Differences Between Copper, PVC, & PEX Piping
The type and quality of plumbing piping can make a big difference when it comes to keeping your home running smoothly year-round. From mild winter months to sunny Florida summers, it's essential to select the right materials for plumbing systems to avoid costly repairs later on.
The type of tubing used in a plumbing system can significantly affect its durability, longevity, cost, and ease of installation. In this blog, we’ll review some common types of plumbing materials to see which type of pipe may be best for your home. Keep reading to learn more about choosing between copper, PVC, and PEX tubing for your home’s indoor plumbing system!
Choosing the Right Plumbing Materials for Your Florida Home
Each type of plumbing piping has unique strengths and weaknesses. Which is best to install in your Florida home?
Copper piping has been used for decades for its reliability and durability. A classic choice for plumbing systems, some pros of going with copper plumbing for your Florida home include:
- High resistance to corrosion and leakage – Not only is copper resistant to deterioration and heat, but it’s also a material that bacteria struggle to survive in, making it a sanitary option.
- Versatile – Copper is suitable for both hot and cold water applications.
- Can withstand high pressure – Copper’s durability makes it an ideal option for outdoor and underground installations.
However, every option has its downsides. While copper can be an excellent choice for your home’s plumbing, copper tubing requires precise measurements and skilled soldering techniques for joint connections. Improper soldering can lead to leaks and reduced performance of your plumbing system, making it all the more important to hire a licensed expert you can trust to get the job done right the first time!
Even though copper can be pricier than other materials, it can be well worth its higher price tag for many Florida home and business owners. Copper is often an excellent choice for water supply lines, refrigeration lines, and outdoor applications due to its ability to withstand harsh elements and extreme weather conditions. Despite its higher price tag, copper plumbing systems can generally last for 50 years or more with proper maintenance, making it an ideal and cost-effective option for many.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plumbing has grown in popularity, largely thanks to its affordability and ease of installation. This type of tubing is commonly used for drainage systems, irrigation, and vent lines. Some upsides of using PVC piping for the plumbing system in your Florida home or business include:
- More affordable than copper and PEX
- Lightweight and easy to handle, making it suitable for DIY installations
- Resistant to chemical corrosion
Some cons of PVC piping include:
- Not ideal for hot water applications because it can warp over time
- Vulnerable to impact damage, potentially leading to cracks in the system
- Less durable compared to other materials
When it comes to PVC, PEX, and copper piping, PVC is generally the most cost-effective of the three, making it an ideal option for many Florida families. At the same time, it's important to understand that PVC piping is less durable than pricier options like copper and PEX, with a lifetime spanning anywhere from 24-40 years.
PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) piping is a flexible plastic tubing that has been increasingly used in modern plumbing systems. It’s widely used for water supply lines, radiant floor heating systems, and indoor plumbing applications. Some pros of using PEX piping in your Florida home or business include:
- Easy installation
- Highly flexible, allowing for easier installation around obstacles
- Resistant to freezing, making it suitable for cold weather climates
- Less prone to bursting compared to copper and PVC
However, PEX isn't UV-resistant and can't be used in outdoor applications exposed to sunlight, as it can degrade under UV exposure. Certain varieties of PEX piping can also be sensitive to certain chemicals, limiting its use in specific scenarios.
Regarding cost, PEX tubing falls somewhere in the middle compared to PVC and copper, lasting up to 50 years with proper care and maintenance. This can make PEX piping an ideal choice for many homes and businesses in Miami and the surrounding areas.
Contact Our Friendly Experts at Dovis Plumbing
From leaky faucets to clogged drains, our licensed experts at Dovis Plumbing have the knowledge and know-how to restore your Florida home or business back to working condition. Our friendly professionals offer same-day services and a one-year warranty for all parts and labor. With a client-backed track record of success, you can count on our team of expert technicians to restore your indoor comfort and get the job done right!
Call (954) 516-1078 to learn how Dovis Plumbing can help with plumbing repairs, maintenance, and upgrades in your Florida home or business!