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PLUMBING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
AGE of PLUMBING MATERIALS & FIXTURES
AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS, FIXTURES
ANTI SCALD VALVES
ANODES & DIP TUBES on WATER HEATERS
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEPTIC
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEWER LINE
BACKWATER VALVES, SEWER LINE
BATH & KITCHEN DESIGN GUIDE
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
CHLORINE IN DRINKING WATER
DEBRIS in WATER SUPPLY, Water Heater
DEPTH of SEPTIC TANK
DRAIN & SEWER PIPING
FAUCETS & CONTROLS, KITCHEN & BATH
FAUCETS, OUTDOOR HOSE BIBBS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOOR DRAIN / TRAP ODORS
FLUSHOMETER VALVES for TOILETS URINALS
GAS PIPING, VALVES, CONTROLS
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
HARD WATER - SOFTENERS
HEAT TAPES, Heat, Insulation prevent Freeze-Up
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEAD IN DRINKING WATER, HOW to REDUCE
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MIXING / ANTI-SCALD VALVES
MUNICIPAL WATER PRESSURE IMPROVEMENTS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS IN WATER
ODORS, SEPTIC or SEWER
ODORS SEWER GAS in COLD WEATHER
ODORS, SULPHUR SMELL SOURCES
ANIMAL or URINE ODOR SOURCE DETECTION
PIPING IN BUILDINGS, Clogs Leaks Types
PLUMBING FIXTURES, KITCHEN, BATH
PLUMBING NOISE CONTROL
PLUMBING VENT DEFINITIONS & CODES
PLUMBING VENT DEFECTS & NOISES
PUMPS, WATER REPAIR
RELIEF VALVE LEAKS
RELIEF VALVES - TP Valves on Boilers
RELIEF VALVES - STEAM TP VALVES
RELIEF VALVES - Water Heaters
RELIEF VALVES - Water Tanks
REPAIR BURST LEAKY PIPES
SEPTIC METHANE GAS
SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION, USE
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMPS & TANKS
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SOURCE ALTERNATIVES
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION, USE
WATER SHUTOFF VALVE, WELL PUMP
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes the pros and cons of using copper or plastic piping in buildings. We explain the advantages and possible downsides of choosing one or the other (plastic piping or copper piping for water supply or drains). The question of which is better, copper or plastic piping, copper or PEX, copper or ABS, or copper and PVC or CPVC piping has answers but the results may not be as unambiguous as one imagines. Each piping material & piping connector or fitting system has both its advantages and its concerns.
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Some questions have been raised about the chemicals used in the adhesives used to join sections of piping, and the toxic gases given off from plastic piping during a fire.
Polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are only suitable for waste, underground water service pipes or cold water piping systems.
Our photographs of plastic water supply piping connections just below show a new water main (below left) and building supply pipe being connected to copper piping entering a building (below right) in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico in 2010.
- Adapted with permission from The Home Reference Book
What About the Relative Safety of Copper Piping vs. PEX Piping in Buildings?
Details comparing the concerns, issues, codes, standards, features & questions about possible health concerns where PEX piping is used are found at PEX vs. Copper Piping, safety. Excerpts from that article are below.
Pex vs. Copper Water Supply Piping - which is better?
Question: my daughter is doing extensive renovations on her house and the question has come up whether to use PEX or copper in the plumbing. I did a google search and the informations is conflicted. Do you have knowledge of, and opinions about, this controversy? - Elisha Fisch, New York 2/17/2013
Copper has been around a long time. We recently chose PEX for both water suppy and for a hot water heating line in an addition and so far have been happy with the results.
Our PEX tubing photo at left shows its use in new construction completed in a New York structure in 2012.
You can see the ease of bending radius in these piping runs of both hot (red) and cold (blue) water supply lines.
What follows is an OPINION based on field experience as a builder, renovator & inspector:
PEX water supply piping offers some advantages over copper sweat-fitting piping installation
Our PEX tubing photo at left illustrates an older PEX piping product installed in a Haddonfield New Jersey Home.
PEX Supply Piping Caveats
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the pros & cons of copper piping or plastic piping for building water supply or drain/waste/vent piping
Questions & answers or comments about the pros & cons of copper piping or plastic piping for building water supply or drain/waste/vent piping.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.