What is PEX Piping and Why Are More Plumbers Using It?

When you think of pipe materials, what do you think of first? Generally, the answer bounces between copper, iron, and PVC. However, there’s a new material that’s starting to sweep the market—PEX piping. Short for cross-linked polyethylene piping, PEX piping is flexible, strong, and can work well with most plumbing systems. Because of it’s rise in popularity, we’re sharing everything we know about PEX piping and why plumbers are using it now more than ever.

Why Do Plumbers Choose PEX Piping?

When it comes to plumbing materials, no two were created equal. While PEX is a relatively newer material, it’s becoming a popular choice for new construction and home improvement. At Moore Home Services, one of our favorite reasons to choose PEX is because of its flexibility—literally. PEX is the only piping material that can easily bend around corners or other bumps in the wall or underground. The second biggest reason we’re seeing a rise in PEX is because of the price. PEX piping costs a fraction of copper or steel and won’t scale, rust, or corrode like traditional materials.

The History of PEX

Compared to other materials on the market, PEX is in its adolescence. Copper and iron have been used as pipe materials for thousands of years. PEX piping was invested by Thomas Engle, a German scientist, in 1968. During this time, Engle discovered an innovative method for making a soft and pliable version of polyethylene piping. While this new material was all the rage in Europe, it finally found its way to American in the 1980s where it had a few roadblocks before picking up in popularity. Though PEX was originally used for radiant floor heating, plumbers realized they could make use of it as well. Now, nearly 60% of new home construction uses PEX piping.

PEX Pros and PEX Cons

Though we are touting the benefits of PEX piping, there are a few downsides all homeowners should know about. When we talk to our plumbers, they believe the good exceeds the bad. At Moore Home Services, we want you to have a say in what building material goes into your home. One of the biggest pros for PEX piping is its cost. PEX can cost about a third of the price of copper and iron piping. However, it won’t last as long as copper piping. Copper pipes can last between 70 and 80 years while PEX can last from 30 to 50 years. However, as we mentioned above, PEX piping won’t fall victim to scale, rust, or corrosion the same way copper can. The tradeoff is that PEX piping will deteriorate if homeowners routinely use water 180 ° Fahrenheit or hotter. Also, PEX is quite literally the most flexible plumbing material. One of the many reasons it’s so popular is because plumbers can snake it into areas without adding extra fittings. Additionally, when a plumbing job calls for some remodeling there’s no need to break through any drywall. There’s just one more PEX problem we need to share. This piping material can’t be exposed to the sun. UV waves can cause significant damage to PEX piping. Because of this, PEX can only be installed in walls or underground. You’ll also want a plumber to test the chlorine levels in your tap water because PEX can deteriorate if its exposed to significant amounts of chlorine. Despite these little quirks, PEX has the advantages we talked about earlier. To learn more about plumbing materials and solutions call Moore Home Services and schedule an appointment today.

Want to Learn More About Different Plumbing Solutions?

At Moore Home Services, we pride ourselves on providing you with the best options for your home. We understand all homes are as individual and unique as the people living in them. That’s why we don’t believe in a one size fits all solution. To meet your plumbing expert, call the number at the top of the screen or click here to book an appointment online. We proudly serve our Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, and Marin County and some communities.