Are you considering PEX piping for new construction or buying a house with PEX piping and want to know more? It’s a solid choice for piping material, so let’s discuss the advantages of PEX pipe for your water supply.
We’ll also explore how PEX compares to metal piping and other plastic piping as well.
In this PlumbingNav guide, we cover:
- What are the primary advantages of PEX piping?
- Ideal for cold temperatures
- Things to know about using PEX pipes
- Advantages of PEX pipe compared to CPVC pipe
- Advantages of PEXexpanding rings
- Environmental advantages of using PEX over copper plumbing
|What's In This Guide?|
What Are the Primary Advantages of PEX Piping?
Why choose PEX piping over the other pipe materials available to you? Well, thanks to the following benefits PEX provides a reliable and practical solution.
PEX pipe stands out thanks to its flexibility. You will have the ability to use it in tight and irregularly shaped locations in your home with fewer connectors, which eliminates the number of points for a possible leak. The flexibility also allows for the pipe to change its shape moderately without breaking.
There are three types of PEX pipe: PEX A, PEX B, and PEX C, and it’s important to know the difference between the two if maneuverability is a factor in your project. PEX A is more flexible with a 90-degree change of direction radius while PEX B and PEX C are more rigid piping.
The pliability of the material also allows you to install PEX pipe to other materials, even if the sizes don’t match completely (with the help of a PEX expanding ring).
Metal pipes are susceptible to corrosion, a natural process of metal turning into rust. PEX piping, on the other hand, won’t turn to rust as its made from plastic, which doesn’t experience corrosion.
Due to the lack of corrosion, many experts claim that PEX pipe doesn’t deteriorate until it experiences trauma. This ssentially allows PEX pipes to last indefinitely until it experiences an incident.
Since PEX water lines don’t experience corrosion, you won’t need to worry about PEX pipes impacting the water quality of your home’s potable water (drinking water). How does this compare to PVC? See this post for how long PVC lasts.
#3. Ideal For Most Temperature Conditions
PEX pipe expands when it freezes and retracts back to its original shape after it thaws, ensuring that the material doesn’t burst as easily as rigid pipe material, such as metal.
While effective at first, PEX pipe can only expand and contract so many times before it gives in to the stress and leaks.
To prevent freezing before it happens:
- Insulate pipes
- Keep water heater and HVAC set to a minimum temperature at all times
- Shut off outdoor faucets
PEX piping also holds up to hot water coming from your water heater but not as well as CPVC pipe. PEX pipe generally has a heat rating of 180 degrees, which is more than adequate for most residential use.
PEX pipe does not perform well when exposed to UV rays for extended periods of time. Avoid installing exposed PEX pipes in sunny locations outdoors.
While on this topic, you can also consider installing freeze-proof outdoor faucets to guard against cold temps.
PEX tube costs slightly more than PVC pipe, but it’s significantly cheaper than metal options, such as stainless steel pipe, copper pipe, and lead pipe.
Since flexibility makes PEX piping easy to install, installation costs are considerably less, too.
Not only does PEX pipe cost less upfront, but it lasts as long or almost as long as metal options, making it a wise investment in the long-term, too.
#5. Low Maintenance and Repairs
PEX pipe doesn’t require an excessive amount of maintenance or repair, making it ideal for underground pipes, even under a slab foundation.
Accessing plumbing integrated into a slab foundation is difficult, so you need a material that will hold up without requiring excessive amounts of hands-on attention.
The only maintenance required for PEX pipe is standard drain cleaning and proper usage. You should also use a mesh drain strainer to prevent unwanted materials from getting into your PEX drain pipe.
Do you suspect a slab leak or a leak deep in your plumbing system? Read our review on the best sewer camera with a locator.
Things to Know About Using PEX Pipes
Advantages of PEX pipe vs CPVC
One of the most common plastic pipe alternatives is CPVC pipe, a heat-resistant type of PVC pipe.
While PEX pipe and CPVC pipe are very similar, there are small differences that can cause you to choose one over the other.
PEX pipe is more flexible, making it better for bending around interior corners. PEX pipe also allows adjustable connections to different materials and fewer connection points, resulting in fewer leaks.
CPVC pipe works better outside since it won’t deteriorate due to extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays. C PVC piping also remains completely toxic-free, while PEX pipe may contain some chemicals, even if at safe levels. PEX pipes may produce an odor, but, the water itself, is harmless.
PEX piping is easy to work with. Plumbing an entire house with PEX tubing is done must faster than using traditional materials such as copper. You can skip the soldering, but you will need to learn how to cut PEX pipe the right way for best performance.
In summary, use PEX pipe indoors and CPVC pipe outside for your residential plumbing system.
Watch this video to see the main differences between PEX and CPVC Pipes:
Advantages of plastic PEX expanding rings
PEX expanding rings make it easy to connect your PEX pipe to another pipe, even if they aren’t the correct size upfront.
Expanding rings will allow you to connect pipes of different sizes.
It’s important to understand that you have to choose between PEX A and PEX B piping. Only PEX A pipe expands. PEX B pipe can NOT expand as it’s a more rigid plastic.
Environmental advantages of using PEX instead of copper pipes
PEX plumbing pipe is significantly more lightweight than copper pipe, minimizing the monetary cost of manufacturing, shipping, and waste disposal.
PEX material also processes acidic water better.
Final Thoughts On The Primary Advantages of PEX Piping
PEX plumbing pipe is a great option for your residential plumbing system. A PEX plumbing system installs easily at a reasonable price and lasts longer than you may have expected. You have an option between PEX A and PEX B, but you can’t go wrong either way.
All plumbing materials have limitations. Now that you know the advantages of PEX pipe, read about the disadvantages of PEX plumbing.
FAQs on Pex Advantages Over Traditional Pipes
What Are the Primary Advantages of Pex Piping?
PEX piping comes with a lot of advantages, including:
- Ideal for cold temperatures
What are the Advantages of PEX pipe vs CPVC
PEX pipe is more flexible than CPVC pipe, but they are very similar in quality. PEX pipe tends to be the better option when discussing internal plumbing, especially if you must connect the pipe to different sized or different piping materials.
Advantages of repiping from copper to PEX
When you upgrade from copper to PEX, you contribute to helping the environment and save money on initial costs compared to new copper piping. PEX piping also won’t experience corrosion and is less likely to freeze when confronted with freezing temperatures.
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