Nearly all of our customers that are looking to re-pipe their residence ask, ‘should they go with copper or PEX?’ A Google search will furnish a variety of ideas, but the truth is that both have their pros and cons. The choice should be determined by the proposed use and environment of the pipe. Let’s see why.
For ages, copper has been the gold standard of plumbing water lines. Many plumbers marvel at the natural advantages that copper has, and they often hold the metal was made for plumbing. Copper forms a biostatic environment, which inhibits the growth of microorganisms. It is highly durable, recyclable, anticorrosive, and can withstand harmful UV rays thus useful in outdoor applications.
Nevertheless, the king is not flawless.
Copper requires soldering (or sweating), which can be a difficult skill to acquire (not to mention the tools needed). Furthermore copper is expensive. Its price has nearly doubled over the past 25 years. Moreover, although it is anticorrosive, it can corrode if the water within it has a pH level higher than 7.
The newest addition to the re-piping family is PEX. PEX is short for polyethylene that has cross-linked polymer chains. The result is a highly resilient, flexible pipe that is more heat efficient than copper. PEX comes in various colors, but typically red and blue are used to identify hot and cold water lines. It also significantly reduces noise created by water pressure so say good-bye to “water-hammer.” However, most importantly, PEX is cheaper and easier to apply.
Yet, the prince is young.
Youth has its disadvantages. One prominent drawback that is PEX’s lack of durability outdoors. However, special (but more expensive) insulated sleeves are available to protect PEX. There is also a learning curve to using PEX adapters and crimps. Lastly, there is a lack of working knowledge among plumbers with PEX. However, this is easily fixable by calling a plumber with years of PEX experience.
Remember that you can use a blend of the two to get the best of both in your plumbing system. Are you looking for a viable solution for your re-piping project? Give us a call or make an appointment with us online today!