Most people are asking us to compare PEX Piping vs. Copper Piping.
PEX (or crosslinked polyethylene) is part of a water supply piping system that has several advantages over metal pipe (copper, iron, lead) or rigid plastic pipe (PVC, CPVC, ABS) systems. It is flexible, resistant to scale and chlorine, doesn’t corrode or develop pinholes, is faster to install than metal or rigid plastic, and has fewer connections and fittings.
Advantages of PEX Plumbing Piping:
- Leads to fewer clogged toilets, clogged sink drains, and other clogged plumbing pipes in your home down the line. (Tip: here are 8 Methods to Unclog Sink Drains)
- Flexible PEX tube is manufactured by extrusion, and shipped and stored on spools, where rigid plastic or metal piping must be cut to some practical length for shipping and storage. This leads to several advantages, including lower shipping and handling costs due to decreased weight and improved storage options.
- PEX plumbing installations require fewer fittings than rigid piping. The flexible tubing can turn 90 degree corners without the need for elbow fittings, and PEX tubing unrolled from spools can be installed in long runs without the need for coupling fittings.
- Attaching PEX tube to fittings does not require soldering, and so eliminates the health hazards involved with lead-based solder and acid fluxes; PEX is also safer to install since a torch is not needed to make connections..
- PEX resists the scale build-up common with copper pipe, and does not pit or corrode when exposed to acidic water.
- PEX is much more resistant to freeze-breakage than copper or rigid plastic pipe.
- PEX tubing does not transfer heat as readily as copper, and so conserves energy.
- Water flows more quietly through PEX tube, and the characteristic “water hammer” noise of copper pipe systems is virtually eliminated.
PEX plumbing installations cost less because:
- PEX is less expensive than copper pipe.
- Less time is spent running pipe and installing fittings than with rigid pipe systems.
- Installing fewer fittings reduces the chances for expensive callbacks.
PEX connection methods
Standard Connection Method
The standard method for connecting PEX pipe to brass PEX fittings uses a copper crimp ring and a PEX crimping tool. The copper crimp ring is inserted over the pipe, the fitting is inserted inside the pipe, and the copper ring is crimped over the pipe and fitting using the PEX crimping tool. Tools, fittings and crimp rings are available from several suppliers. Information about testing standards for this method can be found on the ASTM standards page.
All this comes from http://www.pexinfo.com
Advantages of Copper piping
Advantages of Copper:
- Durable and flexible, making it easy to install Safer in natural disasters, Weather and bacteria-resistant, Resists corrosion, more so than other metals, Unaffected by ultraviolet rays, so it can be used outside, Copper does not release toxic gases in a fire because it resists burning earthquakes, the slightly elastic pipes flex so that they don’t snap, Copper is recyclable, making it a more sound environmental choice
- Disadvantages of Copper Piping
- Can corrode
- Has become expensive
- With higher levels of copper from corrosion, water can have a metallic taste
- Copper can freeze and break during cold water
Where do they each excel?
When considering PEX piping vs copper piping, think about the environment of your home and your piping needs. Since PEX piping is flexible, it is an ideal option for homes that will require a lot of twists and turns in their pipes. If your house has an elaborate layout, or if the destinations for your pipes aren’t straightforward, then the option to eliminate elbow fittings and soldering could be beneficial. These pipes will be able to bend their way wherever you need them to go. However, if your pipes will be used outside, then copper may be the alternative to go for because it can resist ultraviolet rays. Additionally, if your pipes will be installed underground, then copper is the better option because of its resistance to bacteria due to moisture.
Is one actually better?
Determining which piping material is better comes down to how they will be used. While one is not a clear winner over the other, one could be better suited for your particular home. While you’re thinking about PEX piping versus copper piping, be sure to consider their advantages and disadvantages as they relate to your needs. For example, if your pipes won’t be exposed to ultraviolet light, then there’s no need to pay more for copper pipes even though they have that advantage. On the other hand, since copper is expected to last longer than PEX, then paying more upfront in order to save in the future may be worth it. Your decision will depend on your needs, the nature of your home, and your budget.
Consult with us!
If you don’t know whether to choose PEX or copper piping, don’t worry, we are here to help. We have the experience and expertise to help you make the best decision and will be more than happy to discuss this with you. At Western Rooter, your satisfaction is our priority! Once you’ve chosen your preferred pipe material, then we can take care of all your piping needs.
Compare the prices of PEX and copper piping to help understand the
Key differences between the two:
3/8″ – $0.38
1/2″ – $0.40
5/8″ – $0.62
3/4″ – $0.76
1″ – $1.26
3/8″ – $4.87
1/2″ – $5.67
5/8″ – $7.31
3/4″ – $10.21
1″ – $13.38
This is the PEX piping installed in a new construction home
PEX piping installed in new home