Answers to the installer

Is it straightforward to install copper tubes?

Copper tube has bacteriostatic properties that help maintain the quality of the water, prevent the forming of a biofilm (a film of micro-organisms that forms inside the water pipes), and minimise the risk of proliferation of pathogenic bacteria such as Legionella.

A study carried out in 2007 by Kiwa Water Research analysed the effects of water temperature on the growth of Legionella in installations made out of different materials: copper, stainless steel, PVC-C and PEX-Al. The only material which at temperatures as low as 25º eradicated all bacteria was copper, while in the case of other materials such as stainless steel, PVC-C and PEX a temperature of 60º was required. Furthermore, inoculation in the copper pipes had to be repeated 5 times as opposed to just once for the other materials.

Can copper be used for embedded installations?

Yes, in fact it is one of the most suitable materials for installations of this kind. Its strong resistance to the attack of construction materials, to blows and to accidental cuts make it one of the most durable materials.

Given that it is a more expensive material, what added value does copper contribute to the installation?

Among many other factors, copper installations remain inalterable over time in terms of their physical and chemical characteristics. Copper is compatible with high pressures, which means that there is a lower risk of leaks and accidents. It can also withstand extreme conditions, such as fire.

Is copper compatible with other materials?

Yes. The behaviour of copper is excellent with all construction materials and with all fluids to be transported through tubes.

Does a copper installation require more space?

Not at all. The weight per linear metre required in copper piping is low, which makes transport cheaper, facilitates handling and makes it ideal for withstanding high pressure with a minimum thickness and external diameter.

May I have problems with components due to incompatibility with other manufacturers?

All of our copper tubes are manufactured in accordance with European regulations, which minimises problems of incompatibility with other manufacturers. All copper components are manufactured in standard measurements, ensuring compatibility now and in the future. In short, copper is a universal product, which is something that cannot be said of other materials.

What loss of load does copper piping have?

The loss of load in copper piping is negligible due to its uniform thickness, exact measurements and, above all, its smooth and clean internal wall.

What guarantee does copper piping have?

The copper pipes manufactured by La Farga have a triple guarantee: firstly, they are certified by AENOR, the leading Spanish quality standards body; secondly, all copper pipes for contact surfaces are guaranteed under the Antimicrobial Copper Cu+ international mark, which means that they prevent the spread of infections; thirdly, all domestic water pipes come with a 50-year guarantee in all installations.

Is copper piping only used for transporting water?

No. Copper can be and is used for a wide variety of applications: cold water and hot water installations, heating systems (central, floor and radiant wall), gas installations (natural gas and butane, medicinal and industrial gases), solar thermal energy, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, oil and diesel fuel conduits, automatic sprinkler systems to control fires, systems for the reuse of rainwater, and many others.

Can copper be used for an outdoor installation?

Thanks to its high resistance to corrosion and its impermeability to oxygen and ultraviolet rays, copper piping is excellent for outdoor installations. It is worth highlighting that copper does not alter the organoleptic qualities of water. The installation protects the flow from external agents.

Is copper environmentally friendly?

Copper has the capacity to be recycled over and over again without ever losing its qualities and properties, something that can be said of very few materials. Furthermore, La Farga manufactures its copper pipes using an environmentally friendly process.

Copper, an installation with added value...

Copper is an installation with added value thanks to the small external diameter of piping, its low thermal expansion coefficient, its excellent mechanical properties, its potential as a sustainable, efficient metal and its attractive appearance. A copper installation is an investment in safety, in health and in the future.

By way of example, the replacement of the combustion engine in electric vehicles illustrates the growing demand in society for efficient technology. A conventional petrol-powered car contains 22 kg of copper, while electric vehicles contain at least triple that amount, mainly in the form of wires and other electrical components. Renewable energy systems also depend to a large extent on copper to transmit energy with maximum efficiency and minimum environmental impact. For example, a large wind turbine incorporates over a ton of copper, while new technological developments in solar cells that use copper may make solar energy more widespread and efficient than with silicon-based alternatives.

Where can I get the information I need for working with copper piping?

To find all the technical characteristics and practical advice on the use of copper piping, we advise you to consult the catalogue on our website entitled “Copper piping and accessories manual”.

What are the minimum temperature conditions for copper piping?

Copper pipes have excellent behaviour in cryogenic installations and can be used for installations at temperatures of below -100ºC.

Can copper piping be used for solar energy installations?

Yes, it is completely suitable for this purpose. Furthermore, the RITE (Spanish Regulations on Thermal Installations in Buildings) and the CTE (Spanish Technical Building Code) expressly recommend using copper piping in the primary circuit since it is perfectly capable of withstanding the high temperatures and high pressure.

How does copper piping behave in respect of thermal expansion?

The thermal expansion of copper pipes is much lower than that of plastic ones. As a general rule, it can be assumed that for a thermal difference of 20ºC, 1m of copper piping expands 1mm. The copper piping installation manual should be consulted for more complex calculations.
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