New to this forum so hope this is not OT.
I visited the site of a new house I am interested in buying which hasn't
been completed and was really surprised to see that there seemed to be
"plastic" hoses for the water supply in the garage area where I would have
suspected to see copper piping. I couldn't see what was used in the rest of
the house but is this really what builders are using these days??
This was not some cheap cheap place but what was described as a 5 bed, 3
bath exec home.
Anyone care to say if this is usual nowadays?
I'm surpassed its even legal.
Yes. It can be used anywhere that copper can be, except for gas work. It is
actually more expensive to buy than copper and is not just a cheap solution,
although it is easier to install. Often, copper (or chromed) pipe is used
when the pipes are visible, such as tap tails for pedestal basins, or
In a garage, I'd much prefer plastic to copper due to its greater resistance
to frost damage. In the house, I'm not bothered either way, as long as it
Yes perfectly legal and acceptable practice
The construction industry is, contrary to popular belief, coming round to
the 20th Century. (still a way to catch up to the 21st I know)
What is the problem with plastic pipes?
Probably people objected when galvanised barrel was used after the lead
pipes that had been used since Roman times and when that new fangled copper
came in you should have seen the riots.
It will be plastic pipe. Developers use this on the first fix so that
unskilled labour can fit it and the Tinkers don't steal it. The second fix
is usually copper where the customer can see the pipes. It has advantages
and disadvantages, mainly negative I'm afraid. See current thread on this.
One poster had a catastrophic failure using this stuff.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com ).
Version: 6.0.524 / Virus Database: 321 - Release Date: 06/10/2003
See now here's a case in point John, *most* of the comments are positive
and the catastrophic failure as you call it was caused by a
manufacturing defect, try and be objective and you will start to be more
credible, the first step to being cured is accepting that you have a
problem, at least you're admitting that new builds are all using plastic
pipe now so that's something 4/10
Yes like all house in Germany have flues going through the roof, if you
can generalise so can I, so my, my yourself
I'll add rank amateur to the list, and as per usual you resort to this
diatribe when you've lost the argument, that's what makes you so easy to
spot through your various pseudonyms, you must really get a new act.
Thanks to those who gave positive and helpful responses. Sadly, no thanks to
those who tried to start a flame war. As a new comer to this newsgroup I was
disappointed to see that such happenings, which often kill off newsgroups,
are prevalent here.
Anyway back to the topic...
I still don't really understand the pros and cons of plastic over copper
How do you join it and is it easier to join and repair than copper and are
the joints more trust worthy over time or not?
I guess an advantage would be that it might absorb acoustic noise better
than cooper but what are the negatives.
The deterioration of copper over time is well known but what about plastic
carrying hot water over, say, 20 years. Better or worse or as I suspect not
This is the sort of factual information I was hoping to get and would be
grateful to receive good advise on .
Don't be too hard on IMM - he may be a troll, but he's *our*
troll. He keeps other trolls away, and his responses/flame wars
are so predictable they're like an old pair of slippers.
# Can go round bends easily. This can cut down on the number of
# Won't burst when it freezes.
# Proven techology
# Looks better
It's important not to confuse the advantages of plastic pipe
with the advantages of pushfit connectors. Pushfit can be used
on both plastic and copper pipe. But plastic pipe can only be
joined using either pushfit or compression, whereas copper can
also be soldered.
Most plastic installations will use pushfit. A lot of modern
copper installations also use pushfit. Pushfit's advantages are
that it's much quicker than soldering, and can be done by less
There's a large range of pushfit connectors avialable; plastic
bodied, steel bodied and copper bodied. They all make use of
rubber O rings for the seal. It is the life of this rubber O
ring which is the main source of concern over the longevity of
Most reasonable people think that the life will be such that it
won't matter - most houses get replumbed periodically anyway.
About 30-40 years seems to be a reasonable assumption.
Not really an issue.
Not proven is the answer. But given how well LDPE lasts carrying
mains water burried in soil (I dug up some 30 year old LDPE in
very good condition a couple of years ago), I don't believe this
is likely to be a problem.
Does that answer your questions?
Glad I could help.
I've gotta say, this group has one of the best signal/noise
ratios I've seen in a newsgroup, in addition to some of the most
knowledgeable and intelligent people around. I really don't know
what I'd do without it.
I'll just chip in with my 2p.
I've been reading and asking the occasional question for a few months now.
Although the vast majority of discussions and posts have nothing I can put
straight to use it's all being filed away for future reference, when I have a
Keep up the good work guys (and gals!)
unhook to mail me | http://www.fishter.org.uk /
Manufacturers of plastic systems are guaranteeing against defects in
manufacturing or materials for 50 years based on 20 years of actual
operational experience and probably accelerated life testing.
Manufacturers of copper products do not seem to do that but probably
because they do not feel a need to do so since the perception is that
they will have a very long lifetime.
In neither case do the manufacturers guarantee against defective
installation, and it is likely that this is the most common cause of
failure in both cases.
Plastic is generally rather quicker to install and the flexibility of
the pipe to bend through awkward places is helpful. It is more
expensive to buy than copper products, but the time saved may well
It really depends on who you are and how adept you are. Plastic
pipes are joined with couplers in the same way as copper pipes are.
With plastic, they are quick push fit fittings which require only the
proper pipe cutter to do a good job.
With copper, you have the choice of soldered copper in either end feed
(cheapest) or solder ring types; push fit or compression fittings.
For most people, learning to solder pipe fittings is not that
difficult and once a few have been done it is reasonably quick.
Most of the time is in cutting, bending and fitting the pipe.
Compression fittings are easy to work with but cost rather more.
As to trustworthiness, all types of joints are in essence mechanical
in nature, but implemented in different ways. The plastic system
manufacturers will argue that properly installed and under normal
operating conditions and with some margin, their fittings will stand
the test of time. The guarantees offered would tend to suggest that
they have done their homework. With the correct temperature and
pressure safety devices in place, plastic pipes will not be subjected
to conditions near their maximum ratings.
When hot water is carried, the plastic pipes do need to be supported
at more frequent positions or they will tend to sag.
I have not noticed that there is any appreciable difference as far as
noise is concerned.
There is about 20 years experience, which appears to be enough to make
manufacturers comfortable in offering 50 year guarantees. It would
be somewhat foolhardy to do that if they were not comfortable with the
It then depends on whether people are prepared to accept that and the
results of accelerated life tests or prefer to wait to see actual
As always, the likely deciders are going to be overall cost of
implementation by professional purchasers of the products.
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