There is a wide variety of piping available, so it can be tricky to determine which plumbing pipe is best. In Australia, Copper and PVC plastics are the most common. However, other materials, such as cast iron and galvanised steel, are still used. Plastic pipes have become popular because they are corrosion resistant, lightweight and pliable, but copper still has its benefits. This blog will give you insight into what different pipes are for and help you decide which plumbing pipe is best.

Copper piping

In Australia, copper is still the most used piping material, but many copper installations are getting old and degraded. Copper is great for any water temperature and is resistant to corrosion. Plus, copper naturally defends against bacteria, so it is ideal for carrying drinking water. And, if you’re worried about the quality of copper, there are strict guidelines regarding the quality of copper sold in Australia.

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The downside of copper is the price. Both copper piping and fittings are generally more expensive than plastic. Also, copper can sometimes experience electrolysis which can cause it to degrade faster than it should.

Next, we’ll talk about plastic piping to help you determine which plumbing pipe is best.

Plastic Piping: Which plumbing pipe is best?

The two main types of plastic piping are PEX (Cross-linked polyethylene) and Polybutene (PB) piping. There are other plastic pipes, such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride), but PEX and PB are the most popular. Both can carry hot or cold water and are used mainly for indoor plumbing, and neither should be left exposed to sunlight except for certain types of PEX piping. Plus, they’re both cheaper than copper. Both have their ups and downs, but which plumbing pipe is best?

PEX piping:

PEX has several benefits over copper or PB piping. PEX piping, unlike PB, comes in UV resistant varieties. It’s also fast and easy to install with the correct tools. Plus, it has a longer lifetime than PB. 

The problem with PEX is its installation and its easy damage. PEX requires specific tools to instal depending on which brand you choose. Plus, there are many manufacturers and brands in the PEX market, which can be confusing. Also, PEX is prone to crimping damage and is more prone to heat and pressure damage than copper or PB.

PB Piping:

Polybutylene piping also has multiple benefits and drawbacks compared to copper and PEX. PB was a popular, cheap alternative to coppering piping before introducing PEX. PB is fast and easy to install, like PEX and is convenient for longer underground solutions. However, PB piping is easily damaged by digging and requires precise bedding to ensure longevity. 

Which plumbing pipe is best?

The ultimate question is which plumbing pipe is best. However, there is no one answer. The pipe you choose will come down to the context. Many plumbers still opt for copper where possible, but plastic piping solutions are popular for big projects due to their price and ease of installation. Your best bet is to consult a professional plumber regarding which plumbing pipe is best for your needs. For all your general and emergency plumbing needs, contact The Brisbane Plumbers today. We’re available 24/7 and will arrive within 60 minutes*. Call The Brisbane Plumber now on 0450 932 850.