What’s Best: PVC Pipes or Copper Pipes?

For years, plumbers and handymen have debated whether PVC or copper piping is best for your home’s plumbing.

Each choice, like any two-option scenario, has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but don’t worry; Ohio Buckeye Plumbing is here to help!

We’ve compiled a list of benefits and drawbacks for you to consider so you can make an informed decision (or give us a call, and we can help you decide further).

Piles of copper

Because copper pipes were formerly the only option for in-home plumbing, copper pipe systems are already installed in most older homes.

Copper is a robust, flexible, and naturally occurring metal that may be utilized to create pipes with extremely thin walls while still remaining extremely strong.

It’s frequently a professional’s first choice, but it has significant drawbacks (like adding a bad taste to your water that you might not be a fan of).


PVC pipes don’t last as long as steel pipes when the water running through them is not acidic.

Fits into more confined areas (for small spaces, copper pipes with thin walls that are low-profile are ideal).

Because they are more flexible at the joints, they resist vibration damage better than PVC pipes.

(Excellent for earthquake-prone locations)

As opposed to PVC pipes, copper is cleaner because it is simply metal and does not contain any chemicals.

Health risks are reduced.

In regular municipal water circumstances, there is a high level of chlorine resistance.

It can be used outside.

100% biodegradable

With a life expectancy of more than 70 years,

Bacterial growth resistance

accepted in municipal codes around the United States.


When compared to PVC pipes, the price is much higher.

If they freeze, they are prone to bursting.

When water is acidic or corrosive, pinhole leaks can form.

PVC pipes are more difficult to install and require more fittings and connections.

Water can have a metallic taste to it.

When compared to PVC pipes, they are noisier, especially at higher pressures.


For years, plumbers have utilized PVC (polyvinyl chloride) as pipes since it is a robust, lightweight, and resilient plastic composite.

This plumbing material is used in most new homes, and it is very popular because it makes it harder for people to steal and gut empty homes.


Because plastic does not corrode, it is more resistant to corrosion, abrasions, and impact damage than copper pipe.

PVC pipe is thicker than copper, which helps protect it from abrasions and impact damage.

Even at higher water velocities and speeds, there is less noise than with copper piping.

Installation is easier than with copper pipes, especially for do-it-yourselfers.

significantly less expensive than the alternative.

PVC is better for areas that get a lot of traffic because it is thicker and more resistant to damage from bumps and scrapes.

When compared to copper, PVC doesn’t freeze as quickly and doesn’t move heat as well.


Because the cement used to bond the seams can break down and leak over time, it doesn’t last as long as

Joints aren’t as adaptable as they once were.

Although no ties have been identified, there is a risk of chemical contamination of water flowing through the pipe.

Concerns about PVC and health

Because of the heavier substance, it can’t fit into tighter spaces.

In water, it gives it a plastic taste.

During installation, it is more delicate (if dropped or stepped on, it can crack).

During installation, solvents used to join fittings and pipes must be thoroughly ventilated.

Bacteria can grow on the inside of a CPVC pipe.

Knowing your house and what works best for it will help you choose the right material.

The location, age, and kind of water system all play a role in deciding whether or not to utilize a particular material.

If you already have a favorite material in your home and you’re happy with it, keep with it.

If you’re repairing pipes or building a new home, you’ll need to consider whether you live in a high-traffic area and the acidity of the water in your area (you should also consider whether you live in an earthquake zone, but we don’t normally have that problem here in Cleveland—usually).

And, as usual, if you’re unsure or want a second opinion, contact your local plumber.

Call Ohio Buckeye Plumbing today for more information on copper and PVC pipes, or for any other plumbing needs.