Copper piping is widely used for the construction of water supply lines. Also, they can be found in the refrigerant lines of all types of HVAC systems. Copper pipes are available in soft and hard forms and help establish a connection between pipelines without any potential risk of corrosion.
Copper pipes of Type K, Type L, and Type M are commonly used in the construction industry. Other types of copper pipes are used for drain-waste-vent purposes in old residential spaces.
The diameter of each copper pipe varies according to its type. However, the outside diameter of a rigid copper pipe is thicker than its nominal size. The level of fluid pressure inside and outside a pipe determines the amount of copper piping required for performing any particular function, such as installation, HVAC system services, etc..
Types of Copper Piping
Your property’s plumbing system may require different types of copper piping. Be it the construction of a building or home, water supply lines, or your air conditioning systems, copper piping can make your life easier. They are is long-lasting and do not require frequent repairs to function correctly. Each type of copper piping differs from others in terms of size, pressure, and function.
The following types of copper piping are commonly used for various applications.
Type K Copper Piping
Available in hard and soft forms, Type K copper pipes have the thickest wall as compared to the rest. It is commonly used in water supply, fire protection, HVAC systems, oil supply, and residential and commercial construction projects. With its versatile properties, it caters to flared and compressed fittings as well. It is an ideal type of copper piping to be used in water lines and underground installation of systems as it can bear high levels of pressure.
Type L Copper Piping
Being thinner than Type K, Type L copper pipes are known for their use in fire protection, interior plumbing, and HVAC systems. It can be found in hard and soft forms for compression and flare fittings, repairing faulty water lines, and replacing pipes outside the house.
Type M Copper Piping
Type M copper pipes are the thinnest among pipes. With their hard and soft forms, they can be used for water supply within the house, including vacuum systems. Available at an affordable price with a thin wall, they are perfect for constructing residential properties. However, this piping may not be allowed in every area due to restricted plumbing codes. Therefore, it would be better to confirm from your building authority before using it for construction purposes.
Copper DWV Piping
Copper Drain-Waste-Vent (DWV) pipes are available for draining and venting purposes in old homes. However, they have been replaced with PVC and ABS plastic pipes in newly constructed buildings with modern architectural designs. It cannot withstand high-pressure levels from the outside or inside the pipe. It typically consists of yellow markings that help plumbers differentiate between copper DWV pipes and Type M copper pipes.
Cleaning of Copper Water Pipes
Appropriately installing the copper plumbing can increase the longevity of the pipes. However, you need to keep a check on potential leaks, trapped dirt, and corrosion as it can deteriorate its condition. You can use various techniques to clean the pipes effectively. Using a commercial cleaner, you can get rid of calcium and lime deposits as well as rust build-up on the pipes. It is better to take necessary preventive measures such as wearing gloves and a face mask before using chemical cleaners.
If you are allergic to cleaning agents and wish to avoid using them, you can create an organic cleaner with natural ingredients. A solution of vinegar and salt can efficiently clean the rust or dirt settled on your copper piping. You can leave it on for at least 10 minutes for the best results, and the mixture will do its magic. After 10 minutes, you can rinse them with water, and your pipes will look as good as new.
Corrosion on Copper Pipes
Copper pipes are prone to corrosion. In some instances, it may occur due to electrical faults. It may also happen due to wiring issues that hinder the connection of pipes. Also, it may occur if the pH of the water inside the pipes fluctuates significantly, causing acidity within the water that may corrode the metal in a short time.
To eliminate corrosion, you need to install a calcite neutralizer tank to fix the imbalance of pH within the water flow. Also, you can use a phosphate feeder to reduce the level of external corrosion issues by creating a protective layer within the pipes to avoid further damage.
Replacement of Copper Pipes
You will need to replace the plumbing or get your copper pipe repaired for better functioning. With regular maintenance of your copper pipes, they can last you around 50 years. However, you may notice some level of wear and tear within the pipes, followed by a foul smell or green crusts on your pipes. In some cases, it may require you to get the pipes repaired or replaced unexpectedly.
Copper pipes are an excellent investment for new homes or commercial buildings. You can count on them to work well for a long time. With frequent repairs, cleaning, and maintenance, you can remarkably improve the performance of your plumbing system.