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What pipes do to your drinking water

Posted on by on 25th July 2014 with 0 comment

Have you ever taken a sip of tap water, only to taste metal?  The water in Los Angeles is regularly tested and generally regarded to be safe, so why does yours taste slightly off sometimes?

The answer has to do with your home’s pipes.  While they don’t pose a direct health threat, they can influence the water that flows out of your taps.  Don’t be alarmed by slightly strange odors or smells.  They may be undesirable, but they most likely aren’t going to harm you.  On the other hand, you should familiarize yourself with what they’re made of, and how they may might affect the water that you bathe in and ingest.  As you’ll see, each type of pipe interacts with your H2O a little differently.


Los Angeles is a city built on copper pipes.  From Hollywood to our neighborhood of Culver City, copper was the go-to for residential plumbing.  From early on, it was praised for its durability and longevity, and used almost exclusively.  It typically lasts for almost 50 years before the interior walls begin to thin.  If you you’re interested in installing copper pipes, call the best plumber Culver City has to offer.  Joseph Davidson will evaluate your pipes’ performance, determine if copper is the right choice for you, and expertly install it.

However, in recent years, people have sought alternatives to copper.  Its critics claim that its price tag and labor costs exceed those of other options on the market.  Additionally, some are wary of its adverse health effects on our water.  Pipes older than 20 years were soldered with lead, which is of course hazardous to ingest.


Two common alternatives to copper are PVC (polyvinyl chlorine) and CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride).  If you’re fitting pipes for your entire home, you’ll opt for CPVC, as it’s meant to handle both hot and cold water (PVC can leach hazardous materials into your water when heated).  CPVC has risen in popularity over the years because of its affordability, and ease of installation.

However, some residents have complained about the way it makes their water taste.  They claim that the chemicals used in the glue for the pipe can leach into the water, causing it to be plastic-y.  While no conclusive evidence exists to prove this, it remains to be one reason that some people resist using CPVC.    


PEX (or crosslinked polyethylene) is another popular choice for many homeowners these days, especially for those looking for a more efficient option.  Because it’s somewhat insulated, it loses less heat and may positively impact your bills.  Like PVC, it’s also easy to install.  Even if you’re transitioning from older, copper pipes, PEX can be fitted into your home without re-inventing your plumbing.

Although they’re estimated to have a similar lifespan to copper, they actually surpass it in one important area.  Copper can corrode from prolonged exposure to areas of high moisture and affect your tap water, whereas PEX isn’t vulnerable to moisture.  Some say that it can create a plastic-y taste in your water, but those complaints appear to be only the minority of customers.

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Servicing  All  Of  Southern  California. (310) 390 5907

Joseph Davidson Plumbing

PO Box 5245
Culver City, CA 90231
(310) 390-5907