you can ensure a reliable and efficient plumbing system for your home.

Remember, for professional plumbing assistance and guidance tailored to your specific needs, reach out to your local plumbing experts today.

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