Obviously, plumbers will use Brass Plumbing Pipe and fittings but, is there anything special about plumbing pipe – regardless of what material it is made from? Maybe we should also ask ourselves what is the precise definition of the word “plumbing”?
The word is used to describe a system that distributes a flow of fluid throughout a building. The fluid is usually water but furnace fuels and special fluids for refrigeration, air conditioning and heating also come under the plumber’s purview.
Plumbers install the pipes, drains, fittings, valves, and other devices to make the system function for both delivery to the point of use and removal of waste fluids. However, their function is limited to a single building – be it a small home or a giant commercial complex. The utility companies and their engineers take care of supplying water to the building and maintain the subsequent sewerage systems once it leaves the building.
When working with pipe, plumbers need to consider the pressure and temperature of the fluid within the pipe plus any exterior environment considerations. They can then choose where to use plastic or metal (such as Brass Plumbing Pipe) for their distribution system. The material chosen for the whole host of necessary plumbing fittings usually follows the choice of material selected for the pipe itself. Thus, Brass Plumbing Pipe will be joined with brass pipe fittings, etc.
Local building codes confirm which materials may be used for what applications but the overriding standards are those issued by ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), UL (Underwriters Laboratories), and/or NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). Often, brands of items such as Brass Plumbing Pipe and fittings will have to undergo acceptance testing and type certification from one or all of these bodies.
There are particularly strong regulations that have to be met before any Brass Plumbing Pipe can be used on systems carrying our (potable) tap water. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Copper has been long known to possess germicidal and antimicrobial properties which are ideal for our drinking water. However, brass will almost always include traces of other metals in its alloy mix. Lead has long been an alloying metal in many brasses. Current regulations basically forbid lead (in any form) being associated with most water plumbing applications. Therefore when looking for Brass Plumbing Pipe and fittings, for contact with domestic water, one must be certain to select a lead free alloy.