What are the functional differences between aluminum drains and copper drains? (Quick cheater answer: very little)

Many of our drains are available in a choice of aluminum or copper bodies. The designs are identical but the material is different. The designs are identical because their functions and installations are the same. You would put an aluminum drain where you would put a copper drain. You would install an aluminum drain the same way you would install a copper drain. Aluminum and copper are both very long lasting materials. In that respect, one choice is as good as the other.

Our aluminum and copper drains listed for approval are both put under the same listing. They both undergo the same testing. They both must meet the same accepted standards for listing.  As far as inspection agencies are concerned both aluminum and copper are acceptable.

Are there instances where one material works better or has better performance than the other? Yes, but they are very few. Aluminum is a better choice in acidic or corrosive environments (pulp mills, for example). That’s about it.

The acceptance of aluminum drains versus copper drains has a geographical element. Areas where one or the other has been used predominantly over time tend to stick with one and downplay the value of the other. These preferences are not necessarily based on valid performance or material quality standards. They are just “what we grew up with”.

If you think about it, copper roofs have lasted hundreds of years. Old aluminum passenger coaches are still riding the rails on historic railroads. Old aluminum airplanes are still the staple in many third world countries. And either an aluminum or copper drain will likely outlast the roofing material on the roof they serve.