Everyone wants their homes to be as safe as possible. If you think it’s time to replace your water pipes, it’s more than understandable if you want to use a pipe material that won’t pose a threat to your family’s health and wellbeing. But what’s the best solution: copper or plastic pipes?
As a busy homeowner, you might not know the ins and outs of water pipe materials — and that’s completely fine. Below, we’ll discuss whether or not copper and PVC water pipes are safe for drinking water. After you have a better understanding of these materials and their pros and cons, you can make an informed decision that will benefit your family and plumbing system.
So, are copper and PVC water pipes safe for drinking water? If you ask several plumbers in Decatur, IL, this question, you might receive various different answers. Why? Well, there are many factors to consider. Although there are a few piping materials that you shouldn’t use, there are some that have advantages and disadvantages that are worth considering. We’ll start with copper.
All-in-all, copper pipes are some of the safest pipes for drinking water. Although they can be on the more expensive side, these pipes are known for being strong and long-lasting. However, it’s worth noting that not all water pipes are created equal.
You’ll want to install copper pipes with lead-free solder. If the solder contains lead, you run the risk of chemical leaching — which can contaminate your drinking water supply. Acidic water is also known to corrode lead solder, so you’ll certainly want to avoid this option if the tap water in your district contains high acidity.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes are a cost-effective option that has become much more popular in recent years. This material is a type of thermoplastic that can have many uses — from residential to commercial plumbing. But is PVC pipe safe for drinking water?
Again, this is one of the safest pipes for drinking water. This material is approved to use with a home’s drinking water and won’t corrode. However, there can be some downsides to these pipes. When it comes down to it, PVC tends to have lower durability than other types of materials and can produce a plastic taste in the water. Fortunately, this strange taste usually goes away.
Additional Plastic Pipe Materials
If you’re interested in plastic piping materials but want to steer away from PVC, cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipes are another option. Durable and resistant to corrosion, PEX pipes are a top choice among homeowners. This material is also affordable if you’re searching for a more budget-friendly solution.
Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipes are also one of the safest pipes for drinking water. This specific material is considered a more robust alternative to PVC and can withstand high temperatures. CPVC pipes often have a long service life, but of course, they can have that same issue of creating a plastic-like taste in the water.
What Type of Pipe Cannot Be Used for Drinking Water?
Now that you know that copper and PVC water pipes are safe for drinking water, you’re probably wondering which materials you should steer clear of. There are two that are worth mentioning: iron and galvanized steel.
If you have galvanized steel or iron pipes, you’ll want to have them replaced as soon as possible. These materials used to be used in homes pre-1970s. However, they are highly prone to corrosion — which can spell trouble for your water supply. The last thing you want is for outdated pipes to contaminate your home’s water quality.
How Often Do Water Pipes Need To Be Replaced?
Nothing lasts forever — not even your plumbing system. However, different plumbing pipes can have different lifespans. Copper pipes, PEX, and CPVC pipes can last up to 70 years or even longer in some instances. On the other hand, PVC pipes can have a lifespan of up to 80 years.
Of course, every situation is different. You might find that the water piping in your home needs to be replaced sooner than later, depending on if there’s any corrosion or damage.
Turn to Mike Williams for Your Plumbing Needs
So, are copper and PVC water pipes safe for drinking water? In short, the answer is a resounding “yes.” In fact, these are some of the safest pipes for drinking water around. If you’re ready for an installation, all you have to do is review your options and select the material that works best for you and your needs.
As a homeowner, it can be difficult to know which plumbing services will benefit you and your home the most. Fortunately, Mike Williams is here to help! We’re proud to serve homeowners from Champaign and Urbana to Normal and Bloomington, IL. Contact us today for more information about our services, including our Springfield, IL, drain pipe installations!