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Plastic vs. Copper in Plumbing

Plastic and copper are both popular materials used in plumbing. Both materials come with their advantages and disadvantages. Research should be done before a consumer takes on any plumbing project.

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There is a considerable difference in cost when comparing plastic and copper plumbing. On average, a plumbing project that uses copper pipes and fittings will cost much more than a project that uses plastic pipes and fittings.


Plastic plumbing is much lighter than copper plumbing however, copper plumbing is more durable and lasts longer than plastic plumbing. Plastic plumbing is much easier to install than copper.


The biggest benefits in plastic plumbing are its low cost and ease of installation. The biggest benefits to copper are its proven effectiveness and durability.


Plastic plumbing is resistant to corrosion, abrasion and condensation. Copper plumbing is fire-resistant and usually carries manufacturer warranties of more than 50 years.


Both materials can add an undesirable taste to water in rare situations. Copper pipes can sometimes leave a metallic taste in the water while plastic pipes can leave a plastic-like aftertaste. Plastic plumbing can crack if abused and copper plumbing can produce pinhole leaks if acidic water runs through them.

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About the Author

Jay Leone
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