Are PVC Pipes Better Than Copper Pipes? Here Are the Pros and Cons

Are PVC Pipes Better Than Copper Pipes? Here Are the Pros and Cons
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: July 30, 2021
  • Updated On: July 4, 2023

Since 2004 the cost of copper has nearly tripled.

This means that for many of us other options have to be considered as it may not be economically possible to continue using copper pipes. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of copper pipes vs PVC pipes.

Copper Pipes vs PVC

Copper pipes have been the most popular type of plumbing pipe used since the 1960s. The reasons for this are clear, copper is considered the gold standard of plumbing pipes. In modern times, more modern materials like PEX and PVC have started to take over as the preferred choice in many applications, so let’s look at copper pipe vs PVC.

Pros and Cons Of PVC

Are PVC Pipes Better Than Copper Pipes? Here Are the Pros and Cons

PVC is easy to work with, and resistant to heat changes. It is a lightweight material and is very resistant to corrosion. The problem with PVC is that it is also lightweight, meaning that if it is mishandled it can be broken more easily than copper.

PVC is also quite a bit cheaper to buy and easier to produce than copper. PVC is a low-carbon plastic, meaning that it doesn’t take an excessive amount of materials or carbon to produce a piece of PVC. This has made it an increasingly popular choice for plumbing needs, despite being easier to crack.

Pros and Cons of Copper Pipe

Copper pipe is the gold standard, it has been used for so long because it is durable, heavy-duty, and highly resistant to corrosion. When looking at the pros of copper, you’ll notice most don’t apply when dealing with copper drain pipes vs PVC, but rather are more pronounced when dealing with PVC vs copper water pipes.

The reason for this is that PVC can leach some materials into water, but copper won’t. The downside of copper is that it is expensive to produce, it remains a finite natural resource, and the process of extracting and forging copper pipes causes a lot of pollution compared to PVC.

The Biggest Difference

The environmental impact remains the largest difference when comparing PVC pipe vs copper pipe, which also affects the price. Copper must be mined, and the process leaves large toxic pools behind, all of which require reclamation. PVC on the other hand is produced via a PVC pipe extrusion line.

Now we are onto the second largest difference between them, the price. Copper vs PVC pipes cost is not even close, copper is more expensive hands down. They both perform extremely well in practical applications, so when possible you should consider PVC to be the superior choice.

The Final Word On Pipes

While PVC doesn’t quite measure up to copper for bringing water to a house, it outperforms copper in almost every other way. When comparing copper pipes vs PVC remember that PVC can do everything copper can do but will do it cheaper.

We hope you found this post informative. Feel free to browse our site for other great articles!

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.