Plumbing can be one of the more difficult types of home improvements to make unless you know exactly what you are doing. Water damage can wreck homes and can even cause a lot of sickness and even death if you happen to have mold in your home. This destructive force is kept in check via your home's pipes, so it's incredibly important that you know how to properly proceed before attempting any type of plumbing repairs.
Almost every home, even a newer home, uses copper in the plumbing. Perhaps not for sinks and drains, but overall the pipes carrying the water around your home stand a good chance of being made of copper. This metal is very pliable and exceedingly difficult to deal with unless you're trained. Once a copper pipe develops a leak, it's not like you can simply slap on some duct tape and call it a day. You will have to shut off the main water supply, thoroughly dry the pipe, and then very carefully solder the leak. Another option is to cut out the patch completely and replace the damaged section of pipe. Either way, you're looking at a relatively complicated repair.
As the tip above explains, copper leaks are difficult to repair. But since they happen so frequently, this means that someone may have tried to repair a leak in your home before you moved in. You could quite possible be dealing with a lot of water damage already. If you're going to perform any type of plumbing repair that entails replacing pipes, you should do what's necessary to check all of the copper pipes, and all pipes in general in your home for leaks.
Apart from being pliable and very prone to leaks, copper pipes can also easily freeze in the winter months. Depending on where the pipes are located, you should definitely think about insulating them. However, if you're going through the trouble to examine your copper pipes and to insulate them, you should take things a step further and really perform some troubleshooting on your home's plumbing. Replace older joints and valves. Replace copper with PVC where applicable. Make sure that you check every single pipe and every joint in the home. Make it a large-scale one-time repair and do things the right way.
If you do happen to switch out the copper in your home and go for a new material, or even if you're replacing the copper with copper, the good news here is that you won't have to spend as much money as you may be thinking. And that's because the price of copper is over $1 per pound at most scrap yards. Copper, although pliable and relatively thin, has a lot of heft to it. You may have around 30 pounds or more of scrap copper in the home.
The most important thing to remember when making plumbing repairs is that the worst mistakes aren't seen for years! This means you need to triple-check your work and also inspect the old plumbing in its entirety.