copper pipe

What you should know about copper pipes

Copper is one of the most common piping materials used in Canada, and with good reason. Whether you already have copper pipes or want to make the switch, here’s what you need to know. 

The pros

There are several reasons for copper’s popularity as a plumbing material, namely:


  • It’s easy to work with. While this might not be a selling point for you, plumbers generally prefer to work with copper piping as it’s very lightweight and flexible.
  • It’s durable. Thanks to its flexibility, copper is known to be fairly resistant to earthquakes. It also doesn’t rust, which is part of what made it a popular plumbing material in the first place.
  • It’s long-lasting. If properly installed and cared for, copper piping can last for more than 25 years. To get the most out of your pipes, be sure to have them installed by an experienced professional. This will help you avoid major issues down the road due to poor installation.
  • It helps with bacteria grow. This makes this piping material a safer choice than steel or PVC.


The cons

While there are numerous benefits to copper piping, it’s unfortunately common for builders to use low-quality copper pipes in new builds. Additionally, acidic water has been shown to degrade copper over time, which can cause pinhole leaks and a metallic taste in the water. Copper pipes are also easily damaged by unusually high water pressure.


How to recognize issues

Even if your home or business doesn’t have any of the risk factors mentioned above, such as high water pressure or acidic water, there are a few warning signs you should watch for that could indicate your copper pipes need to be repaired.


A sudden drop in water pressure should always prompt a call to your plumber. Additionally, copper turns blue when it oxidizes. Therefore, if your water leaves teal stains on your plumbing fixtures, such as in the sink, bathtub or shower, this could indicate corrosion inside the pipes.


Finally, stagnant water can harm copper pipes. You should consider having your water lines inspected if water has been sitting in the pipes for a long time. This might be the case if you’ve been away for a few months and didn’t shut off the water and drain the pipes beforehand.


Hillcrest Plumbing and heating experts in Vancouver

If you need a plumber, don’t hesitate to call Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating. Our service area includes North Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and the surrounding communities. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or request an estimate.

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