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Materials a Plumber Uses: Are Copper or Plastic Pipes Best? | Knoxville, TN

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Are you a homeowner who’s looking to replace some old, leaky piping? Or are you managing a new build and wondering what type of pipes are best? When plumbing your home, several important decisions need to be made. Do you opt for traditional copper piping or modern plastic pipes? This article will look at the benefits and disadvantages of both.

If you own a property in Knoxville, TN, and are looking for a plumbing company, don’t hesitate to contact My Professional Plumber. The company is available for general plumbing as well as carrying out emergency repairs.

Copper or Plastic Pipes

When deciding on whether to use copper or plastic pipes for your build, there are many things that you’ll need to consider. It’s essential to be sure about what type of pipes you want, as changing your mind mid-project will waste both time and money.

Before you hire a plumber, you’ll need to decide on the material you’d rather use. If you’re unsure, consider getting the opinion of a qualified technician.

Copper Pipes

Copper pipes have been used for generations across much of the developed world. Most plumbers still like using copper as it allows them greater flexibility when switching out parts. In the past, copper has been a very popular choice; if you buy an older property, it’s almost certain to have copper pipe insulation.

The Benefits of Using Copper Pipes

Copper pipes are very hard-wearing, durable, and long-lasting. They are also less corrosive and, as a result, can be easily used outside. Copper can cope with whatever conditions are thrown at it; it can handle hot situations without losing its strength. Copper is less affected by high water pressure than plastic.

The Disadvantages of Using Copper Pipes

The rising popularity of plastic pipes is in part due to the cost of copper. Copper pipes cost a lot more to install, and while they may last a lot longer, then plastic the initial cost could be expensive. Copper is also not as flexible as plastic pipes.

If you choose to have copper pipes, you’ll need a filtering system in your home; otherwise, your tap water is likely to have a metallic taste. This will also add to the cost of the installation.

Copper piping isn’t resistant to sweating, and you may also have problems during the winter months if water freezes inside the pipes.


Plumbers have a long history of using copper piping as they work well in residential properties. Copper is popular as it’s a softer material to work with and offers flexibility and durability. Copper pipes are also able to resist water corrosion and are more hard-wearing than other metal pipes.

It’s important to remember that copper is a metal and is, therefore, a conductor of heat. This means that heat (if you’re heating water to run a bath) or cooling can be lost as the water travels through the system. Exposed copper pipes can also be dangerous to children as they can get very hot to the touch.

Copper pipes are still regularly used as it’s a fantastic material which lasts a long time.

Plastic Pipes

Plastic pipes, made from Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) have increased in popularity in recent years due to their flexibility and the cheaper cost of installation. PVC is one of the most commonly used plastics in the plumbing industry.

The Benefits of Using Plastic Pipes

Plastic pipes are resistant to substances such as acids and halogens. If installed correctly by a skilled plumber, they can carry hot water without losing heat. They find it easier and faster to install PVC pipes as they have quick fit connections, and the pipes are more flexible.

One of the main advantages of choosing plastic pipes is that they are cheaper than copper pipes. The pipes don’t get as hot, have lower noise emission, and the water can flow through the pipes faster as there’s less resistance. The water’s heat won’t be lost as the water travels through the pipes.

The Disadvantages of Using Plastic Pipes

Although plastic pipes may seem like the obvious choice for your home, they also have many disadvantages that need to be taken into account when making your decision. One of the main problems is that PVC isn’t resistant to solvent, they are also prone to expanding or shrinking, depending on the temperature of the water they’re carrying.

Your plumber will need to choose the correct type of PVC pipe if it’s to be used with hot water, and you want it to have reasonable longevity. PVC pipes have a shorter lifespan than their copper counterparts. Plastic is also a weaker material, and your pipes may, therefore, need more support.

Another disadvantage of using PVC pipes is that they are not suitable for outdoor use. The sun’s UV rays can damage the plastic. If PVC is used outside or in underfloor heating, it could be gnawed by rodents.


When deciding on whether to use copper or PVC water pipes, there are a few things you may like to take into account or discuss with your plumber. Are you planning to use your pipes outside, or are they going to be exposed to intense heat? Do you need a pipe that’s able to withstand different water types and inorganic materials? There is an obvious difference in using copper or plastic pipes, ask a plumber for advice if you’re struggling to choose between these two material types.

My Professional Plumber, Knoxville, TN

If you would like any help and advice about choosing the best type of pipes for your home, contact My Professional Plumber. They can provide plumbing installation, emergency repair as well as general plumbing services. The company works in Knoxville, TN, and the surrounding area and is a locally owned and operated business. My Professional Plumber has won a super service award from Angie’s List in 2018 and 2019. They can be contacted on 865-238-7049.


118 North Peters Road
Knoxville, TN 37923


8:00 am–5:00pm