Are PEX pipes better than copper?
Pex piping is generally easier and faster to install and requires less maintenance, while copper piping is generally considered more durable and reliable over the long term.
Copper Pipe Lifespan. PEX pipe is not only cheaper than copper but more durable too. PEX is immune to corrosion and mineral build-up, and it's not affected by electrolysis, which can cause small pinhole leaks in copper piping. Copper pipes can last anywhere from six months to the life of a building.
Copper does have a few disadvantages, though. It has become expensive, can still corrode based on pH levels of water, and in cold climates, frozen water can cause copper pipes to burst. PEX installs quickly, which significantly reduces labor costs.
As with any other pipes, PEX is not prone to leaking. Nearly all of the plumbing leaks occur at joints (connection spots) and most of them are due to incorrect installation. Much like installing PEX tubing, repairing it is also an easy process.
Myth: PEX tubing has a short life span. Fact: The life span of PEX tubing can vary based on frequency of use, water quality and water temperature and has an average life expectancy of 40-50 years.
The decision to repipe with pex or copper will depend on a variety of factors, including your budget, installation requirements and preferences. Pex piping is generally easier and faster to install and requires less maintenance, while copper piping is generally considered more durable and reliable over the long term.
That's because a flexible pipe is more likely to perform better in freezing conditions than a rigid one. So copper, PVC and CPVC are more at risk of bursting if water freezes in them than PEX is.
PEX pipes are very thick, but they are still susceptible to rodent damage that can cause pipes to crack or break. Possible Leaching: Although uncommon, some homeowners and plumbing companies have reported a few PEX pipes leaching harmful contaminants like BPA (Bisphenol A) into the water supply.
Lifespan. While PEX piping should be able to last for 50 years with proper care, most PEX piping starts to break down after about 30 years. On the other hand, copper pipes can last over 50 years with proper care.
Copper pipes remain popular among plumbers and homeowners alike because they are corrosion-resistant and best suited to protect the quality of the water. Copper pipes are able to handle high water pressure and are tolerant of both hot and cold water temperatures.
How likely is it for PEX to burst?
The truth is, as with any piping, PEX is still vulnerable to freezing if the temperature drops low enough. But thanks to its flexible material, the plastic expands under the pressure of the freeze, significantly reducing the chance of bursting. That means your house is unlikely to flood due to a burst PEX pipe.
Bottom line, PEX A is more resistant to burst pressure than PEX B. PEX A's expansive material can handle up to 500 PSI, which makes it reliable in extremely cold temperatures. Since PEX B is a more rigid material, it will not hold up as well in similar situations.
Copper, polybutylene and PEX piping can suffer from persistent degradation under certain conditions because of incompatibility between the pipes and the chlorine used in water treatment processes. Over time, this degradation can lead at first to small leaks and eventually to a total failure of the pipe.
How long can a SharkBite fitting last? SharkBite fittings and PEX pipe carry a 25-year warranty against any manufacturer's defect as long as the item has been installed in accordance with the installation instructions and complies with local code.
Some homeowners may mention how PVC can last around 100 years, and PEX might last half of that. PEX often lasts around 50 years. However, PEX is more durable and has more flexibility than PVC and CPVC. Also, because PEX is made from cross-linked polyethylene, it won't corrode.
PEX cannot be taken anywhere outside the house where it is directly exposed to UV for a long period. The synthetic material of the pipes can slowly disintegrate due to the light of the sun. Even light bulbs have been known to affect the lifespan of PEX water lines.
Where is PEX pipe approved for plumbing use? PEX pipe is approved for residential and commercial hot and cold water distribution systems, municipal water service lines, radiant panel heating systems, hydronic baseboard heating systems, snow and ice melting systems and building services pipe.
While the majority of repiping jobs fall between $4,200 and $6,000 on average when installing PEX pipes, the cost to repipe a house can range anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000+ depending on a variety of variables.
For whole-house repiping, the choice usually comes down to copper or PEX (cross-linked polyethylene). This plastic piping is durable and less expensive than copper. PEX is easy to install, which means the cost of installation may be low as well.
At What Temperature Do PEX Pipes Freeze? Generally, cold temperatures of 20° F and lower will cause the formation of ice in your uninsulated water lines which will cause your pipes to freeze. All types of pipes can freeze, regardless of your pipe's material.
What is the best pipe to prevent freezing?
That's why the type of pipe you use matters. And when it comes to preventing these headaches, PEX pays off. Not only does it add value to the installation because it's more freeze resistant than pipes like CVPC and copper, but it's also superior in every season, cold or not.
PEX Pipe Is Vulnerable
Rodents Chewing Through PEX Pipe is a common problem in our area. It doesn't matter how old your home is, if you have an attic, you need to watch for rodent damage to PEX Pipe or PVC. If you're hearing rustling noises coming from the attic, it's time to do an inspection.
-- PEX was also suspected of leaching controversial chemicals such as MBTA, TBA and BPA that are considered toxic. While we cannot testify to the specifics of this claim, the state of California has banned PEX in many buildings.
Some PEX pipe manufacturers use cost-cutting processes which lead to pipes that aren't uniform in composition and are defective. Defective PEX pipes will not last 50+ years as advertised and quickly degrade and become brittle when exposed to hot chlorinated water. These pipes are destined to fail.
Another study (4) indicates that exposure to water over-saturated with all (3) common disinfectants – chlorine, chloramine and chlorine dioxide significantly affected stability of PEX pipe during testing, making the pipe more brittle and prone to cracking.