Copper Pipe

Written by Matt Milbury on . Posted in Pipe

Copper tubing has many uses and is used in just about every industry.  It is most often seen in domestic water supplies and used for potable water. There are two basic types of copper tubing, soft and rigid copper. During the manufacturing process, copper tubing is drawn through a die that hardens the metal. This makes the tubing rigid. To make the tube flexible again, it is annealed which softens the tube. The flexible/softer copper tubing comes in schedule K and L.

Copper tubing connections are done using a flare, compression joint or soldered.  Copper tubing is color coded for identification.  Type DWV tubing is yellow, K is green and L is blue.

There are several different types of copper piping.  The Type specifies the dimensions and the material type.  For example, the difference between Type K, L & M copper tubing is the dimensions.  An additional difference between DWV and Type K (L & M) is the material type, ASTM B306 & B88, respectively. 

Several different types of copper tubing is shown below.

Tubing - Copper, ASTM Types, Standards, Applications, Tempers and Lengths

  • Many other copper and copper alloy tubes and pipes available for specialized applications.
  • Contact the Copper Development Association for information on these products.

Type DWV

  • Color Code - Yellow
  • Datasheet & Dimensional Information
  • Standard - ASTM B306
  • Common Applications - Drain, Waste, Vent, HVAC, Solar
  • Commercially Available Lengths
    • Straight Length
      • 1/4 inch to 12 inch - 20' (drawn), N/A (annealed)

Type K

  • Color Code - Green
  • Datasheet & Dimensional Information
  • Standard - ASTM B88
  • Application - Domestic Water Service and Distribution, Fire Protection, Solar, Fuel/Fuel Oil, HVAC, Snow Melting, Compressed Air, Natural Gas, Liquified Petroleum (LP) Gas, Vacuum
  • Commercially Available Lengths
    • Straight Length
      • 1/4 inch to 8 inch - 20' (drawn), 20' (annealed)
      • 10 inch - 18' (drawn), 18' (annealed)
      • 12 inch - 12' (drawn), 12' (annealed)
    • Coils
      • 1/4 inch to 1 inch - N/A (drawn), 60' and 100' (annealed)
      • 1 1/4 inch and 1 1/2 inch - N/A (drawn), 60' (annealed)
      • 2 inch - N/A (drawn), 40' and 45' (annealed)

Type L

  • Color Code - Blue
  • Datasheet & Dimensional Information
  • Standard - ASTM B88
  • Application - Domestic Water Service and Distribution, Fire Protection, Solar, Fuel/Fuel Oil, Natural Gas, Liquified Petroleum (LP) Gas, HVAC, Snow Melting, Compressed Air, Vacuum
  • Commercially Available Lengths
    • Straight Length
      • 1/4 inch to 10 inch - 20' (drawn), 20' (annealed)
      • 12 inch - 18' (drawn), 18' (annealed)
    • Coils
      • 1/4 inch to 1 inch - N/A (drawn), 60' and 100' (annealed)
      • 1 1/4 inch and 1 1/2 inch - N/A (drawn), 60' (annealed)
      • 2 inch - N/A (drawn), 40' and 45' (annealed)

Type M

  • Color Code - Red
  • Datasheet & Dimensional Information
  • Standard - ASTM B88
  • Application - Domestic Water Service and Distribution, Fire Protection, Solar, Fuel/Fuel Oil, HVAC, Snow Melting, Vacuum
  • Commercially Available Lengths
    • Straight Length
      • 1/4 inch to 12 inch - 20' (drawn), N/A (annealed)

Type ACR (Air Conditioning & Refrigerant)

  • Color Code - Blue
  • Standard - ASTM B280
  • Application - Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, Natural Gas, Liquified Petroleum (LP) Gas, Compressed Air
  • Commercially Available Lengths
    • Straight Length
      • 3/8 inch to 4 1/8 inch - 20' (drawn), N/A (annealed)
    • Coils
      • 1/8 inch to 1 1/8 inch - N/A (drawn), 50' (annealed)

Type OXY/MED, OXY/ARC, ARC/MED

  • Color Code - (K) Green, (L) Blue
  • Standard - ASTM B819
  • Application - Medical Gas, Compressed Medical Air, Vacuum
  • Commercially Available Lengths
    • Straight Length
      • 1/4 inch to 8 inch - 20' (drawn), N/A (annealed)

Standards

The standards that govern copper tubing are as follows:

  • ASTM Standards
    • ASTM A254 / A254M - Standard Specification for Copper-Brazed Steel Tubing
    • ASTM B42 - Standard Specification for Seamless Copper Pipe, Standard Sizes
    • ASTM B43 - Standard Specification for Seamless Red Brass Pipe, Standard Sizes
    • ASTM B75 / B75M - Standard Specification for Seamless Copper Tube
    • ASTM B88 - Specification for Seamless Copper Water Tube
    • ASTM B280 - Specification for Seamless Copper Tube for Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Field Service
    • ASTM B302 - Standard Specification for Threadless Copper Pipe, Standard Sizes
    • ASTM B306 - Specification for Copper Drainage Tube (DWV)
    • ASTM B447 - Standard Specification for Welded Copper Tube
    • ASTM B466 / B466M - Standard Specification for Seamless Copper-Nickel Pipe and Tube
    • ASTM B467 - Standard Specification for Welded Copper-Nickel Pipe
    • ASTM B608 - Standard Specification for Welded Copper-Alloy Pipe
    • ASTM B698 - Standard Classification for Seamless Copper and Copper Alloy Plumbing Pipe and Tube
    • ASTM B706 - Standard Specification for Seamless Copper Alloy (UNS No. C69100) Pipe and Tube
    • ASTM B743 - Standard Specification for Seamless Copper Tube in Coils
    • ASTM B819 - Standard Specification for Seamless Copper Tube for Medical Gas Systems
    • ASTM B828 - Standard Practice for Making Capillary Joints by Soldering of Copper and Copper Alloy Tube and Fittings
    • ASTM B837 - Standard Specification for Seamless Copper Tube for Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum (LP) Gas Fuel Distribution Systems
    • ASTM B903 - Standard Specification for Seamless Copper Heat Exchanger Tubes With Internal Enhancement