Home PEX Pipe vs. Copper Pipe - which is better?

Overview

Copper piping has been the standard of plumbing for more than half a century. Recently, competition has appeared in the form of PEX pipe. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages that are worth considering before your next remodeling project.

Copper Pipe

Advantages:

  1. Resists corrosion more than other metals like steel or brass.
  2. Can be used outdoors, unaffected by sunlight (UV).
  3. It’s fireproof and doesn’t release toxic gas in case of fire.
  4. Recyclable.

Disadvantages:

  1. Average cost of copper pipes is 4-6 higher than of the PEX pipe.
  2. Water could have metallic taste if copper is corroded.
  3. New copper plumbing systems may require chemical treatment to remove leftover solder from brazing the joints.
  4. Copper pipes are high likely to burst when water in the pipes freezes.
  5. More difficult to install than PEX tubing because of its rigidity, requires more PEX fittings and connections.

PEX Pipe

Advantages:

  1. Requires fewer fittings, easier to install, less likely to have a leak.
  2. Very cost effective, requires less labor.
  3. Can have long continuous runs without the need for couplings.
  4. Is able to expand and contract making it more burst resistant than copper, brass, and other rigid pipes.
  5. Has good chemical resistance.
  6. Pipes can be bent around almost any corner without an elbow fitting.
  7. Quieter, reduces “water hammer”.
  8. Recyclable mechanically, chemically, and thermally.

Disadvantages:

Can’t be used outside.


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