We know that not everyone who is reading this is a plumber and may not know much about the
different materials and methods used for repairing or installing plumbing systems. However, you may be making important decisions on how to deal with the plumbing in your home or office and need to understand some of the basics. A hot topic right now is PEX vs. copper.
First, let’s talk about what PEX pipe is.
In the world of plumbing piping, PEX is definitely considered the new kid on the block. It is basically, cross-linked polyethylene pipe. For many years, even decades, copper pipes have been the go-to product for plumbers when installing a new plumbing system or repairing an outdated one. PEX has emerged as a strong alternative because of its extreme durability and flexibility.
PEX is able to withstand both very hot and very cold temperatures. It has also proven to hold up well against long exposure to stress and chemical attacks from acids and alkalis that can build up in a plumbing system. PEX is also easy to install and work with because it requires fewer joints.
Pros for PEX:
· Easy to use
· Can be used for both hot and cold water
· Requires less joints, which makes it faster to install
· Very flexible for tight corners
· Can be attached to both metal and PVC piping
· Highly burst resistant
· Much less likely to freeze in cold weather
Cons for PEX:
· Cannot be used outside
· Not recyclable
· Impermeable membrane that can possible allow contamination of water
Compare to Copper
Copper is also known for its durability. Unlike iron and other metals that were used before copper, it is much easier to cut and install. Copper is able to withstand corrosion and is unaffected by ultraviolet rays from the sun, making it a better choice for outdoor exposure.
Pros for Copper:
· Durable and flexible
· Bacteria resistant
· Resists corrosion more than other metals
· Can be used outdoors
· Resists burning
Cons for Copper:
· Can corrode under certain circumstances
· More expensive
· Can freeze in cold weather
So Which Should You Choose?
It really comes down to the specifics of your project. If you are looking to install a plumbing system that will run outside for some distance, you are probably better off with copper piping. For tight spaces in walls and under cabinets, choose PEX.
If you’re not sure which is the right choice for your home or office, please be sure to give the experts at Boydco Plumbing a call at 602-335-0323. We can set up a time to come to you and take a look at what it is you are trying to accomplish. From there, we’ll be able to make recommendations on the best solution.