PEX is the Future of Plumbing
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The quality of the water we drink has gotten a lot of attention lately, but there's been little said about the plumbing materials used in the past to supply that water to our homes. When liquids sit dormant in plumbing lines, metals and other substances leach into the water, creating potentially unhealthy conditions.
PEX tubing is an innovative product that addresses those problems associated with traditional plumbing systems that use rigid pipe, like CPVC and copper.
PEX tubing is:
- More sanitary; it doesn't require adhesives or acid flux
- Corrosion resistant; it's smooth interior does not encourage mineral build up like copper pipe, and is resistant to other common chemicals found in systems that use traditional plumbing materials.
- Easy to install; PEX can be installed by using conventional branch and tee methods, or using a manifold system, which provides a dedicated water source to each fixture in the house.
- Energy efficient; PEX has a higher R-value than CPVC or copper, meaning less heat loss so hot water lines stay hot longer.
- Quiet; Unlike rigid pipe, the flexibility of PEX tubing allows it to expand to absorb the "water hammer" effect heard in traditional plumbing systems.
- Freeze resistant; when rigid pipes, like CPVC and copper freeze, it usually results in multiple breaks in the system. PEX tubing expands, allowing it to escape those damaging effects from freezing. Typically, when a PEX plumbing system thaws out, it's as good as new.
- Cost effective; PEX is the most cost effective plumbing material on the market today, in both time and money. Fewer fittings means more money in your pocket, and a lower risk of potential leaks, and it's flexibility drastically cuts down the time it takes to complete installation or repairs.
- Durable; the ability of PEX pipe to expand and contract with changing temperatures makes it resistant to bursting. And, unlike rigid piping material, there is no risk of corrosion or pitting.
The Advantages of Plumbing With PEX
The popularity of PEX has steadily increased in the U.S. since its introduction here in the 1980’s.
Plumbers and homeowners alike are finding that PEX is ideally suited for potable water plumbing and hydronic heating applications. Its flexibility and strength make it superior to rigid pipe, whether you’re installing radiant heating systems or snow melting applications. Its flexibility also makes it easy to fish up through walls on remodeling projects, making it possible for homeowners to tackle a once difficult job and install PEX plumbing themselves.
PEX, or cross-linked polyethylene, has several advantages over rigid pipe of copper, iron or plastic. It can withstand temperatures from below freezing to 200° Fahrenheit. It’s resistant to both the scale and the chemicals found in the typical plumbing environment. It won’t corrode and it won’t develop pinholes. It is faster to install than rigid pipe and uses fewer connections and fittings, meaning a lower cost installation over traditional plumbing materials. And since most plumbing problems will occur at joints, fewer fittings will also reduce the possibility of leaks.
Advantages of PEX Plumbing
- Flexible pipe can make many directional changes without the need for elbow fittings
- It can be installed in long runs without the necessity of coupling fittings
- Fittings do not require soldering, eliminating the health hazards of lead-based solder and acid fluxes
- No torch is needed to make connections, making it safer to install
- There is no cure time waiting for fittings to dry or cool down
- PEX tubing conserves energy because it does not transfer heat as readily as copper
- Water flows quietly through PEX pipe, eliminating that characteristic "water hammer" noise of copper pipe systems
- Tubing systems typically run to a central manifold, allowing homeowners to shut off a single fixture for repairs, instead of shutting off the water supply to the entire room or house
- It's is less expensive than traditional rigid pipe