Pex Pipe reprinted courtesy of ServiceMagic
One of the most widely used and cost effective new plumbing solutions to hit the market in decades is pex plumbing. Pex tubing is plastic plumbing pipe that is perfect for residential use. It's easy to install, cheaper than traditional copper plumbing, and has a great track record when it comes to performance. It is presently one of the most commonly used plumbing materials in new home building, making it the perfect choice if you're looking for a functional, cost effective, solution to replacing or installing plumbing in your home.
Pex Tubing is the Best Buy on the Market
Perhaps the greatest draw to using pex pipe for your plumbing needs is cost. From materials right on down to installation, it is hands down the most cost effective plumbing a homeowner can buy. It's cheaper from the get go from a materials standpoint, and because it can be installed in longer, flexible, lines, using less fittings, you'll also save on the extra fixtures and fittings that copper plumbing requires. And when it comes to installation, there is no comparison. The flexibility, light weight, and easy fitting of pex tubing drastically cuts down on the time it takes to re-plumb a house, or install it in a new home build, translating into big savings on labor costs. Top to bottom, pex plumbing is one of the best buys on the market.
Pex Tubing and Performance
From a performance standpoint, pex pipe also seems to beat out traditional materials. You don't need to worry about using it as a potable water delivery system, since it's proven to be even more resistant to common chemicals found in water systems than traditional plumbing materials. Its smooth interior resists the buildup of corrosive materials and minerals that can accumulate and clog copper pipe over time, and because it's flexible plastic tubing, it resists freeze damage better than metal pipe.
Don't Use Pex Outdoors
Unfortunately, pex tubing is not suitable for outdoor applications. While it resists freeze damage indoors, it won't hold up under hard freezing and thawing conditions. And it should never be exposed to UV light, which can break down the material and cause it to fail. As such, pex plumbing should only be used for indoor plumbing applications.
Save on Maintenance, Too
Another reason to choose pex pipe for your plumbing is directly related to how easy it is to work with and install. That convenience translates into the maintenance side of things, too. If you do suffer a plumbing problem, pex is much easier for your plumber to fix and replace than traditional materials, speeding up repairs and saving you on the most costly part of calling in a plumber: the labor.
Debunking the Rumors
If you're interested in pex pipe for your home, and begin to look into having it installed, you might encounter doubters who cite problems with plastic plumbing that was commonly installed back in the eighties. It's true, plastic plumbing got a bad name for a while, largely due to a tendency to spring pin prick leaks in the pipe over time. That is a thing of the past, however. The new generation of pex tubing is made of an entirely different material, and one that has proven itself reliable and nearly maintenance free for years now. You only need to look at its widespread use by plumbers across the country to know that the old problems with plastic plumbing have been overcome by this new, innovative pex tubing.
If you're interested in pex tubing, talk to a plumber about what it will take to replace the old plumbing in your home with pex or to use it in a new home build. You'll be amazed by the cost difference over copper, and can rest easy knowing you're getting an excellent product to boot.