Plumbing pipe fittings are usually created from various metals and materials. Plastic is also used in many plumbing situations. Two frequently used metals to produce pipe fittings are steel and copper. Both of these materials have been used for several centuries in piping and plumbing installations. You may be wondering if one is more superior than the other, however both of them have their pros and cons associated. In this article we are going to go over which is better to suit your piping needs.
Steel is one of the more durable metals on the market for plumbing. Once it is installed, steel pipe fittings can last a lifetime. Since plumbing fittings are the sort of installation many people prefer to do once and forget about it, this makes steel pipe fittings a cost effective investment for home owners. Steel can withstand rust and corrosion better than most, and are hardly affected by hot or cold temperatures. Should water ever freeze in steel piping, damage is rare and may never occur. This adds to the durability of steel plumbing fittings. Steel fittings are a good choice for those who live in marine environments, salt water washing over these pipes will not cause wear on the plumbing fittings
Steel however, is not one of the easier materials to work with for plumbing installations. Compared to copper, steel is extremely hard and lacks the malleability of copper. This makes installation more entailing which also adds to overall costs. When used in plumbing, steel must be galvanized to protect it from rust and corrosion. However, galvanized steel may introduce small quantities of lead into the water with time. This may have some harmful effects to health which is why many people have a preference for copper.
The durability of copper pipe fittings has been well proven over the years. Many buildings that are several centuries old still retain the same copper pipe fittings that were originally installed. Copper has a remarkable resistance to fire. In the event of fire, fittings will not be destroyed. Also of significance is that in the event of a fire, since copper fittings don’t burn, no toxic gasses are released. This helps contain the toxic dangers created by house fires. Copper fittings are also resistant to bacteria and rot. The biostatic quality of copper prevents bacteria from growing in the piping. This assures you of cleaner and safer water supply. Copper is a much softer metal than steel which makes it easier to work with. You can achieve various lengths, widths and contours more easily with copper fittings. Copper can bend with ease which reduces the requirement for connectors and fasteners in plumbing, this cuts down on both hardware and installation costs.
With copper, pipe fittings are more costly than steel. This places them beyond reach especially where the budget may be restricted. Although copper can withstand high temperatures, it doesn’t bear up well to extreme cold like steel. In the event that extremely cold weather occurs, water can freeze inside the piping. This can cause copper piping to split. Repair or replacement adds to your home maintenance costs. If you live in an area where water contains high levels of acid, copper plumbing is unsuitable. High water acidity causes corrosion to copper plumbing.
In the end, the pipe fittings that you decide to go with will all carry amazing benefits, but knowing the downsides to different metals can save you more money in the long run. Talk with us to decide which metal is best for you and your situation of use, it is our goal to create happy customers.