PEX or Copper Piping - Which Should You Choose?

PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) piping is the latest innovation in plumbing. It was introduced in the U.S. around 1980 as a system implemented in radiant flooring and has become commonplace for repiping and plumbing repairs. But is it better than copper? Here is a quick break-down of the benefits and drawbacks for each plumbing option.

pex versus copper piping

Copper - Benefits

  • Time-tested
  •  Creates a biostatic atmosphere which is bacteria resistant
  • Resists corrosion
  • Unaffected by ultraviolet rays (ideal for outdoor use)
  • Resists burning
  • Recyclable

Copper – Drawbacks

  • Requires knowledge of soldering
  • Can corrode
  • Cost
  • Can contribute a metallic taste to water
  • Can freeze and break in cold weather
  • Heat loss
  • Reacts to contact with other metals

PEX – Benefits

  • Cost
  • Color-coded
  • Scale and chlorine resistant
  • Flexibility (easier installation and quieter after install)
  • No heat loss
  • Can connect with metal and PVC piping
  • Fewer fittings
  • Shut off valve at each supply line
  • Expands up to eight times its size before freezing
  • No sediment build-up
  • Does not corrode

PEX – Drawbacks

  • Cannot be used outdoors
  • Not recyclable
  • Impermeable membrane that may allow the possibility of water contamination
  • Requires purchase of specific tool for proper installation

Still have questions about piping options for your home or office? Contact the experts at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing today!

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