There are few different type of copper pipes, and each of them has a different usage.
Copper has some advantages and disadvantages.
Here is a brief information about the usage, installation, and repair.
It can withstand severe crushing loads and has a high bursting strength and a light, thin wall.
It is impervious to corrosion and a smooth interior wall that has a small resistance to flow.
Soft type of copper is easy to bend around obstacles.
It has a thin wall, so it does not take up much space.
There is an extensive range of fittings that are readily available.
High cost of purchase.
A high rate of expansion when heated or cooled, which can cause a noise or condensation.
Soldering can cause fires to the structure.
Ammonia from some wastes will cause the pipe to dissolve and break.
Copper pipe is available in 4 types.
The difference between each type is the wall thickness of the tube.
The outside diameter is constant for all weights.
It is the inside diameter which is smaller for heavier weight pipe.
Each type has a different color code To ensure upon inspection that the correct type of copper pipe is in use.
The Ontario Plumbing Code lists all the locations where each type os permitted or not permitted.
However, the list below is primary uses for each type of copper.
Type K has the thickest wall and has a Green color code.
It is Primarily for underground installations.
Type L is the next, and its color code is Blue.
It is used primarily for industrial and commercial water pipe.
Type M is the color coded red and is the thinnest allowed for water tubing which is primarily for homes.
Type DWV has a yellow color code, and the only usage is for Drains, Wastes, and Vents.
Copper Tube is available in two types.
Hard Drawn which is stiffer and stronger and soft annealed which comes in a coil.
Soft copper is use for oil, gas or water underground.
Hard copper is mostly in use, on straight runs and expose locations.
Types M and L are available in both hard and soft.
Types K and DWV are available in soft copper only.
Sizing and joining:
Pipe sizes of hard drawn copper come from the inside diameter and soft copper from its outside diameter.
However, these dimensions are Trade size which means closest to the inside diameter.
All soft copper joints are flare joints if they are underground as the ground will destroy soldered connections.
Solder fittings are the most common type of joints above ground, but compression and flare connections are also permissible depending upon installation location.
Soft temper copper is bendable cold, and there are pipe benders available in the market for such procedures.
Hard drawn copper of type K and L is bendable after heating.
Other types are not bendable.