Answers for the particular

What is the safest material for carrying domestic water?

Copper piping 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 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 at eradicate all bacteria. Furthermore, inoculation in the copper pipes had to be repeated 5 times as opposed to just once for the other materials.

Over the years, copper pipes oxidise on the outside. Does this mean that they become damaged?

No, quite the opposite. Copper piping is totally impermeable to oxygen, to UV rays and to sunlight, without suffering ageing effects or any alteration in its properties over time, which prevents the water from acquiring an unpleasant or unhealthy smell and taste. The external oxidation of copper piping is a natural chemical reaction through which it protects itself from the environment. External oxidation has no effect on the quality of the water circulating through the pipes.

In the event of a fire, for instance, what material is the most resistant?

Copper performs excellently under extreme conditions: fire, high pressure and extreme temperatures. It should be pointed out that copper does not emit gases on burning in the event of a fire, which cannot be said of other materials habitually used. Copper piping is classified as an A1 material, which means that it does not need to be subjected to fire reaction tests (commission decision 96/03/EC modified by 2000/605/EC).

Is copper a natural material or does it contain additive substances like plastic?

As a noble metal, copper is a natural and healthy material that contains no synthetic substances. Unlike certain plastic materials, copper does not contain any additives or volatile organic compounds that may migrate to water for human consumption. Copper is a natural dietary mineral and the human body is prepared to assimilate it. For instance, copper is found in foods such as chocolate, nuts and seafood, among many others.

What kind of safety do I get by installing copper piping for my domestic water supply?

Ask your installer to install copper piping manufactured by La Farga. Why? Because La Farga offers you a 50-year guarantee in the installation, since it considers that copper is the safest, longest-lasting and best quality option for your home.

Apart from safety, what added value does a copper pipe installation offer?

Copper piping offers excellent performance, whether embedded in walls and floors or exposed. It safeguards the health of your family, both in respect of the piping installation itself and the liquids that travel through it. It also represents a saving for the family economy in the long term since it is a maintenance-free material. Last of all, copper is an aesthetically pleasing and attractive material for the home. In short, copper offers great performance, health, economic savings and aesthetics in the home.

I've heard that copper is antimicrobial, which makes it an ideal material for contact surfaces. Is that true?

It certainly is. The copper piping manufactured by La Farga bears the Antimicrobial Copper Cu+ international mark, which means that for contact surface applications it is the most suitable material for preventing the spread of infections.

A clear example is São Paulo airport in Brazil, where antimicrobial copper counters and handrails have been fitted with the aim of improving the hygiene and safety of the facilities. It is worth recalling that 80% of infections are transmitted through contact surfaces. The properties of copper are maintained when it is alloyed with bronze, tin and nickel, etc. Its effectiveness has been proved in scientific experiments in hospitals in countries including the UK and the USA. In São Paulo airport, initial tests carried out on the copper contact surfaces showed that the residual bacterial contamination level was less than 10 colony-forming units (CFUs) per cm2. In the same tests carried out on stainless steel surfaces, the results were over 800 CFUs per cm2.

What kind of maintenance does copper piping require over time?

Since it is a material that does not deteriorate over the years, it needs no maintenance.

What is the most suitable material for heating?

Thanks to its resistance to the combination of high temperatures and high pressure, it is the safest material for heating installations.

If I don't like the natural colour of copper, can I choose another colour?

Thanks to the possibility of applying patinas to copper piping, we can incorporate different colour finishes without ever affecting the properties of the metal.
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