For years, plumbers used rigid materials to make residential pipes. Early on it was lead. Then, when it was discovered that lead had some unhealthy consequences, plumbers made the transition to galvanized steel, and later the copper and PVC that are still so common today. However, not all plumbers are using rigid materials anymore. Some have begun to instead use a flexible, plastic tubing material known as PEX, or cross-linked polyethylene. PEX is a common choice for new construction homes, but is it the right choice for your new construction home? Well, that depends on how you weigh and consider the following pros and cons.
Pros of PEX
The main advantage of PEX is that it is easier to maneuver around corners and joints. Whenever a plumber reaches a corner or joint with rigid piping, they have to put an elbow in the pipe. Not only does this take time, but elbows slow down the flow of water and are prone to developing clogs and leaks. When PEX is used, it can just be bent around the corner like a hose. This will save the plumber a lot of time and headaches.
Another advantage of PEX is that it is less likely to leak if the water inside of it freezes. The material is more flexible than copper or PVC, which can crack and spring a leak if the water inside them freezes and expands.
PEX also does not corrode like copper plumbing, which makes it a good choice in areas where the water supply is slightly acidic — or when the home has well water, which is known for having increased levels of certain contaminants that can damage copper plumbing over time.
Cons of PEX
One downfall of PEX is that it is not the most eco-friendly option. It is basically a plastic, and it cannot be recycled when it is later removed from the home. Copper, on the other hand, is easily recycled, which makes it a greener choice.
PEX also cannot be exposed to UV light because UV causes it to break down and lose strength over time. If any pipes run along your basement wall under a window, for instance, those PEX pipes will need to be carefully covered for protection against UV damage.
If you are able to protect the pipes from UV light and don't mind that the material is not recyclable, then PEX is an easy-to-install option with many advantages when used in new homes.
Talk with someone specialized in new plumbing construction near you to determine which type of plumbing material will be best for your home.Share
18 November 2020
Hello, my name is Yvonne Michaels. Welcome to my website about plumbing components. Plumbing systems of all kinds use interconnected components to bring fresh water in and waste water out of the building. By clearly understanding the plumbing components used in your commercial or residential building, you can ensure your systems remain in great operational condition for years to come. On this site, I will help you learn all about plumbing components for every system imaginable. I hope to inspire you to learn about these components and understand how they operate to keep your plumbing system in great shape. Thanks for coming by.