I noticed during repairs to my 32 year old house’s copper water pipes that they are very corroded. This is the second time repairs are needed in the same area. Are water pipes, especially hot water pipes that are embedded in the house slabs required to be protected before concrete are poured in? If so, how are they supposed to be protected? Your helpful answers very much appreciated.
Before pouring the concrete, there should be no hot water running through the pipes until the concrete reaches design strength. That is an important plumbing principle. Another important action is that copper pipes are wrapped with a dark insulating foam to protect the copper from the corrosive action of the concrete. So it was a big no no, if that was not done. Mastic is usually used for PVC pipe that runs through concrete slaps. It can be brushed on and will provide added protection, though PVC pipe should be fine once the concrete is poured. Generally, and I realize this won’t be of a lot of help to you at this time, it is best to avoid having plumbing pipes buried into the concrete slab. It can create all sorts of headaches if and when repairs are needed.
Let me just quickly relate a story about a friend who was internally fussing over whether she should use mostly copper or pvc pipe in her new home. There is quite a debate between whether copper or pvc is the better choice. So which is the better choice.
There is a good deal of honest disagreement about which form of pipe should be employed during construction. PVC pipes are made using chemicals. Obviously, copper is a precious metal. Copper is more durable and flexible. PVC pipes tend to be more quiet when water travels through it. Copper pipe is bacteria resistant and fire retardant. Some people prefer the taste of water when it runs through copper, though admittedly, one wonders just how either of the two pipes can provide a telltale taste provide given the chlorination of water. PVC pipe is more flexible in how its used when making cuts …..the installation process. It is also less expensive to install. Essentially, I told my friend that it becomes a matter of preference and of course, cost considerations may also be a variable. In neither case, would you be making a mistake if you use either.