Copper pipes for home

So, you started a thorough renovation in your house and decided to change the old, useless pipes for new, reliable and safe ones. The question arises before you: what to choose? Let’s try to figure it out.

Currently, the so-called “plastic” (polymer) pipes are very popular on the market. This term unites a large group of products that differ in their properties. In addition, even the individual characteristics of plastic pipes of the same type from different manufacturers may not be the same at all..

The main “disease” of many popular today “plastic” pipes is the reduced resistance to chlorinated water.

So, for example, in those countries where chlorination is quite common (in the USA, for example), special standards have even been created for the method of testing a number of plastic pipes. Note that not all plastic pipes pass these tests (for resistance when using chlorinated water). And in the Scandinavian countries, scientists and representatives of the sanitary supervision have questions about some plastic pipes in connection with the established facts of the release of complex organic substances from the walls of pipes into drinking water. These substances, on the one hand, do not bode well for health, but on the other hand, they contribute to the formation of biofilms (bacterial colonies) on the inner walls of the pipes, for which organic substances serve as food.

In addition, many types of plastic pipes cannot be used in heating networks due to the fact that their performance does not allow them to withstand certain pressures and temperatures. This is especially important for Russia, since, according to experts, about 80% of heating systems in the country are so-called “one-pipe”, i.e. in order to ensure an acceptable temperature in the entire building at the entrance, a heat carrier with a temperature of over 100 degrees C can be supplied to them.

In other words, when choosing plastic pipes, you must very carefully understand the properties of each specific type, and even better, of each specific manufacturer..

However, “plastic” has a weighty alternative – sanitary pipes made of copper.

Professional installers especially value copper systems for their versatility: they are suitable for plumbing, heating and gas, which significantly reduces overhead costs. Another important plus of copper pipes is that chlorinated water is indifferent to them … In addition, copper has the property of bacteriostaticity, which prevents the growth of bacterial colonies on its inner surface. More than a century of experience in the operation of copper pipes in the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Poland has proved that the terms of trouble-free operation of copper pipes in water supply and heating systems is from 50 to 100 years.

Of course, like any product, copper has its limitations. So, copper pipes in the water supply do not like extremes – too acidic or too alkaline water, too soft or too hard. Experts have listed in detail all the restrictions on the use of copper in plumbing in the corresponding set of rules.

But in heating systems, there are practically no restrictions for copper pipes..

Standards and experience do not recommend abusing unnecessarily frequent emptying of the heating system and advise you to comply with the requirements of the documents for the operation of such systems. In this case, copper heating systems must serve faithfully for over 50 years..

Those who like to do everything on their own and very quickly will like the so-called recently appeared. press systems. These are special copper (or made of copper alloy) press fittings that are crimped with a force of several tons around the pipe ends to be joined by special press machines. Such press machines are quite expensive, but manufacturers interested in selling press fittings provide them to customers during installation for a nominal fee. As for the reliability of both capillary brazed joints and press systems, it has been experimentally proven that their strength exceeds the strength of the pipes themselves..

The trap lies in wait for the inquisitive consumer if he tries to compare prices for copper pipes with prices for polymer pipes. The fact is that the complete system consists not only of pipes, but also of a large number of connecting parts (fittings), fasteners and other fittings. In the case of polymer pipes, this seemingly insignificant “appendage” is about 90-100% of the cost of the pipes themselves, and in the case of copper pipes – about 30%. Copper pipes themselves are definitely more expensive than polymer pipes, especially cheap products from South-East Asia. In other words, a ready-made copper system with installation will be more expensive than systems made of very cheap non-brand “plastics” and, most likely, will be roughly comparable to the cost of a complete system made of the best expensive polymers.

So, the choice in favor of copper pipes, it seems to us, is obvious. However, the last word always remains with you: look, compare and choose only the best. Happy renovation.

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