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Copper vs. CPVC

Make the Switch

Many professionals today have made the choice to move away from copper to alternatives like FlowGuard Gold® because of its multiple benefits including the versatility and durability of plastic materials in recent years. Since 1959, installers have shifted to the FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings system, leaving behind problems like pitting, scaling and corrosion often associated with copper. 

Low-Cost, Low-Hassle Installation

FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings offer significant cost savings over copper. In addition to the low and stable material costs, a FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings system installs quickly and easily. Contractors can expect total installed cost savings of up to 50% or more when using the FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings plumbing system.

Long Term Performance

FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings are immune to corrosion and degradation. Choosing FlowGuard Gold piping and fittings can help avoid the eventual need to replace a full copper system due to corrosion which could lead to pinhole leaks and costly repairs. 

Water Quality and Human Health

Unlike copper, FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings are certified to NSF 61 under all water conditions regardless of water hardness. New copper is known to leach copper ions into drinking water that some studies have shown may be linked to the development of diseases like Alzheimer's.

In fact, copper is an EPA registered pesticide and is not permitted to exceed 1.3 parts per million (ppm) in drinking water. According to NSF, copper piping may leach metallic contaminants above the safe level in soft water conditions (pH under 6.5).

Homeowner Benefits

The natural insulating properties of FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings help reduce condensation and provide a more energy-efficient system. On the cold water side, copper is prone to condensation, which can drip and cause water damage. Copper pipes can also create noise issues such as singing or banging pipes caused by water hammer. Testing conducted at an independent laboratory shows that FlowGuard Gold pipe and fitting systems are four times quieter than copper, reducing irritating water-flow noise.


With the industry’s ongoing focus on environmentally friendly products, it is important to note that a life-cycle inventory (LCI) conducted by Franklin Associates proved that CPVC outperforms copper in a number of key sustainability categories. The LCI showed that CPVC uses significantly less energy to manufacture, and it contributes less to global warming when compared to copper.

It’s easy to understand why people would assume that copper is environmentally friendly, after all it is a natural element. However, when you consider the cradle-to-grave lifecycle impacts of a copper piping system the comparison to FlowGuard Gold pipe and fitting system becomes unfavorable quickly.

From mineral extraction, smelting and soldering – the production and installation of copper piping is extremely energy intensive. Even the recycling of copper has significant environmental impacts. That’s why a 3rd party life-cycle inventory found that CPVC outperforms copper in key categories such as embodied energy, global warming potential, atmospheric emissions and waterborne emissions. To learn more, read our white paper.

  FlowGuard Gold CPVC Copper
Won't corrode Yes No
Won't scale Yes No
Lower material cost Yes No
Shorter installation time Yes No
Fire hazard during install No Yes
Reduced water hammer Yes No
Naturally insulating Yes No

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Our expert, timely support is a value-add to all customers who need help buying, specifying or installing FlowGuard Gold plumbing systems.

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