Typical PEX Plumbing System
Even with a life span of more than 30 years, PEX plumbing has not flourished like one would expect. While some of the cynicism against PEX plumbing is somewhat legit, the advantages of PEX plumbing far outweigh traditional copper plumbing.
The most obvious argument is how easy PEX plumbing installs when compared to CPVC plumbing. Its flexibility allows it to bend around or through anything. With a predetermined bend radius of 90-degrees, it is capable of stretching into places copper would never even dream of fitting. PEX is not rigid and is available in long coils for continuous runs, without joint connections. This eliminates the need for coupling joints, additional labor, and soldering. Also by minimizing solder connections, there is less risk for man-made error and a less potential for leaks, which can result in frustrating pressure drops throughout the system.
Speaking of leaks, it is no secret that they are a huge inconvenience, and yes can cost lots of money to pinpoint and fix. Installing a PEX plumbing system will greatly reduce the potentials for leaks and the overall cost saving benefits will be considerably lower due to a less labor intensive install; fewer fittings, no soldering, no chemicals, no hazard insurance, and no sweating of pipes are all extraneous now with PEX plumbing.
Another benefit of PEX tubing is how less susceptible it is to frigid temperatures when compared to metallic piping. With its elastic property, PEX tubing can expand without cracking unlike copper piping. As long as it has the room to expand, PEX tubing will rarely crack when the water drops below freezing. PEX plumbing also offers reduced heat loss when compared to its metallic counterpart.
PEX plumbing does not suffer from the same fate of traditional metal piping such as water velocity wear, mineral build-up and corrosion. It is resistant to bacteria and will never taste metallic like copper’s corrosive nature.
While some may argue that PEX tubing is not “green” because it cannot be recycled, it does have the potential to conserve water, which will help the environment. Due to its flexibility and continuous runs, the need for fittings is less, which results in a quicker delivery time to a fixture when compared to that of a copper piping system; resulting in les water consumption.
While it is has taken more than ample time for PEX plumbing to find its way into the mainstream culture, the benefits of PEX tubing will eventually catapult itself into markets yet to be seen by today’s standards.