July 20, 2012.
If you are in the process of building a new home, you may have heard about PEX plumbing, and may wonder what the term means. While many people do not give much thought to their plumbing pipes, aside from whether they are working, and the decorative aspect of the fixtures they support, if you are building a new home, it pays to educate yourself on the pros and cons of various systems.
First, what is PEX plumbing? PEX refers to cross-linked polyethylene which is used to make plastic tubing. This tubing can be made in various thicknesses, to serve different purposes, and can also have a layer added to prevent the penetration of oxygen into the plumbing. Once made, it is wound onto spools, which makes it easier than rigid piping to ship and store. This ease of containment is only one of the advantages of PEX tubing.
- PEX plumbing installation is simpler, and leaks less. Because PEX plumbing is flexible, it requires fewer fittings than rigid piping, which means fewer opportunities for leaks. In fact, the flexible PEX tubing can turn ninety degrees to go around corners. In addition, PEX tube does not have to be soldered to fittings, so it doesn’t cause the health hazards associated with lead based solder.
- PEX plumbing supplies are corrosion resistant. Copper pipes can build up scales, and corrode when exposed to acidic water, but PEX plumbing remains corrosion free and doesn’t pit when exposed to acidic water.
- Extreme temperatures do not have as much of an impact on PEX plumbing supplies. PEX tubing doesn’t burst in freezing conditions like metal pipes. In addition, it does not transfer heat like copper tubing, so it conserves energy.
- PEX reduces noise pollution, as well. PEX tubing allows water to flow quietly, with no “water hammer” noise.
- PEX plumbing is less expensive than rigid tubing. The material used to make PEX is not very expensive. Additionally, because fewer fittings are required, installing PEX is easier than traditional piping, so labor costs are lower.
From PEX plumbing, to tankless water heaters, to radiant barrier roofing, there are plenty of things a reputable builder can use to make your home energy efficient and eco-friendly.