You may have heard your plumber or other home contractor mention PEX plumbing when talking about the pipes in your home. If you are like most people not familiar with plumbing terms you probably wondered what PEX stands for. PEX is short for Cross-Linked Polyethylene and is an alternative to copper, PVC, and CPVC pipes for home plumbing.
The first PEX material was created in the 1930's and has slowly grown in usage for plumbing water distribution systems. In some commercial and industrial applications copper is still required but PEX's benefits over traditional piping systems make it the first choice for most, if not all, residential jobs.
Other applications for use of PEX pipe are radiant heating and multipurpose (combo) fire systems. Most service plumbers repair cracked, leaking or split copper and CPVC systems with PEX. Its outside diameter is the same as copper and CPVC and with the use of special fittings, they are easy to make the transition to PEX pipe.
Some of the benefits with PEX include:
- Better water pressure (fewer fittings are used).You can buy it in 20' straight 100' roll and 300' rolls. It's perfect for water services from the street to the house.
- Flexibility is one of its best features. You can make turns (not more than manufacturer recommendations for radius) without the use of fittings. This is especially critical for ground settling after your water service has been installed.
- Less likely to freeze. PEX has expansion properties built into the pipe and some insulation factors.
- It is quiet. With PEX you won't have hammer noise when turning off faucets and the effect of quick closing valves.
- Won't corrode like galvanized pipe and become brittle like CPVC pipe.
- Less chance of fire when being installed or repaired because there is no open flame torch for welding.
- Less expensive to install over copper and you get a much better product.
If you have more questions about PEX plumbing contact our expert plumber Kirk Garvey at (503) 994-9924. He can help answer any questions you have about PEX or other plumbing problems.