Looking into installing a above ground reduced pressure backflow preventor for my irrigation system. Looking at many examples and videos online, I saw different types of piping from PVC, Copper and Galvanized Steel used for the above ground installation like the picture below. My main concern is protecting the potable water and having a long term system.

My question is, which type of piping is appropriate for having this backflow preventer outdoor and under the sun?

  • Copper - I heard can deteriorate over time.
  • Galvanized steel - can build up rust inside the inner walls over time
  • PVC - Not good for outdoor and sunlight

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1 Answer 1


Copper can have problems with high mineral content but even with that it will last decades if prevented from freezing and I think it is the best for exposed work it is easy to cut and sweat fittings and my top preference. With PVC if doing exposed work I use schedule 80, I have not had problems with sunlight compared to PVC in exposed areas getting broken especially in winter. Steel would be my last resort, it is harder to cut and thread but holds up quite well on exposed work. As far as rusting it will take many years, I have threading equipment but find both copper and PVC hold up quite well and the extra work of threaded pipe so not worth the time and extra work for me.

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