PEX plumbing has been growing in popularity in the last decade, and there are plenty of reasons why homeowners are choosing PEX over its traditional copper counterpart. Of course, with any new technology or product, there will always be pros and cons to consider before you make your decision on what type of plumbing to go with.
Read on to find out about both types of plumbing and how they compare to each other. You may be surprised by the results!
A PEX plumbing system is an alternative to traditional copper plumbing, and it’s very popular in new homes because of the many benefits. PEX is a type of polyethylene plastic that comes in range of tube of different sizes and is available in stick as well as coils.
In case of coils, you may find it hard to work through, as it is quite flexible and it’s like wrestling with a giant Slinky. You can easily find a 10-ft stick that you can join with coupler to avoid frustration and kinks. Plumbers also prefer to buy sticks instead of coils of PEX.
A PEX system consists of flexible but strong cross-lined polyethylene pipes that is predominantly used in building services including pipework, water piping, insulation, radiant heating and cooling system. It is like a flexible plastic that is now a replacement of traditional copper or galvanized steel as water supply pipes.
A lot of homeowners are shifting to PEX (Cross-linked polyethylene) pipes because it costs almost half the price of copper and at the same time, its installation is pretty easy and fast. So, it’s a win-win.
Advantages of PEX over Copper Pipe
As you might have guessed, PEX pipe is less expensive than copper pipe and requires fewer fittings to connect to the fixtures, which can save you both time and money on installation. Although you need to have some special tools for PEX installation but your savings from that of copper is pretty big.
PEX tubing (with half-inch size) is about one-third the price of copper. Your savings will be even more if you’re taking on some medium-to-large plumbing job.
Easier to install
One of the drawbacks to copper plumbing is that it’s more difficult and expensive to install than PEX pipes. PEX fittings are flexible and it’s just like playing or running a garden hose. Whether you’re using a traditional main line and branch system or you’re using a manifold with home-run system, PEX connections and installation is pretty fast and easy. There’s no such annoyance as that of soldering copper during connections.
Doesn’t corrode as easily as copper pipe
This means that it doesn’t need a coating or sealant, saving you from added costs! Even if you’re living in an area with acidic water, PEX is an ideal pick – not the copper. There’s no impact of acidic water. This makes it a much more attractive option for those looking to save on plumbing costs!
Is it worth replacing to PEX piping?
Many homeowners opt to change their plumbing to PEX, because it’s cheaper and easier to install than copper pipe, but there are some drawbacks to consider before replacing your existing piping.
In environments too hot: The largest issue with Pex pipe is that it can’t be used in places where water temperatures exceed 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit because the plastic will melt and crack when exposed to those high temperatures over time.
In environments too cold: It also can’t be used in areas where the pipe runs through an area that could cause it to freeze or become brittle, such as concrete slabs or slab foundations (such as crawl spaces). Additionally, if you have a septic tank on the property and want a septic line from the house to the tank, you’ll need a plumber who specializes in working with septic tanks for this job.
Rodents love PEX!: So, if you’re living in a house with mice and rats, you can have a disaster with PEX piping. They can chew through anything they can, including PEX tubing. So, it is at just as much risk as the wiring inside your car or your HVAC unit. All sorts of rodent damages are annoying but they’re expensive too while repairing.
Choosing between PEX and copper plumbing can be an overwhelming decision, especially if you are trying to decide which type of plumbing is best for your home in the first place. Both types of piping have their pros and cons, but one may be more suitable than the other depending on your exact needs.
So, try to evaluate your house requirements and your budget to opt the right type of plumbing for your house.
David is a homeowner DIY and a lifestyle expert and writer specializing in writing about different construction trades. His work has appeared in top-notch trade blogs. David also worked for Definecivil.com, where he managed an international team of writers and experts.