March 05, 2023 Copper Fittings, Technical Guides Why is Copper Used For Water Pipes and What Makes it So Durable?

You might be wondering why is copper used for water pipes and what makes it so durable. Copper is a popular material for plumbing fittings due to its excellent malleability, and resistance to corrosion. Copper plumbing fittings offer several benefits, including durability, longevity, and cost-effectiveness. 

PlumbHQ Copper Fittings being prepared for soldering

Why is corrosion and why is it so bad?

One of the most significant advantages of copper plumbing fittings is their natural resistance to corrosion. Corrosion is a natural process that occurs when metals react with their surrounding environment, resulting in the deterioration of their physical and chemical properties. Corrosion can lead to the weakening and eventual failure of metal structures, causing significant safety and financial concerns.

Fortunately for us, copper is highly resistant to corrosion, making it an ideal material for plumbing fittings which should be durable and long-lasting.

Why is copper used for water pipes?

Copper resists corrosion in two ways: through its natural oxide layer and its inherent chemical properties.

Copper naturally forms an oxide layer on its surface, which acts as a protective barrier against corrosion. When used for drinking water, the protective layer's surface interacts with the gases and salts present in the water, resulting in the formation of an extra layer that is primarily composed of copper carbonates. The color of this layer depends on the water's composition, ranging from turquoise blue to deep green in cold water systems and a brown or purple hue in hot water applications.

In addition to its natural oxide layer, copper also has other properties that make it resistant to corrosion. Copper is a noble metal, which are notable for their lack of reactivity. This basically means it less likely to corrode when exposed to corrosive elements such as water, salt, or acids.

Are copper fittings cost-effective?

Another reason why is copper used for water pipes is that copper is also extremely malleable and ductile, making them easy to shape and install. What this means for you is that they can be mass produced easily, and cheaply.

Furthermore, copper plumbing fittings are cost-effective in the long run. While copper fittings may have a higher upfront cost compared to other materials, their durability and resistance to corrosion mean they require minimal maintenance and have a longer lifespan. This results in lower maintenance, costly failures and replacement costs over time, making copper fittings a cost-effective choice for homeowners and businesses alike.

Where can I get them?

PlumbHQ offers a broad selection of high quality copper fittings that are available for same-day dispatch and come with free shipping. Check them out now and get ahead of the game with the rights tools for your next job.

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If you have any queries or questions about the products we sell, or even your next project, give us a shout! We'll try our best to give you a hand.