PEX piping is becoming increasingly popular as plumbers shift to its ease of use and cost-effectiveness. But is it a better option than traditional copper piping? Or are there drawbacks?
Let’s find out if PEX piping is the right choice for your business or home.
What is PEX piping?
PEX piping is a type of plastic pipe made of polyethylene and can be used in hot and cold water lines. PEX tubing is a type of plumbing system that is known for its resilience and durability. It can be used for both residential and commercial applications.
PEX piping comes in several sizes and colors (red, blue, and white) and needs no soldering during installation. Instead, simply use the correct fittings to join the pipes together.
Also, PEX piping is flexible, making it easier to fit around complex configurations. It’s available in stick or coil form, although most plumbers prefer to use stick for ease of use.
When is PEX piping used?
PEX pipes are used for hot and cold water lines, as well as radiant heating systems, in residential and commercial building construction. It’s often used in residential homes because it’s easy to install and repair.
PEX piping can be installed in a variety of different ways, including:
In-floor radiant heat systems
Under-slab heating systems
Floor warming systems
Drain water heat recovery systems
How long do PEX pipes last?
In most cases, PEX is extremely durable and lasts up to 50 years or more. PEX piping is also less likely to crack or break than metal pipe because it does not expand and contract as much when heated and cooled.
The lifespan of PEX piping depends on several factors:
The quality of the pipe material itself – higher quality PEX has more durable properties than lower quality products.
How well it was installed – always use a professional plumber who can avoid the pipe kinking, pinching, or crimping during installation.
The Pros and Cons of PEX Piping
Thinking of using PEX piping in your house? Before you decide, learn the pros and cons of this choice.
It’s cheaper than copper
In most cases, PEX piping is cheaper than copper. Therefore, the initial cost of installing a PEX system is lower than the initial cost of installing a copper system.
Easy to install
PEX piping is easier to install because it’s flexible and can be bent into any shape. It can also be installed without any soldering or special tools. This flexibility makes PEX a great option when obstacles like walls or pipes need to be avoided during installation.
Easier to cut
The biggest advantage to using PEX over traditional plumbing materials is that it’s much easier to work with. That’s because PEX pipe has no sharp edges or burrs that can cause damage when you cut it.
Corrosion and freeze resistant
The PEX tubing is made of plastic, so it can withstand cold temperatures. PEX tubing is designed for interior plumbing systems and can withstand temperatures as low as -40°F (-40° C).
Another advantage is that PEX pipe isn’t affected by water quality like copper is. For example, copper pipes can corrode if there are high levels of iron or sulfates. This can significantly damage your plumbing system, including leaks and burst pipes.
PEX pipes won’t corrode in these situations because they’re made from plastic instead of metal.
Drinking water safe
Copper corrodes over time when exposed to chlorine and other chemicals found in drinking water systems. This causes pinhole leaks that can contaminate your home’s water supply. However, PEX piping is less likely to crack. It’s also less likely to leach toxic substances into your drinking water.
Reduced plumbing joints reducing leak points
PEX piping is joined with crimping tools rather than soldering or brazing, so there are fewer joints in the system overall. This is better because it reduces the points where leaks can develop. It also means less chance of exposure to toxic chemicals used in soldering and brazing processes.
It can’t be used outside
PEX pipes are made from polyethylene plastic, which is sensitive to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light. Over time, exposure to UV rays causes PEX pipes to become brittle and crack easily. Likewise, PEX piping doesn’t cope with freezing outdoor temperatures.
Rodents are a common problem in homes and can be incredibly destructive to PEX pipes. They chew through the pipes, creating leaks that cause extensive damage to your home if not repaired in time.
Rodents are drawn to PEX because it is easy to chew through, especially when compared to copper or galvanized steel. They chew through these pipes to find food and water, but also out of instinctive behavior.
The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.