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The differences between type l and type m copper pipes

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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 which delivers safe water for drinking. It is durable and long lasting and is considered to be the most used material for plumbing pipes.

The differences between type l and type m copper pipes Photo

One of the great features of copper piping is that it can be recycled to its same metal purity into various other materials making it highly sustainable and cost effective to use.

A soft type of copper pipe can be moved and bent into place quite easily without the use of tools. Whereas harder types of copper or rigid copper need specialised tools to cut and join together.

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What are the different types of copper pipe?

There is four commonly used copper pipes used in residential and commercial plumbing is Type K copper pipe, Type L copper pipe and Type M copper pipe. And for water supply in older properties, Copper DWV Piping is used. The letters indicate the size and thickness of the walls and diameter.

They are made from the same material and can be both rigid and soft, but the main differences between these pipes are the pressure rating and the pipe wall thickness. Suitable application is determined by the thickness and pressure rating.

For example, a copper pipe that has a thinner diameter and low water pressure rating is not suitable for construction grade water delivery. And a for 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. For instance,

Types of copper pipe

Type K= Green

Suitable only for underground installation and are used for supplying water into the house. Its wall thickness is the largest and is used for heavy duty water distribution.

Type L= Blue

Type l copper has a substantial wall thickness and 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= Red

This type of copper is used for supplying water into homes and because of its thinner wall thickness it has a lower pressure rating ideal for general domestic water supply.

DWV= Yellow

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 application.

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