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Copper metal has been around for a long while now. This metal is very malleable and reliable in both residential and commercial use. Although you have been seeing copper pipes around the home, do you know how much they are worth? We inquired with experts in this field, and they gave us some interesting answers.
Copper pipes are rather expensive. To repipe a house could cost between $8,000 to $16,000. The cost is calculated per linear foot, and it ranges from $3 to $8. It’s costlier to install copper vents, drainage, or ventilation pipes; these cost $13 to $15 linear feet.
Copper pipes can’t handle acidic water. Therefore, houses that use well water don’t typically use copper pipes to avoid pipe corrosion. Continue reading to see the types of copper pipes and where they can be utilized in residential and commercial construction.
What Type Of Copper Is Copper Pipe?
In commercial and residential construction, there are three common types of copper. These are types K, L, and M. There is a fourth type that’s found in older homes for drain waste and vent (or DWV).
The pipes’ diameter and flexibility are used to classify and determine the size of copper pipes. In other words, the inside diameter differs from the outside diameter by the wall thickness.
Rigid copper pipes are always 1/8-inch larger than the nominal size of a copper pipe. A 1/2-inch copper pipe will have an outside diameter of 5/8-inch.
The internal or external pressure of the fluid passing through the copper pipe will determine the type of copper pipe you use for construction. Don’t forget to consider building code requirements in your area or vicinity.
Types Of Copper Pipes
Copper pipes found in residential and commercial construction are durable with thick walls. The three types of pipes are well-suited and adapted for both residential and commercial construction.
Copper pipes cannot be used in a vicinity that has a water supply from the well. This water is high in acidity and will corrode the copper pipes. Homeowners using well water can have it treated if they want to use copper pipes in their homes for plumbing.
Type K Copper Pipes
These Pipes have the thickest walls and are often used for fire protection, water distribution, HVAC (heating, cooling, and air-conditioning) systems, and oil.
Type K copper pipes are recommended for underground installations as well as water distribution lines. They are available in both rigid and flexible forms.
Type K copper pipes can withstand pressure in the ground. These copper pipes are paired with flared and compression fittings.
Type L Copper Pipes
Type L copper pipes might be used with compression and flare fittings and are rigid or flexible. This type is commonly utilized in more applications than type K.
Apart from being used in interior plumbing, HVAC, and fire protection, it might also be used to replace old water lines. Type L makes rigid and durable copper pipes.
Type L copper pipes are thinner than type K but thicker than type M.
Type M Copper Pipes
These are the thinnest of the three types of copper pipes. They also come in rigid and flexible forms. Type M pipes are preferred by builders in residential work due to their cheapness and malleability.
Type M copper pies are commonly used for heating water services and vacuum systems. Their thinness means less copper metal is used; therefore, they are cheaper.
Type M copper pipes aren’t always allowed in all plumbing applications and areas. Ensure that you countercheck with the local building authorities on where type M pipes can be installed.
Copper DWV Pipes
Plumbing in older homes and commercial buildings formerly used copper pipes for drainage and waste. Lately, PVC or ABS pipes are now very common for these purposes in modern constructions.
These pipes are used for above-ground applications because they have a low-pressure rating. The pressure is lower than most water supply systems.
Check with the building authorities if you are considering using copper DWV pipes. They have yellow markings to differentiate them from type M copper pipes.
What Is Copper Pipe Worth For Scrap?
If you are thinking of taking your copper pipes to the scrap yard, then you’ll get some good money for them even though they are old. The copper pipes will fetch you more money if they are free of paint, rubber, or other metal coatings.
Any additions to your copper pipes make them impure and will not cost much as scrap metal. For example, 0.5 lbs of high-quality scrap copper are worth $1.17. This is at $2.20 per pound of copper scrap metal.
How Much Does It Cost To Repipe A Home With Copper?
Repiping a home with copper pipes will be quite costly compared to using PEX pipes. The average cost of repiping with copper ranges between $5,000 to $15,000 or higher.
Some factors impact the average cost of replumbing the house with copper pipes. These factors can’t be ignored or overlooked. Otherwise, the homeowner will be in a dire situation when it comes to paying for the replumbing.
Consider the following factors before repiping with copper pipes. Ensure that you get a proper quotation from the local experts before the commencement of any work.
You will be charged more to repipe any pipes that are in hard-to-reach places in your home. Copper pipes are used in the rigid form. It could take a longer time for the laborers to install them.
The Number Of Rooms
If you’ll require to have all the bathrooms in the home repiped plus the kitchen, the cost will be higher. Replumbing cost is calculated in linear feet for copper pipes. This means more copper is being used for all the rooms that require replumbing.
Quantity Of Fixtures
The more fixtures you have in your home, the more copper pipes will be used. The cost will automatically go up the more copper piping you need.
The copper fixtures in the bathrooms or kitchen include taps, bathtubs, kitchen or bathroom sinks, and showerheads. Other fixtures could include lighting in the entire house.
Number Of Stories
The number of stories in your home must be put into account when calculating the cost of the copper plumbing. The cost of installation will increase with the number of floors in the home.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Copper Pipe
The average cost of repairing a copper pipe country-wide is $150. Prices range from $49 to $375. The cost includes labor and the size of the copper pipe that needs to be repaired.
Generally, the hourly rates for plumbing nationwide are $50 to $140 for pipe repairs. Ensure that you engage the services of a qualified professional to get your money’s worth.
When To Repair A Copper Pipe
Plumbing is like the nervous system of your home. Unlike in the human body, where the nerves repair themselves, you must repair plumbing in your home.
There are several ways to repair corroded or leaking copper pipes, but the most common methods are pipe coupling and soldering.
When the cooper pipe has a hole of more than 1/2-inch, you should cut it and solder (sweating) the remaining pipe. Or, you could do pipe coupling.
Copper Pipes And Home Decor
Copper has a pretty color, and you could this to your advantage as a homeowner. Copper plumbing is costly, and it could go into decorating your home.
Are you wondering how? Well, you could have the copper pipes in your home exposed. Have a professional do the fitting not behind walls where possible but along the kitchen or bathroom walls.
Fixtures in the bathrooms or the kitchen can be complemented with copper door handles, hanging ceiling lights, and wall switches.
Take a step further and add vases in the living room or bedroom in tune with this decor. You could also have copper crockery and kitchenware. Copper sculptures around the home can set the trend, too.
Homeowners could renovate their homes with copper pipes to rent or sell. Copper plumbing will increase the home value immensely.
Copper is an expensive metal, and it stands out. The durability makes it the go-to metal for plumbing. Using copper pipes is worth the investment.
Repiping your home with copper pipes will increase the value of your home and add chic. Remember to check with the local building codes on which type of copper pipes can be utilized in residential plumbing.
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