The history of plumbing is just about as old as the history of civilization itself. Since the very first cities were built, humans have required ways of bringing in potable water and disposing of waste in a sanitary way. Read on to learn a bit about plumbing pipe materials through the centuries. If your home is still using ancient plumbing methods, it’s time to talk with an experienced plumber about copper repiping.
- Clay: Civilizations in the Indus River Valley employed an earthen type of piping as early as 2700 B.C.! Comprised of a clay or asphalt-like material, these pipes contributed to the world’s first large cities.
- Lead: Ancient Romans developed more vast and complex plumbing systems, transporting water through aqueducts and lead pipes. In spite of lead’s toxicity, lead pipes were largely used for plumbing purposes well into the Industrial Revolution. In fact, the decline of lead pipes used for potable water did not occur until a rise in lead poisoning awareness following World War II.
- Iron and Steel: In the United States, galvanized iron or steel was a popular choice for plumbing systems throughout the late 1800s until the 1960s. Though these materials were cheaply produced, many galvanized iron or steel pipes still included an unhealthy level of lead. To this day, many older homes in the United States contain this less-than-ideal pipe material. Even top-of-the-line iron and steel pipes are very susceptible to rust and corrosion.
- Copper: Although copper has been used in the occasional plumbing system for thousands of years, it wasn’t until the early 1930s that the invention of thin-wall or light-gauge copper tubes allowed for the widespread production of copper-piped plumbing systems. Balancing this material’s strength, conduciveness, durability, and cleanliness, copper pipes remain the best for plumbing applications to this very day.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of copper pipes or why you should schedule copper repiping for your home, call JA Plumbing at (510) 314-8635. Our qualified plumbers specialize in copper repiping.