There is a lot to think about when you’re renovating a home. You need to make many decisions, starting with what contractor to use and how much money you want to spend. It helps if you have a clear vision for how you want your home to look when you’re done. If you’re not sure what it is that you want yet, take some time to look through my blog. I’ll discuss everything from home additions to flooring materials to appliances and fixtures. These articles will help you get a sense of the possibilities for your home renovation, and help you narrow down your options. Eventually, you’ll decide on the renovations that are right for you.
When the pipes in your home's plumbing become entirely clogged with limescale or begin to frequently break or develop leaks, it's time to repipe your home. Pipes used in plumbing don't last forever, so you will eventually need to completely replace old and damaged pipes. Repiping your home can be a major expense, so it's important to carefully choose the types of pipe you use for replacements. Here's some information about copper and plastic plumbing pipes to help you make a decision on which material to use when you repipe your home.
Copper is a very durable material that's commonly used in residential plumbing. It can be used both inside and outside the home and can be used for both supply lines and drain lines, which allows you to repipe your entire home using only copper pipes.
However, copper is the most expensive material to use when repiping your home. The pipes themselves are much more expensive than plastic pipes, and it takes considerably more time and effort to repipe a home using copper than it does using plastic. Additionally, you'll need a plumber who has experience working with copper pipes — copper pipes often require soldering at the joints, which requires special skills.
The alternative to copper piping in modern homes is plastic. Older types of piping, such as galvanized steel, are rarely used now due to their drawbacks. However, your plumber will need to use a combination of materials in order to repipe your home. No type of plastic is suitable for every plumbing situation. Here's a primer on the types of modern plastic pipes available and where they're used.
PVC is the best choice for the drain lines inside your home. It resists scale buildup, which reduces the risk of clogging. It's also protected from being damaged by grease and acid. Unfortunately, it's not resistant to high heat — this makes it unsuitable to use for your home's supply lines that may carry hot water, as the hot water can warp the PVC pipes and cause them to detach at the joints.
For your supply lines, you'll have to use either CPVC pipes or PEX pipes. CPVC is PVC that has undergone a chlorination process, which adds another chlorine atom to the material. The addition of that single atom changes the properties of CPVC — it's much more heat-resistant than PVC, which allows it to be used for your home's supply lines. Unfortunately, it also makes the pipes vulnerable to freezing in cold weather. This means that you can't use CPVC in any pipe outside your home, as they could potentially freeze and split apart.
PEX is another type of plastic pipe that's made of cross-linked polyethylene. Like PVC and CPVC pipes, it doesn't corrode and resists limescale buildup. It's temperature-resistant, so it can be used for both your supply lines and any pipes outside your home. The one downside of PEX is that it degrades quickly when exposed to ultraviolet light. You won't be able to install it anywhere that receives sunlight, which may include the connection from your home's drain lines to your main sewer line.
The main advantage of using plastic pipes to repipe your home is that you'll save a substantial amount of money. Plastic pipes are inexpensive and they're very easy for a plumber to install. There's no soldering required and they can be manufactured into very long pipes, which reduces the number of joints required in your home's plumbing system compared to copper piping. They're also resistant to limescale buildup, which helps cut down on annoying clogs.
Which option is the best for your home? If cost is not an issue, copper piping provides durability and is often considered the upscale option — whole-house copper piping can be used as a feature to sell your home. If you're trying to save money and cut down on installation costs, go with plastic piping. No matter which you choose, you'll need a qualified plumber to repipe your home. Make sure they have ample experience working with the type of pipe you choose in order to ensure that your pipes will be properly installed.