Copper pipes are used throughout your property for your water supply. They can be manufactured as either soft copper or rigid. It is highly corrosion-resistant and lead-free, delivering safe drinking water. It is the most used material for plumbing pipes since it is durable and long-lasting.
Copper piping is recycled into numerous other materials at the same metal purity, making it sustainable and cost-effective.
A soft copper pipe type can easily be moved and bent into place without tools. In contrast, more complex or rigid copper types need specialised cutting and joining tools.
What are the different types of copper pipes?
Four commonly used copper pipes are used in residential and commercial plumbing: Type K copper pipe, Type L copper pipe, and Type M copper pipe. For water supply in older properties, Copper DWV Piping is used. The letters indicate the size and thickness of the walls and their diameter.
They are made from the same material and can be rigid and soft, but the main differences between these pipes are the pressure rating and the pipe wall thickness. The thickness and pressure rating determines the suitable application.
For example, a copper pipe with a thinner diameter and low water pressure rating is unsuitable for construction-grade water delivery. And domestic water supply lines that require minimal water pressure will only need a thinner-sized copper pipe.
These pipes also have colour coding to differentiate the various types and applications.
Types of copper tubing and pipes
Type K pipe= Green
Suitable only for underground installation and supplies water into the house. Its wall thickness is the largest and is used for heavy-duty water distribution.
Type L Pipe= Blue
Type l copper pipes have a substantial wall thickness. l copper pipe is ideal for water supply lines. Type L has a higher pressure rating for residential properties and is the most common copper pipe used.
Type M Pipe= Red
Type M copper pipes are used to supply water to homes. And because of its thinner wall thickness, M copper pipes have a lower pressure rating, ideal for general domestic water supply.
It is most commonly used for plumbing drains and vents in older properties. It is now replaced with PVC or ABS plastic pipes. It should only be used for above-ground applications.
The different types of copper pipes
Understanding your plumbing system means you can make more informed decisions on maintenance, cleaning and preventing blocked and damaged drains. Copper pipes are highly durable, provide a lead-free solution to your drinking water and are found in many homes across Australia. When purchasing a property, you can always use a DIY plumbing checklist to help you identify the types of pipes used.
We hope this guide has helped determine the type of copper pipes and water lines you have throughout your home.