Seeing Copper Red: Why This Outdated Plumbing Material Has Got To Go

If your home has copper pipes, you may not think that you have an issue. After all, if you have clean water and there are no leaks in your plumbing, there's no need to upgrade to a more modern material like PEX or PVC pipe, right? Wrong. Find out why seeing copper red in your plumbing should give you the incentive you need to replace those pipes as soon as possible.

Copper exposure is harmful

Copper exists naturally in the earth, and can be found in water sources, dirt, and even in food. Small amounts of copper are even healthy. When people are exposed to copper in large amounts, however, nasty side effects can happen. Many homes with copper pipes have very high levels of the metal, which can lead to illness over time. Signs your family is exposed to copper include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

In extreme cases of copper exposure, liver or kidney damage, and even death, can occur. For the safety of your family alone, upgrading your plumbing to a safer alternative is the right thing to do.

Copper causes plumbing issues

Copper may not corrode as quickly as galvanized or iron pipes do, but this metal does not age well overall. Copper pipe is prone to bursting under high pressure or very cold temperatures, which makes it less ideal in colder climates. It also does erode over time, which can lead to foul-tasting and dirty water, low pressure, and leaking pipes. Copper is also very expensive to replace, so many homeowners find it more convenient and cost-effective to replace all their copper plumbing when they perform simple repairs in the home with more flexible and cheaper alternatives.

What you can do

Your copper plumbing may not seem like an issue now, but you may have underlying corrosion or high levels of copper in your drinking water that you don't know about. The best thing you can do to protect your family and your home is have your pipes inspected by a plumber so they can assess the condition of your copper plumbing. You may need to replace entire lines, or make no repairs at all, depending on the condition of the copper in your home. A plumber can let you know for sure.

Copper is an outdated plumbing material that may be causing more harm in your home than good. Replacement may be your best option, and a certified plumber can help you upgrade your pipes and lines to something that is safer and more efficient. Contact a company like Biard & Crockett Plumbing for more information.