Kitchen and bathroom faucets are often referred to as plumbing fixtures, but these are really fixture fittings. Other fittings on your plumbing system include valves, pressure control devices, hose bibcocks, and backflow preventers. For all these plumbing fixture fittings, brass has long been the preferred metal by builders, mostly due to the material’s durability and versatility in being machined into detailed parts.
Brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, is one of the many different materials used in metal plumbing fittings today. Since equal proportions of copper and zinc make the pipe susceptible to corrosion, a brass tube for plumbing would ideally be made with 67 to 85 percent copper and 15 to 33 percent zinc. The best grade of brass pipes, also known as the red brass pipe, is made of 85 percent copper. Brass pipes will not be affected by water, unless the water contains ammonia or is soft.