Why is copper used for water pipes?


Copper has long been the traditional choice for domestic and commercial plumbing installations. But as plastic pipe gathers popularity, you may be questioning whether a place still exists in the market for the good old, reliable copper pipe.

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Definitely! Copper pipe has many advantages over plastic pipe, including durability, malleability and cost-effectiveness. Copper pipe is also recyclable at end-of-life, making it a sustainable choice for environmentally-minded consumers.

Why is copper pipe so durable?

Copper is a metal that is naturally impervious to corrosion, meaning that copper pipes will not rust and contaminate water systems. Because copper is not affected by external elements, it can last up to 20 years longer than an equivalent plastic pipe.

Why is malleability important?

Pipes that are easy to shape are also easy to install, meaning that work is carried out to a very high standard more quickly than is typically possible with plastic pipes. Modern press-fit connectors also contribute to efficient copper pipe installation times and enable repairs to be performed expediently, resolving leaks and saving water.

Why is copper pipe cost-effective?

You may be wondering how a material as versatile, durable and visually attractive as copper pipe can be produced cost-effectively. It is simple. This traditional form of pipework can be mass-produced very cheaply and given its long lifetime and minimal maintenance requirements, offers excellent value for money.

Recycling copper at end-of-life

Copper pipe is infinitely recyclable. Indeed, experts estimate that of the 550 million tons of copper that have been produced since 1900, over 66% of it is still in use today. Copper is one of those rare products that does not degrade upon recycling and can therefore be safely reused time and time again.

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PVC pipes on the other hand reach end-of-life more quickly and release harmful chemicals when melted. Therefore, they must be recycled separately, costing more and creating a greater environmental impact.

Both copper pipe and copper pipe fittings are designed to minimise leaks and failures, giving you peace of mind and a safe water supply system for decades to come.

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