When we think of plumbing materials, it’s easy to list copper, PVC, and iron; but what about PEX? This flexible material is slowly replacing traditional materials as a plumber’s favorite piping option. PEX is short for cross-linked polyethylene piping and can easily be found in any plumbing aisle at a home improvement store. Those big rolls of red, blue, and gray piping? That’s PEX. Today, we’re sharing everything you need to know about PEX piping and why plumbers are starting to prefer PEX to other materials.
What is PEX Piping?
In terms of plumbing materials, no two are created equal. Although PEX has been around for a while, it’s not until recently that it’s gained a lot of popularity. As we mentioned above, PEX is made of cross-linked polyethylene piping. Plumbers are starting to prefer this material
for a number of reasons, but the biggest one has to be it’s flexibility—literally.
PEX piping can bend and twist in ways that copper and iron can’t. This makes it much easier to use and manipulate during an install.
A Brief History of PEX Piping
Though the piping itself is nothing new—it was developed in 1968—there was nothing stopping it from taking over the market. In the late 60s Thomas Engle
, a German scientist, found a way to make a softer and more pliable version of polyethylene, specifically focusing on piping. It wasn’t until the 1980s that PEX piping found its way to America, and even then, it was primarily used for radiant floor heating.
PEX Pros and PEX Cons
Just like every other building material, PEX piping does have a few downsides. At Bell Brothers, we believe the good outweighs the bad, but we want you to have the final say of what building materials go into your home. We spoke about this earlier, but PEX is a much more affordable option than copper or iron pipes. The tradeoff is that PEX does not last as long as copper piping. However, PEX won’t corrode, pit, or scale the same way copper can
Another great thing about PEX is its flexibility. It can curve around beams and walls in ways that other materials can’t. This negates the need for extra pipe fittings and parts. Also, when remodeling a home and putting in new pipes, PEX allows you to connect tubing without being as invasive. Comparatively, copper pipes need to be placed in exact locations and will require a torn-up wall if you need to pipe in the house.
While PEX piping may sound like a dream material, it can’t be used in every plumbing situation. Unfortunately, PEX can be damaged by Ultraviolet or UV light rays so it would need to be in a place that literally never sees the light of day.
Want to Know if PEX Piping Can Work in Your Home?
Call the experts at Bell Brothers today! Our plumbers are well versed in all common plumbing materials and can find an individual solution for your home’s specific need. We proudly serve Sacramento, Stockton, Vacaville, the Bay Area, and surrounding communities. To meet your plumbing expert, call the number at the top of the screen or click here to book an appointment online