copper plumbing

Copper or PER? What materials for installing ecological plumbing at home?

Today more than ever, the respect the environment is the concern of everyone, and it begins by intervening in all sectors of activity. Indeed, we want, at all costs, to preserve the environment by limiting as much as possible the harmful effects that certain installations can have. Plumbers must therefore find an alternative to avoid wasting energy, for example in buildings. So what materials can they use in plumbing for an ecological house? We talk about it in this article!

The materials for the pipes of a plumbing ecological?

La ecological and well-made plumbing can be seen as a way here to have an ecological house. Its main objective is to reduce household energy costs and maintenance costs. Also, thanks to durable and well-made plumbing, you will save considerable money on your maintenance bills for decades to come. A number of materials can be used by professionals such as to ensure the installation of ecological plumbing in your home. These are for example:

  • Copper, used by humans for millennia
  • PER (Crosslinked PolyEthylene), used for several decades

With these materials necessary to obtain an ecological and durable plumbing, your water network will last for decades!

Copper, a healthy material to use

The copper has the advantage of being resistant and being a very practical material. It is therefore well suited to water inlet pipes, hot or cold. It is also a material that is healthy for any builder or owner. Likewise, remember that thanks to its resistance, copper can withstand a great deal of water pressure and it is also recognized for its low coefficient of expansion. Copper is a excellent heat conductor, it will therefore be necessary to remember to insulate the hot water pipes which are not in the heated areas of the house (cellar, garage, etc.). For example, insulating your hot water pipes to your shower will save you comfort and save water and energy. In addition, it is a recyclable material, durable and which offers good resistance to corrosion and it is quite aesthetic and can even be embedded in walls.

Le copper is also an anti septic and anti bacterial material natural and healthy for humans (unlike plumbing ... lead still widely present, especially in Parisian buildings at the start of the XNUMXth century!) ... important to know in this period of the Covid pandemic!

Traditionally, copper pipes are assembled with a torch by tin soldering (which is in fact, technically speaking, a solder) or, more recent method, by crimping special ferrules (requires specific ferrules and tools). The introductory photo of this article shows copper fittings to be crimped precisely.

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Why should you also use PER?

Le copper and PER can perform the same functions but the PER is easier to work with and less expensive!

PER is a good alternative to copper, because it can be excessively expensive because it is linked to world speculation on materials. This is a crosslinked polyethylene pipe which has a lifespan of at least fifty years.

It does not have any disadvantage on health and it does not cause any lime deposit. Thanks to the crosslinked polyethylene there is neither scale nor corrosion. Its installation is faster and easier than that of copper, it is assembled with press fittings (dedicated tools and fittings) or simply with so-called push-in fittings to be tightened with a plumbing wrench or conventional adjustable. In this second case you can very easily modify a PER plumbing installation unlike a welded copper installation. You can use it for the heating network (especially underfloor heating) and to quickly deliver hot and cold water. For a better, more durable installation, you can use the Oxygen Barrier (BAO) variants… but it is rare these days to find PER without BAO. The price difference is minimal and the benefits are huge.

The BAO prevents sludge in the heating networks and increases the life of the circulator, connection, valve and boiler!

Reduce your water bill

When it comes to materials that can help you reduce your water consumption, you can opt for eco-responsible devices like certain categories of hand showers. Said materials most often have a button which saves water. In addition, the economical Hydro aerators that are installed on the outlet of the taps will also reduce your water consumption. There are also water softeners and reverse osmosis units which will limit lime deposits and filter the water.

With all these materials, you have the ability to better control the quality and quantity of water consumed. The waste is then reduced, which contributes to the reduction of your water consumption.

Other materials necessary for the successful installation of your ecological plumbing

For toilet tanks, simply opt for a flush with a dual command, and you can then save up to 60% of your water. Thanks to the mixer robot or the thermostatic mixer, you will have a good water temperature faster without spilling a large amount of water. Lately, it has also been set up shower cubicles with water and calories recycling which will allow you to save amply on your water consumption .... but their use is still far from profitable !

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ecological house

What is needed for reduce consumption of energy?

Truly green plumbing should also reduce your energy consumption. Which means the network must be well thought out, well designed, well implemented and well regulated!

A well-designed plumbing system should pay attention to the following points:

  • The heat-producing device: the boiler (oil, gas or wood, etc.)
  • Heat distribution devices: classic radiators or heated floors
  • Regulation and the calorie supply network between production and distribution: the best regulation in the world will not be able to do anything on a poorly designed network

Underfloor heating

Professional heating plumbers will help you install a heated floor. It is the best solution for distributing heat today in terms of comfort and energy savings. It must therefore be THE solution chosen for all sustainable new constructions. Its installation is quite complex and requires pouring a new concrete screed, so it can only be done for heavy renovations! Please note that not all professionals are good, do not hesitate to find out about them on the internet beforehand.

A heated floor distributes heat evenly throughout the room (unlike conventional radiators) and it allows you to walk barefoot in winter and summer. In summer, the underfloor heating will be able to circulate cold water in the installations as well while lowering the temperature in your house. Underfloor heating can be hydraulic and connected to your boiler or electric. The electric version has the advantage of being a little easier to install, especially during renovation. It does not require a new concrete screed and can be simply laid under an MDF floor.

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In winter, the heated floor will distribute water at around 40 ° C and thanks to the concrete screed, the heat is diffused into the ground by radiation at a temperature that does not exceed 28 ° C. This floor is concretely made up of insulating plates on which circuits of polyethylene tubes are placed and then a concrete screed of a few cm is poured. Thanks to this heating, you will have a soft and uniform heat in your interior for your greatest comfort… but as said above, it requires quite heavy work and and difficult to implement in renovation. In this case, opt instead for the electric variant, which will save you money if you don't have a boiler.

There are also heated walls see, more rarely, heated ceilings, easier to set up, especially in the electric version.

Le solar water heater and photovoltaic panels

The solar water heater is a piece of equipment that produces hot water under the action of sunlight. This water is then stored in a balloon to allow you to enjoy a good temperature at any time of the day without the intervention of electricity. To achieve this end, solar panels are used. Thanks to this system, you have the possibility of producing up to 70% of the domestic hot water needs in a house with an average of 4 people. With ecological plumbing, the energy performance of your home will be significantly improved and you will live more comfortably in your home. Also remember that this plumbing adapts to all homes, whether you are under construction or renovating. In France in 2021, count around 700 € per m2 installed thermal solar panels… But they are increasingly rare in favor of photovoltaic panels.

Indeed, the price of photovoltaic collapsed its last years, so it is quite interesting to install photovoltaic solar panels even without subsidy. Count in France for an average installation "delivered turnkey" from 3000 to 4000Wp between 1,5 € and 2 € per Watt peak ... if it's more expensive, we don't care about you! If you find a nice installer you can negotiate the site around 1 € / Wc… He will still earn a good living since the WC is currently leaving China at… 0.2 € / Wc! Oh yes !

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