Facing with repiping the home because of a water leak or installing new supply line plumbing, homeowners nowadays have two popular piping options: copper or PEX supply. Which one to choose? To solve this dilemma check over here a breakdown of the pros and cons for each type of plumbing supply lines.
Over the longtime, the standard for plumbing has been copper tubing with required certain skills for sweating pipes and fittings together. Copper’s features (such as created biostatic atmosphere that prevents bacteria from growing inside of it, corrosion resistance and ultraviolet protection) make it ideal not only for bathroom plumbing installation but for outdoor as well. One of copper’s distinct advantages is its long history of solid performance and desirability.
PEX (crosslinked polyethylene) was introduced in around 1980s and was often used in radiant heat flooring applications, but recently it has become the biggest revolution in plumbing since the flush toilet and commonplace for repiping of supply line plumbing, bathroom plumbing installation and repairs.
PEX popularity is attributed to many factors including these visible advantages over copper:
- PEX is cheaper. Copper has become expensive, whereas PEX is typically about a third of the cost. However, some of the savings will be offset by the need for a special installation tool for the fittings.
- PEX is incredibly flexible. Its installation is super faster and easier than copper. Even if you install PEX in a conventional main line and branch system, the connections are quicker to make than soldering copper. PEX is colour-coded based on water temperature (red is hot, blue is cold, white is any) which is very convenient feature.
- A PEX supply will not corrode like copper in areas with acidic water.
- PEX is also more efficient as it does not lose heat like a copper pipe will.
- It is very resistant to freezing temperatures and bursting
On the other hand, a huge disadvantage of PEX is its semi-transparence. If your water supply has nutrients in it and the light will get to installed PEX, you will find that algae (green), bacteria (black, orange or yellow) will grow inside it. Keep it well hidden in walls and away from crawlspace vents where sunlight can penetrate.
Another good reason – you will not have a problem with meth addicted copper thieves coming and stripping your house supply line plumbing out if you leave it unattended (like summer cottages).