Should we be replacing copper pipework with stainless steel? View the images of Marisco Vineyard’s story to find the answer.

Although copper is able to withstand high temperatures, it does not survive cold atmospheric conditions. This allows water to freeze in the pipework when exposed to freezing temperatures, causing the copper tubing to split. Furthermore, liquid with high acidity levels can result in corrosion of copper systems.

When a network of outdoor copper pipework became plagued by corrosion and bacteria, Marisco Vineyards looked to stainless steel for longevity. The chromium and nickel in stainless steel ensures the tube and fittings are corrosion resistant.

Pipe insulation, often referred to as lagging, is commonly used to protect the pipework. The insulation material, which may vary depending on the requirements, is made of a foam wrapped around the pipe with a foil exterior. Although measures are taken leaking and seepage can still occur through the insulation, especially in outdoor pipework. As a result, copper has the tendency to combust over time.

The pipework needed to transport water from the boilers while withstand weather conditions and temperatures as low as -5°C. Stainless steel systems will ensure the best of high pressure ratings and functionality during temperature fluctuation.

Ironically, in the past copper has typically been associated with drinking water transportation. As the benefits are becoming evident, stainless steel is being used in place of copper pipework systems in Australia and New Zealand, following the trend of European countries such as Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Denmark.

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