If you have a new build or have looked into getting plumbing replaced recently, you may have been shocked to see plastic pipes as the new plumbing standard. Polymer pipes are not a new technology, in fact, they have been around since the 1960s and steadily rising in popularity for use in residential and commercial plumbing systems. In recent years, with the rising cost of copper and decreased availability of the metal, more and more places are relying on the plastic pipes for the entire plumbing system. Join us in today’s post as we compare the two types of plumbing pipes — copper and plastic.

At Culler Plumbing, we have a quarter-century of experience repairing and replacing the plumbing system in Metro East Illinois. All of our technicians are up-to-date on the latest trends and fabrications being used. Whether you have copper or plastic and want copper or plastic, our local plumber can help.

So, What’s the Deal With Plastic Plumbing Pipes?

Plastic plumbing pipes are not a new revelation, but they are not as common as their copper counterpart. For this reason, alone, many homeowners are not well-versed on the pros and cons, and some people may even stare incredulously at them.

The Pros of Plastic Plumbing Pipes

To help quell some of your fears about plastic/ polymer pipes, let’s begin by reviewing some of the positives.

  • High corrosion resistance
  • Greater heat retention — reduces hot water heater demand and keeps the water warmer for the end-user.
  • Reduced material and labor costs.
  • More flexibility, which results in fewer breaks and bursts.
  • Allows the ability for greater water pressure.

Despite common beliefs, plastic tubing actually reduces the number of leaks and breaks! Because the plastic is able to expand and contract, it is more resistant to breaks and leaks caused by frozen pipes. Additionally, its flexibility allows plastic pipes to better navigate around turns and requires fewer joints, which results in fewer leaks.

The Downside of Plastic Pipes

There are cons to everything, and plastic plumbing pipes are no exception. Here is a list of the cons to using plastic pipes for your plumbing.

  • 40-50 year usage lifespan
  • Not all municipalities allow plastic piping
  • Sunlight affects them, so they cannot be used above ground, out of doors.

Some studies conducted also suggested that plastic pipes had a higher probability of leaching chemicals as opposed to their copper counterparts, but those studies did not link this concern to health concerns or material integrity compromise. It should be noted that any material used to make pipes has the potential to release contaminants into the water it transports, so reducing sediments and contamination are much more important than the type of piping used.

Now that we have you contemplating plastic plumbing pipes, we will allow you to digest the information. Stay tuned for part two of this two-part series where we will discuss the pros and cons of the classic copper piping you’re accustomed to.

At Culler Plumbing Services, we are proud to be the go-to plumbing company for Belleville and the surrounding Metro East Illinois area. For all of your piping and plumbing queries, contact us!