For many years the principal material for plumbing was galvanized steel. Unfortunately, the vulnerability to corrosion and the material’s weight meant that copper superseded galvanized steel in home plumbing applications. Copper is still a popular choice today, but in recent years plastics have also become common. One kind of plastic piping that is particularly popular is PEX or cross-linked polyethylene. PEX
is used in residential, commercial and industrial applications and it offers some excellent advantages. Here we will explore five reasons to choose PEX pipes for your home plumbing.
Durability and Flexibility:
PEX is both extremely durable and flexible, making it ideal for most home plumbing applications. One of the biggest disadvantages of copper piping is that despite it being durable, it is very rigid. This means that copper pipes are more vulnerable to breaking when they are put under outside pressures. The flexibility of PEX also means that it is easier to fit into most applications and spaces. It doesn’t require gluing at the joints, which means that it is less vulnerable to freezing damage and bursting.
PEX is also considered to be highly cost effective when compared to metal piping. Since installation is simpler, it is less labor intensive, lowering installation costs. The PEX material itself is also far less expensive. Copper pipes can be quite costly, which will immediately increase the installation costs. Additionally, since PEX has less water flow resistance compared to metal pipes, it is possible that you will save money in the long term with reduced utility bills.
While this does not provide an obvious advantage for homeowners, the fact that PEX piping is available in different colors can make future repairs easier. Most plumbers will install blue PEX pipes for cold water lines and red for hot water lines. This makes it easier to keep track for any future repairs or replacements.
PEX pipes also provide resistance to scale and other damage caused by poor quality water. If your water supply is slightly acidic, it may pit and corrode copper pipes, causing small pin prick leaks and creating a vulnerability for bursting. The risk of this occurring is reduced with PEX. This form of plastic will not corrode when exposed to acidic water and will not accumulate scale from hard water. This can help to eliminate many plumbing issues in the future.
While there are many great advantages of installing PEX pipes, there is no need to be pressured into an all or nothing scenario. It is possible that your home plumbing system does not need to be limited to only using one type of pipe. PEX can be easily combined with copper pipework, which means that your plumber could use copper where it would work better than plastic and switch over to PEX pipes when flexibility and ease of installation are important.
If you are still unsure about installing PEX pipes in your home plumbing system, speak to your plumbing professional
. An experienced professional will help you to assess whether PEX is the right choice for the unique requirements of your home.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solutions.