How Copper Pipes Affect Your Water
If your home was not built with PEX pipes, they may be made of copper. If your water is more acidic, it can strip the copper away from your pipes and into your water supply. High concentrations of copper comes primarily from corrosion of interior copper plumbing.
Coating tends to build up over time in copper pipes and form a protective barrier from the water and copper, however, new homes with new pipes may be susceptible to this issue, as this coating has not built up yet in the new piping.
The best indicator of whether you may have corrosion in your copper pipes is if the pH level in your water is acidic (less than 7). There are a number of solutions for acidic water, including a whole home water filter.
If you are concerned enough to replace your copper pipes altogether, the best alternative is likely PEX (crosslinked polyethylene). Along with cost and flexibility advantages, it provides resistance to scale and chlorine. Other options vary – check your building code and do your research before making a decision on whether to switch from copper piping, and determine what is best for you.
Infants and Wilson’s Disease Risks
The body has a natural way of regulating copper. However, children under one year old do not have this mechanism yet. Those with Wilson’s Disease also have difficulty maintaining proper copper levels. People with Wilson’s Disease can not regulate copper properly, and it can build up in their liver, brain and other organs. The condition is treatable if diagnosed early. If you have an infant or someone in your household has Wilson’s Disease, make sure you know the composition of your indoor plumbing.