Copper is one of the most versatile elements in the construction industry. It can be used for various purposes, from electrical wiring to plumbing to refrigeration. While refrigeration and plumbing copper is made from the same material, there are differences between these two types of copper that set them apart. This article will discuss the differences between refrigeration and plumbing copper, so you know which type is best suited for your project.
Types of Copper
The two main types of copper used in construction are soft temper (plumbing) copper and hard temper (refrigeration) copper. Soft temper copper is a more malleable type of copper that is easier to bend and shape into different shapes. It’s also cheaper than hard-tempered copper, making it an ideal choice for DIYers or anyone on a budget looking to complete their projects without breaking the bank. On the other hand, hard-tempered copper is much sturdier and less likely to harm or crack under pressure or stress. It’s also more corrosion-resistant than soft-tempered copper, making it better suited for outdoor use or projects exposed to harsh elements like salt water or high temperatures.
Refrigeration Copper vs Plumbing Copper
Types of Copper Tubing for Plumbing Applications
The type of copper tubing most often used in plumbing applications is called Type L or Type M. This type of hard-drawn copper tubing has an exterior layer of chromium-zinc alloy that helps to make it more resistant to corrosion from water and other elements. It also helps to reduce the amount of soldering needed for installation. Because this type of copper is rigid, it can be bent by hand but may require special tools for tighter bends.
Types of Copper Tubing for Refrigeration Applications
The type of copper tubing most often used in refrigeration applications is called Type ACR or Air Conditioner & Refrigeration Copper. This type of soft-drawn copper tubing has an interior layer of tin that helps to make it more resistant to corrosion from acids and other compounds found in air conditioning units and refrigerators. It also reduces the amount of soldering needed for installation because it can easily be bent by hand, making it easier to fit into tight spaces. This type of copper can withstand extreme temperatures better than Type L or Type M pipe, making it ideal for use in cold climates where temperatures drop below freezing.
The main difference between refrigeration and plumbing coppers lies in their intended uses. Refrigeration coppers are explicitly designed for cooling systems, such as air conditioning units or chillers. It’s thicker than regular soft temper pipe and features unique insulation properties, making it better suited for cold liquids or gasses than standard plumbing pipe. On the other hand, plumbing coppers are explicitly designed for hot water applications such as water heaters or boilers. Unlike refrigerant coppers, it doesn’t have any unique insulation properties. Still, its greater flexibility makes it easier to work with when connecting pipes together or fitting into tight spaces around sinks or toilets.
In conclusion, several differences between refrigeration and plumbing coppers make them suitable for different applications. Knowing these differences can help you decide which type of piping material is right for your project so you can get the job done right—and on time! If you need assistance determining which type of pipe material best suits your needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional plumber who can help guide you through the process! With research and understanding about what makes each type of piping unique, you can ensure your project runs smoothly from start to finish!
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