For the longest time, copper was used as the primary residential and commercial Tampa plumbing material, and for many good reasons. This metal is highly resistant to corrosion and can handle cold and hot temperatures very well. Most older homes that have not had their plumbing lines updated still feature copper tubing, but a more affordable alternative has dominated the modern housing market: PVC.
Why Tampa Plumbers Use PVC
The more money builders save, the more savings are passed onto the homeowner. Polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC, can be found in almost all new residential construction projects. Strong, durable, and flexible, this specialty plastic first made its way into the plumbing market in the 1950s, but manufacturers have since created a wide array of PVC products.
A unique blend of vinyl and plastic, this material affords nearly all the benefits of copper, stainless steel, and galvanized steel with very few of their respective drawbacks. Perhaps most important is its affordability. With thousands of new homes being built every day and a major emphasis on efficiency, developers, plumbing contractors, and homeowners are all striving for one thing: cost-effective, sustainable housing!
Unlike many types of metal (copper being the exception), PVC is not affected by rust, rot, or general wear and tear. The hybridization of plastic and vinyl forms an ultra-protective coating that is quite capable of withstanding the elements. Given its high durability, PVC is commonly used for both water and sewer lines. The advantage it has over other materials with regards to sewer pipes is that it does not bend easily.
In earthquake-prone regions, PVC has prevented millions of dollars in potential damage. If that does not say cost-effective, we do not know what does! In terms of lifespan, modern polyvinyl chloride can easily last upwards of 100 years. Coupled with a century of a low to no maintenance, one can begin to see why metal may soon be phased out of the residential plumbing market.
Certain commercial and industrial applications still require steel and other high-pressure resistant materials, but the use of copper is bound to dwindle at some point. PVC is the go-to choice for plumbing in Tampa due to its many benefits.