What is PEX Piping and is it Right For Your Home?
PEX piping, also known as cross-linked polyethylene, comes from different production methods (such as the Peroxide method), and is a form of plumbing tubing that is increasingly being used in commercial and domestic piping systems, for heating and cooling, and insulation for high-voltage electrical cables, even potable water systems. It has become one of the biggest plumbing revelations since the invention of the flush toilet. PEX pipes are being used to replace copper in many plumbing applications, with some estimates placing PEX piping and PEX plumbing as the dominant method of carrying hot water and cold water into and throughout buildings in the next 10 years.
There are differences between PEX-A and PEX-B, PEX-C where PEX-A has the highest rate of crosslinking polymers. Many PEX fittings and types can be used for water supply lines and more, all meeting the ASTM standards, and can be used in most home improvement projects.
Advantages of PEX Piping
PEX tubing can offer several advantages that rigid pipes such as copper pipes and CPVC cannot, including being flexible, resistant to crimping and corrosion, and have easy connectors with brands like Sharkbite, or Uponor pex pipe water lines.
It can also be used in closed-loop systems, such as radiant floor heating, as well as hydronic heating and as supply lines in various water applications. There are different types of PEX, including blue PEX, green PEX, white PEX, oxygen barrier PEX, and more.
Unlike stainless steel, copper and other plumbing tubing, PEX systems do not require soldering, but instead can use compression fittings and crimp rings.
Disadvantages of PEX Piping
PEX plumbing can have some disadvantages for homeowners, including the possible leaking of BPA in the water pipe for drinking water. You must also use the correct type of PEX system for heating applications.
Another disadvantage is if you have to plumb in PEX tubing to a traditional plumbing system. When this is needed, however, an adapter can be installed that allows adding the PEX to the other piping materials, and of course the reverse can be true if you have a PEX system for plumbing pipes but no access to materials, or crimping tools.
How to Know if PEX Piping is Right For Your Home
With a 40% annual rate of growth, it comes as no surprise that plumbers are talking PEX. Plumbers are always seeking better and more efficient ways to transport water into homes, and as technologies change, plumbers are using this technology to the benefit of their clients.
Some of the reasons why PEX piping is so popular include:
- More flexible than other pipes
- Direct routing reducing the need for joints
- Greater water pressure in showers and sinks
- Cheaper cost of materials
- Easier installation
- Does not corrode or leak
- Increased longevity
- Can merge with existing copper and PVC pipes
- Less likely to burst
- Environmentally friendly
With all these benefits, PEX piping is the choice to replace existing pipes in homes across the United States. However, it should be noted that PEX pipes should not be used where it can be exposed to sunlight and plant-feeding insects, installed by plumbers that are unfamiliar with this technology or used with iron or iron alloy heating systems since this may cause rust.
PEX piping may be suitable for your home! If you are seeking to have pipes replaced, this new piping can be a long-lasting and reliable option.
Since 1968, A-1 Sewer and Septic Service, Inc. has provided complete plumbing services for our clients. Call us to have an experienced plumber come to your home and develop a plan for PEX piping installation.