When it comes to purchasing plumbing supplies, copper pipes are a popular choice for many plumbers. Copper plumbing pipes are used in various plumbing installations thanks to their durability and longevity. These have replaced the lead pipes that were used previously. Although plastic pipe and PVC pipe is commonly used in garden irrigation - with the exception of drain pipes, these are generally not suitable for household water plumbing.
Most copper pipes will last an average of 50 years. However, it depends on the types of copper piping that you select when you purchase your plumbing supplies.
Understanding The Different Types Of Copper Piping
In Australia, copper piping is classified into four different types.
- Type A is the thinnest copper pipe that is available for residential plumbing systems. These copper pipes can be expected to last for around 20 to 50 years.
- Type B copper pipe is a medium thickness and it can last from 50 to 100 years.
- Both Type C and Type D copper pipe is thicker and the most durable and long-lasting of all copper pipe. You can expect these to last for over 100 years. These pipes are most commonly used for industrial installations, underground water mains and drain pipes.
So, these classifications are important when purchasing your plumbing supplies because the thickness of the copper pipes you use will determine how long the copper pipes are going to last.
Damage Can Occur That Will Reduce The Longevity Of The Copper Pipes
As copper pipes are normally laid in the ground, they are subject to possible damage and this will reduce their lifespan. As a professional plumber, you would be familiar with the warning signs that indicate that the copper piping may be damaged and need replacing. These include:
- Loud noises that come from a pipe when the water is turned on
- Pinhole leaks and clogs within any water pipe
- Drinking water coming out of the taps that is discoloured, tastes bad or has an offensive odour
- A decrease in the pressure of the water coming through a particular plumbing pipe
- Visible signs of damage such as dents, cracks or corrosion
All of these signs indicate that the copper pipes have sustained some sort of damage and need to be replaced.
Common Factors That Can Reduce The Longevity Of Copper Pipes
While copper pipes are still popular, there are certain factors to consider to determine if this type of piping is suitable for a particular plumbing system.
One of the most important factors is the quality of the water supply. For example, water that contains a high level of chloramines can degrade copper water pipes faster than water that doesn’t. Additionally, acidic water or water that contains a higher-than-normal level of sediment will also reduce the lifespan of the copper pipes.
Another factor to consider is the pressure of the water supply. If the water pressure is too high for the water supply pipes to handle, it can cause damage to the pipes. This is especially the case if you’re using thinner copper pipes like the Type A pipes that are common for residential installations.
If water quality is an issue, many plumbers would choose to purchase Type B copper pipes when selecting their plumbing supplies or piping material because these are likely to be more durable and have a longer life.
Check With The Local Council Before Selecting Copper Pipes For Your Next Installation
In some areas around Australia, there are building regulations that will specify the type of copper pipes that should be installed.
So, before you purchase plumbing fixtures for your next installation, make sure that you’re aware of the regulations that are pertinent to the local area.
While Type A copper pipes are usually fine for many residential applications, there are certain regions that may require you to install Type B copper pipes instead. This is usually reliant on the quality of the water supply.
On the other hand, if you are installing copper pipes around a commercial or industrial area, you might find that the requirement is that you use either Type C or Type D copper pipes instead.
Contact Forge For All Of Your Plumbing Supplies
At Forge Plumbing, we stock a wide range of copper press fittings to suit your needs. These include copper coils made from annealed copper in both Type A and Type B. We also have a wide range of copper press pipe fittings to make installation easier.
For hot water installations, check out our extensive range of high temp copper press fittings. Plus, we also stock copper capillary fittings if you prefer this type of installation.
At Forge Plumbing, we’re happy to be your one-stop shop for all the plumbing supplies you’re ever going to need. Especially when it comes to copper pipes and fittings.
In addition, we offer free shipping on every single order - no matter how much you spend. Plus, our customer service team is always happy to answer any questions that you may have about the plumbing supplies that you need.
If any questions, give our friendly team a call on 1300 120 100.