Homeowners looking for a durable, flexible pipe material are turning to PEX plumbing. But before you use it, understand its benefits, drawbacks and differences from copper pipes.
Developed in Europe, PEX pipes have gained popularity in the United States. It is a cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipe that can be bent in tight spaces. It has a higher temperature rating and better chemical resistance than traditional copper pipes, making it perfect for residential plumbing applications.
PEX is also much more flexible than copper pipes. It has an excellent insulating value that allows it to conserve energy and provide constant water pressure at all temperatures. Unlike other pipes, PEX is not prone to corrosion and does not require soldering to join the pipe. PEX is a non-toxic alternative to copper and galvanized steel pipes, which can corrode and lead to rust in your home’s water supply.
There are three types of PEX: PEX-A, PEX-B and PEX-C. The difference between them is in the method of cross-linking, not the characteristics of the pipe itself. There are slight variations in density, burst pressure levels and bending radius, but these variations are negligible.
Using PEX manifolds will simplify your plumbing run, reduce possible leaks and eliminate the need for tees. If you choose to install PEX tubing outdoors, be sure to properly insulate it and protect it from freezing temperatures. PEX is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and NSF International to meet the rigorous standards for drinking water. It’s important to use proper crimping and clamping tools to ensure secure connections. Also, make sure you choose PEX that is tested for environmental stress crack resistance (ESCR). pex pipe