Which gas pipe is better - copper or steel?

Gas line installation is an essential element probably for every new building. It allows to connect the whole building to the heating system. Gas installation can consist of steel pipes, although copper pipes are used as well. Before choosing a particular solution, one should learn advantages and disadvantages of both. Thank to such knowledge the decision is easier to make.

Table of contents

  1. Copper tube - why it is used in gas line installation?
  2. Copper pipes - how to connect the elements?
  3. What are the advantages of a steel tube?
  4. Pipes lifespan
  5. Gas line installation - copper or steel pipes?

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Copper tube - why it is used in gas line installation?

Pipes made of copper are typically recommended for gas line installation. Why? The main reason is the fact that copper is a malleable metal which can stretch without damage. It is very important issue for systems working in high temperatures. It requires preparing enough space for an installation, as it can increase its size. A copper tube is definitely smaller than pipes made of other materials - its walls are thinner, as less material is used for their production.

Copper gas installations are leaktight and resistant to various factors, such as UV lighting. The biggest advantage of a copper pipe is it high resistance to corrosion.

Copper pipes - how to connect the elements?

Copper pipes used in home gas line installation are quite tough. Their walls are typically over 1 mm. Because of it the tubes can be connected very effectively, by the means of hard soldering. You shouldn’t attempt to solder a gas pipe yourself - leave it to a professional. Another method is using compression fitting. Assembling such pipes is very easy and it should not be a problem for a specialist. This fact contributes greatly to lower costs of assembling the installation.

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What are the advantages of steel pipes?

Steel pipes used for gas line installation have bigger diameters than the copper counterparts. The walls of a steel tube is thicker, therefore it is more stiff and it does not need to be attached to a wall with additional elements. Unfortunately this type of installation is very heavy.

Similar to copper piping, steel pipes for gas line installation undergo thermal expansion. This feature makes them suitable for working in high temperatures. Steel pipes can be assembled by a specialist by the means of soldering or using threaded fittings.

Compared to copper pipes, the process of connecting steel pipes takes far more time. They are also less resistant to corrosion and more likely to build up scale inside (if used for a water installation).

Pipes lifespan

Both copper and steel pipes can last very long, from 20 to 50 years, and in some cases even longer. Those materials are often replaced with PVC (polyvinyl chloride) tubes, however their lifespan is a debatable matter. They are not, however, used for gas installations.

Gas line installation - copper or steel pipes?

Both of the solutions have their strengths and weaknesses. Copper installation is not only functional but also looks good. Pipes of this type might serve as a decoration. Nonetheless, they are not suitable for recessed systems. Steel pipes, on the other hand are as strong as copper and they can be placed inside of a wall. They cannot be, however, installed in places of high humidity due to their corrosiveness.

How to solder copper pipes?

If you are not a professional, do not attempt to solder a gas pipe. It is best to hire a specialist who will do it quickly and safely.

How to connect PVC pipes?

You can connect a PVC tube by gluing it. Cover ends of both elements with glue, and then apply glue. This is a very easy method of connecting a pvc pipe.

How long do copper pipes last?

Copper pipes typically last around 20 years. Properly maintained, this type of pipework material can last up to 50 years - in some cases even longer.

What is pvc pipes?

The abbreviation PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. In recent times it is common to replace metal pipes with PVC tubes in water installations.

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