The Pros And Cons Of PEX Vs Copper Piping – FerkeyBuilders (2023)

If you’re wondering whether to use PEX or copper piping for your new construction project, there are a few things to consider. Both PEX and copper have their own advantages and disadvantages that you’ll need to take into account. PEX is a newer technology that is quickly becoming the preferred choice for many applications. It’s cheaper than copper, easier to install, and more flexible. However, it’s not as durable as copper and isn’t suitable for outdoor use. Copper has been used for plumbing for centuries and is still the material of choice for many applications. It’s more expensive than PEX but is more durable and has a higher resistance to corrosion. Copper is also more difficult to install, so if you’re not experienced with plumbing, it’s best to leave this job to the professionals.

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of copper piping when installing or replacing PEX piping in your home. In recent years, PEX (cross-linked polyethylene flexible tubing) has become increasingly popular for residential plumbing. If you have a space that is too small or too tight for copper or CPVC pipes, PEX is the perfect alternative. Water pipes made of PEX cost between 50 cents and $2 per linear foot, whereas copper pipes cost between $2 and $4 per square foot. Before freezing, PEX pipes can expand by eight times their original size. When the weather cools down, copper pipes are more likely to burst and flood your home.

In terms of water supply lines, PEX pipes and copper pipes are both viable options. Copper pipes are more durable and have a longer lifespan than PEX pipes, but PEX pipes are easier to install, less expensive, and more flexible.

Copper is an excellent material, but it can also be a poor material. Copper pipes can occasionally leak, and PEX is a good replacement that will usually solve these problems. Keeping hot water hot: PEX keeps the water warm as it flows through the pipe, so that hot water on the other end does not freeze.

Should I Repipe My House With Pex Or Copper?

The Pros And Cons Of PEX Vs Copper Piping – FerkeyBuilders (1)

In extreme cold temperatures, PEX will most likely be your best option. You should probably consider PEX if you live in an area with high copper theft chances. Copper piping is the best choice if you want to install a plumbing system outside of the house.

Do Plumbers Recommend Pex?

Plumbers typically use pex pipes as a result. There are several sizes to choose from, ranging from 12 inches to 4 inches in length. It is made up of polyethylene and is cross-linked to create a flexible material. Copper piping has been used in the majority of home plumbing since the dawn of time.

Use The Right Clamp For The Jo

When using a clamp, it is critical that you have enough space to move the clamp around in order for it to properly connect. Because of its larger jaw, a pinch clamp tool has a simpler connection to the jaw.

Which Lasts Longer Pex Or Copper?

Copper pipes are the most durable, with an average lifespan of 50 to 70 years, whereas PEX pipes are expected to last 30 to 50 years.

Pex Tubing Is The New Standard In Plumbing

Because of its many advantages, PEX tubing has quickly replaced copper in many applications. Copper is a metal that can corrode, whereas PEX is a plastic that does not. Furthermore, PEX is less likely to kink or tear than copper, as it has a higher tensile strength. The use of PEX is also an environmentally friendly step. Copper, which is a metal that is harmful to the environment, does not contain lead, and it is easier to recycle than lead. However, there may be some performance differences between blue and red PEX tubing, but these differences are not significant and are only intended for potable water applications.

Do New Homes Still Use Copper Pipes?

Copper piping is currently used in over 80% of all new homes in the United States. Copper is extremely resistant to internal corrosion, rusting, and corrosion, as well as leaks and pipe ruptures due to its ability to withstand 1,000 pounds of pressure per square inch.

Copper piping is used in more than 80% of new homes, making it the most widely used type of residential plumbing. Copper may cause symptoms such as stomach cramps and nausea if consumed in excess. The EPA’s MCL for copper is 1.3 mg/L or ppm, which is considered to be a high level. Copper pipes have been around since the 1930s, but their popularity began in the 1960s. If your home has copper pipes, there is no known health risk associated with them. Copper pipes with lead-free joint materials are best used for water pipes. Copper was first introduced to the world in the late 1940s and gained popularity in 1963, both during World War II and after.

Copper pipes were the primary plumbing pipe in the 1950s and 2000s. Copper is by far the most dependable and widely used material for plumbing tubes in the developed world. Copper is lightweight, simple to work with, and has greater flexibility than steel or iron. It is also more durable than both iron and steel. Copper manufactures typically have a 50 year warranty, whereas PEX has a 25-year warranty. Copper pipes are the most common type of plumbing in use today. Until 2000, copper was the most popular plumbing pipe. Copper is both rust-resistant and corrosion-resistant. If your drinking water is acidic, copper piping may not be the best option for you.

Copper tubing is made from a plastic that is cross-linked with chemicals; copper tubing is much stronger and more flexible than PEX tubing. Furthermore, PEX has no toxic properties, which is another plus. It is also one of the best products on the market because it does not corrode, which means it does not contain lead or other metals that can be toxic if consumed. As well as being environmentally friendly, PEX tubing is recyclable. CPVC and copper piping have a significant environmental impact, emitting greenhouse gases and toxins into water supplies. There are no negative consequences associated with PEX tubing. It is a good choice for residential plumbing because of the environmental and safety benefits of PEX tubing. When it comes to new construction, it’s a better option, and it should be the default choice for all new plumbing installations.

Should I Replace Copper With Pex

The Pros And Cons Of PEX Vs Copper Piping – FerkeyBuilders (2)

If you have an older home with copper pipes, you may be wondering if you should replace them with PEX piping. While PEX is a newer technology, it has many benefits over copper, including being more flexible and less likely to leak. However, it is important to consult with a professional before making any decisions, as there may be factors specific to your home that should be taken into account.

An easy way to connect two pieces of piping is to use a SharkBite fitting. You can simply plug in the copper pipe to the opposite end of the fitting and plug in the PEX pipe to the opposite end. Because this fitting can be used with both copper and PEX pipes, it will not be affected by freeze-breaking. Furthermore, because the SharkBite fitting is significantly less expensive than copper or rigid plastic pipes, you will save money in the long run.

Copper Vs Pex For Drinking Water

There are many benefits to using copper for drinking water over pex, including the fact that copper is a more durable material. Copper is also a more effective conductor of heat, so it can help to keep your water cooler in the summer months. Additionally, copper is more resistant to bacteria and other contaminants, making it a safer choice for drinking water.

The most important trade-off you should consider when remodeling your home is copper plumbing versus PEX piping. Copper has always been the first choice for both homebuilders and remodelers due to its proven properties and long lifespan. Copper (and PVC) are not suitable alternatives to PEX pipe, which is a flexible, extruded piping material made of cross-linked polyethylene. Before it can be certified to be in accordance with plumbing codes, it must be thoroughly tested. Furthermore, PEX has many advantages over copper, including the ability to avoid corrosion and related health issues. MAK Design+Build works with only plumbing professionals who have received training from the product’s manufacturer and have completed a certification process.

What Is The Safest Pipe For Drinking Water?

Water pipes made of copper with lead-free joint materials should be considered. They will not leach chemicals into your drinking water and will be able to withstand the test.

Does Pex Piping Affect Drinking Water Quality?

Drinking water from PEX pipes is not hazardous to your health. A few types of PEX-pipe may cause unpleasant taste and odor in the long run if they remain in the pipes.

Is Pex Or Copper Safer?

Because of its flexibility, PEX can expand when the water inside it freezes, making it more resistant to freeze-breakage. Copper pipes can freeze and break during the construction process, but plumbing practices designed to keep them insulated and safe have reduced this risk.

Which Pex Is Best For Drinking Water?

PEX in all colors, as well as red, white, blue, and white, are intended for use in potable water systems. By combining the colors, it is simple to distinguish between hot and cold distribution lines. The orange PEX pipe is intended for use as an oxygen barrier in hydronic heating applications.

How Long Does Pex Last Vs Copper

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, including the quality of the materials used, the installation process, the environment in which the pipes are used, and the level of maintenance. However, in general, pex pipes are more durable and last longer than copper pipes.

Increasing attention is being paid to reducing the long-term impact of building materials, including pipes. Copper, in general, is more harmful to the environment than PEX. The manufacturing process for PEX pipes is very environmentally friendly. Copper pipes must be made from a significant amount of process energy, which includes the use of fossil fuels to produce them. Water temperature can be achieved without using a lot of energy when using PEX plumbing systems. According to the LCI report, copper pipes waste more water than plastic pipes by a factor of 32%. The corrosion resistance of PEX makes it impervious to mineral buildup and corrosion, as well as the electrolysis process.

With the SharkBite PEX plumbing system, plumbing professionals get more help by making repairs and installations faster, safer, and more reliable. It is superior to copper in terms of safety, and it also performs better at meeting labor shortages. You can learn more about PEX by visiting the website and clicking on “Learn More About PEX.”

How Long Does Pex Tubing Last?

A PEX piping should last at least 50 years due to its flexibility and durability. CPVC pipes, on the other hand, typically last 100 years under normal conditions. The most important distinction between PVC pipes and other types of drainage pipes is that PVC pipes are frequently used for drainage due to their extreme heat resistance.

Pex Tubing: A Durable And Reliable Material For Water Heating And Irrigation Systems

PEX tubing has been shown to be both long-lasting and dependable in the field of water heating and irrigation. It can withstand UV degradation for up to 30 days after being placed outdoors and can last for up to 30 days if properly cared for. If PEX tubing is installed properly, it will provide your water with a long-lasting solution.

Is It Worth It To Replace Copper Pipes With Pex?

PEX is the most cost effective method of repipling due to its lower labor and material costs. In comparison to copper piping, which can cost $8,000 to $10,000 to replace in a two-bathroom home, PEX is less expensive than copper piping and offers significant cost-saving opportunities.

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Pex Pipes

The primary reasons why many home plumbers prefer to use pex pipes over copper pipes are numerous. There are several reasons why pex pipes can be used for almost any plumbing application, ranging from 14 inch to 4 inch sizes. Flexible polyethylene is also used in these pipes, making them more durable than copper pipes. When compared to copper pipes, pex pipes are unlikely to increase home values in a significant way. PEX pipes are typically less expensive than copper pipes, which is why they are preferred by the majority of homeowners.

Is Copper Stronger Than Pex?

Because copper pipes are stronger than PEX pipes, they can be used indoors and outdoors, but they are still a common pipe in homes. Despite this, copper pipes continue to have a number of problems.

Pex Is Great For Cold Weather Installations!

Because copper is more freeze-resistant than PEX, it is a great choice for cold-weather installations.

Pex Water Pipes

Pex water pipes are made of cross-linked polyethylene, which is a type of plastic. They are strong and flexible, making them ideal for use in plumbing. Pex pipes are less likely to burst than other types of pipes, and they are also resistant to corrosion.

As water lines are replaced by copper or galvanized steel, polyethylene (PEX) is being used instead of copper and galvanized steel. PEX pipe can be used for anything from 3/8 to 1 inch in diameter and is color-coded so that you can identify which pipe it is. PEX is used in more than 60% of new construction residential water supply systems today. There are three types of PEX: regular PEX, premium PEX, and beta PEX. The distinction between hot and cold lines is not implied by the color of the line; the installer simply needs to know which lines carry hot and cold water. It is critical to have the necessary tools and supplies if you want to make PEX pipe watertight connections.

Pex: Pros And Cons

The flexibility, durability, and weight of PEX make it an ideal choice for water piping. It should be avoided because it can corrode copper or other metals.


What are the pros and cons of PEX vs copper? ›

While PEX pipes are easier to install, cheaper, and more flexible, copper pipes are sturdier and tend to have a longer lifespan. PEX pipes are best used indoors since they degrade quickly under intense sunlight, but it's an excellent choice if you're looking to minimize leaks and energy consumption.

Do plumbers prefer PEX or copper? ›

Copper pipes have been used in both commercial and residential plumbing/piping systems for decades. This is why most plumbers prefer copper pipes to PEX pipes because of the familiarity of copper pipes. They are the most common types of materials found in the plumbing systems of water supplies in homes.

Is PEX better than copper new build? ›

Having a degree of flexibility, PEX is able to expand if the water inside it freezes, making PEX more resistant to freeze-breakage. That said, in new house construction, there's little risk from copper pipes freezing and breaking, because today's plumbing practices are designed to keep the pipes insulated and safe.

Why did plumbers stop using copper tubing? ›

Copper Pipes and Corrosion

er eats away at the walls of the pipe, causing pinhole leaks and leaks at seams and joints.

Why do plumbers not use PEX? ›

PEX plumbing lacks versatility because of its sensitivity to light. PEX cannot be taken anywhere outside the house where it is directly exposed to UV for a long period. The synthetic material of the pipes can slowly disintegrate due to the light of the sun.

What lasts longer copper or PEX? ›

Copper pipes can last anywhere from six months to the life of a building. But PEX tubing, when operating within its pressure and temperature ratings, has a predicted life expectancy of 50 years per PPI TR-3.

Does it make sense to replace copper with PEX? ›

Coupled with low production and shipping costs, the savings resulting from installing PEX instead of copper pipes can be significant. Better Energy Efficiency – PEX has a lower thermal conductivity rate than copper. As a result, PEX pipes can help keep hot water hotter for longer periods of time.

How often do PEX fittings leak? ›

As with any other pipes, PEX is not prone to leaking. Nearly all of the plumbing leaks occur at joints (connection spots) and most of them are due to incorrect installation. Much like installing PEX tubing, repairing it is also an easy process.

Does PEX get brittle over time? ›

Like most other plastics, PEX will become brittle if exposed to sunlight for too long and may crack under pressure. Typical exposure limit is ~30 days.

Do plumbers like PEX? ›

No longer is copper piping the primary, or preferred, choice of most homeowners and plumbers. Cross-linked polyethylene flexible tubing—commonly called PEX—has grown in popularity for residential plumbing over the past few decades as an alternative to traditional copper and chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) piping.

Does PEX burst like copper? ›

PEX is long lasting.

PEX is corrosion resistant and isn't affected by electrolysis, which can cause small pinhole leaks in copper piping.

What is the lifespan of PEX pipe? ›

In most cases, PEX is extremely durable and lasts up to 50 years or more. PEX piping is also less likely to crack or break than metal pipe because it does not expand and contract as much when heated and cooled.

Why is PEX banned in California? ›

Because it is a thermoset plastic, PEX cannot be melted down and reused. A 2005 report by the San Francisco Department of the Environment found that PEX was the only type of plastic piping that no plastic recycler would accept.

What is the number one reason to use copper pipe? ›

Durable: Copper is the most dependable and most used material for plumbing tube in the developed world. Copper is beneficial in underground applications because it is highly corrosion resistant in most underground environments. Because of its superior strength it can withstand stresses without failure.

When should you not use PEX? ›

PEX plumbing is fine inside the walls of a home, no matter the temperatures as it can be covered with insulation. However, one of the disadvantages of PEX plumbing is it cannot be used outdoors in cold climates as there is no way to cover them and protect them from freezing temperatures.

What is the drawback of PEX pipe? ›

Disadvantages of PEX Pipes

The biggest disadvantage to PEX is that it is unknown how well or long it will last. While PEX piping is warrantied for up to 25 years, it is unknown what could happen to PEX piping as the years go on. Since it is so new, it is hard to know what water will do to the plastic over 30 years.

What is the best pipe to use for underground water line? ›

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a durable plastic pipe that is highly resistant to corrosion and impact damage. The material doesn't melt easily, which works well for underground water lines. PVC pipes also come in different diameters, so it is easy to find the right size for both residential and commercial applications.

Is PEX safer than copper drinking water? ›

Overall, PEX pipes are more sustainable, affordable, and long-lasting, while copper pipes are more prone to corrosion and small leaks that are more costly to replace.

Can mice chew through PEX pipe? ›

Since PEX pipe is a flexible tubing, it can be as easily chewed through as plastic. Rodents like mice and rats love to chew on plastic materials. If a rodent gains access to your PEX tubing, and begin chewing through PEX, your home will undoubtedly become flooded.

What is the best material to repipe a house? ›

For whole-house repiping, the choice usually comes down to copper or PEX (cross-linked polyethylene). This plastic piping is durable and less expensive than copper. PEX is easy to install, which means the cost of installation may be low as well.

Should I replace 60 year old copper pipe? ›

Copper pipes should be replaced every 70-80 years. Galvanized steel pipes should be replaced every 80-100 years.

Does hard water affect PEX? ›

While copper, PVC and PEX pipes are more resistant to hard water buildup and corrosion, they can still get clogged or completely blocked by scale deposits.

Will PEX last 100 years? ›

PEX: Due to its flexibility and durability, PEX piping should last at least 50 years. PVC / CPVC: Under typical conditions, these pipes should last up to 100 years.

Is it better to crimp or expand PEX? ›

PEX crimp equipment is a lot more affordable than the expansion kits. However, despite the pricing and form shortcomings, most plumbers prefer to work with expansion because installation is more efficient. There are fewer leaks, and it also seems to be more durable against extreme colds and frozen pipes, etc.

Why does PEX pipe get pinholes? ›

Poly b piping will start to leak due to the molecular bonds in the piping starting to decay. Over time the bonds start to shake apart, this separation is what causes the pinhole leaks to start.

What are five things that can go wrong with PEX? ›

PEX Plumbing Disadvantages
  • PEX may leach BPA and other toxic chemicals. ...
  • PEX is extremely sensitive to UV light. ...
  • PEX can be damaged by chemicals and pests. ...
  • PEX can't be installed in high heat areas. ...
  • PEX is semi-permeable, which means liquid can enter the pipe.
Oct 10, 2022

What is the difference between red and blue PEX tubing? ›

Color-Coded: Red PEX pipes can be used for hot water supply lines, blue PEX for cold water supply, and white for either hot or cold. These colors are just for your convenience. Plumbing code does not require the pipe color to match the type of water supply.

Does PEX crack in cold? ›

Due to its flexibility, PEX has a small margin of expansion under the damaging pressure caused by ice formation. If the weather gets cold enough, PEX pipes can and will freeze like any plumbing. However, PEX may be less likely to rupture as a result of freezing.

At what temperature will PEX burst? ›

At What Temperature Do PEX Pipes Freeze? Generally, cold temperatures of 20° F and lower will cause the formation of ice in your uninsulated water lines which will cause your pipes to freeze. All types of pipes can freeze, regardless of your pipe's material.

What happens when PEX pipe freezes? ›

PEX pipe will expand if frozen and contract to its original shape when thawed. But putting frequent stress on the system weakens it, increasing chances of failure and leaks. So, to preserve the strength of your pipes, you should use the same standard insulation precautions with PEX to keep it from freezing.

How deep does PEX have to be buried? ›

A PEX pipe will hold up well underground. However, it's not rated for use outdoors unless it's properly insulated. If using a PEX pipe underground, bury it at least 12 to 18 inches below the frost line.

Should you insulate PEX pipe? ›

The general rule of thumb: you do not need to insulate your PEX piping if it is passing through interior walls or insulated external walls. However, if you reside in a region with cold winters, you should insulate any exposed pipe that is outside or inside of unheated places like a basement, crawl space, or attic.

Do PEX pipes rust? ›

Even better, PEX pipe won't corrode, rust or stain over time like other materials. PEX piping systems are safe to use in your home because they're made from materials that don't react with water and don't contain any chemicals that could leach into the water supply.

Is PEX A worth the extra cost? ›

Winner: PEX A

This system is superior to PEX B from a warranty perspective and a cost-savings perspective — and is overall a better system. That being said, we've installed a ton of PEX B. If you're a homeowner with limited access to PEX A tools and fittings, PEX B is a fine substitute.

Do plumbers use copper pipes anymore? ›

While copper pipes and fittings are still common, many professional plumbers now use flexible PEX for all new construction and for most repairs and extensions to existing copper systems.

When did they stop using copper pipes in houses? ›

But problems with pinhole leaks and the arrival of the newer plastic pipes in the market caused a gradual decline in its use during the 1990s, and it was rarely used in new construction after 2000.

Why does my water taste funny after new copper pipes? ›

Copper: Corrosion from copper plumbing pipe may leave a slight bitter, medicinal taste to the water.

Why do plumbers use PEX piping? ›

Many plumbers have found that, compared to rigid pipe, PEX pipe is easier to handle, can bend easily around corners, is just as durable as CPVC or copper pipe and is more freeze resistant.

What is better than PEX pipe? ›

PEX pipes and copper pipes are both viable options for your water supply line. While PEX pipes are easier to install, cheaper, and more flexible, copper pipes are sturdier and tend to have a longer lifespan.

Does PEX plumbing bust? ›

Don't Believe the Myth of Freeze-Proof Pipes

Whether you're working with copper, CPVC or PEX – you are not automatically protected from frozen and burst pipes. All of these materials can and will burst when frozen, under the right conditions.

What is the life expectancy of copper pipes? ›

On average, copper pipes last around 50 years before they need to be replaced, but certain factors like the type of piping and accumulated wear-and-tear damage can shorten or extend that lifespan.

Why replace copper pipes? ›

Copper has many benefits to recommend, including the fact that it is durable and resistant to corrosion. However, copper pipes do not last forever. They may become clogged up with mineral scale, or so pitted by acidic water that they eventually leak or burst.

What is the disadvantage of PEX? ›

Cons: Fittings must be wrapped in an impermeable material before direct burial in soil. Freeze tests and pull tests show these PEX connections are more susceptible to failure; because PEX is more malleable than metal, the fitting's teeth can slide off the pipe. Higher cost compared to clamp and crimp.

Does PEX have problems? ›

Some PEX pipe manufacturers use cost-cutting processes which lead to pipes that aren't uniform in composition and are defective. Defective PEX pipes will not last 50+ years as advertised and quickly degrade and become brittle when exposed to hot chlorinated water. These pipes are destined to fail.

What is the best plumbing for hard water? ›

If your home was built after 1975, it probably has copper, PVC, or PEX pipes. These modern materials are more resistant to hard water corrosion and scaling, so you're less likely to have issues with limescale causing low water pressure, leaks, clogs, or burst pipes.

Do plumbers still use copper pipes? ›

While copper pipes and fittings are still common, many professional plumbers now use flexible PEX for all new construction and for most repairs and extensions to existing copper systems.

What is the life expectancy of PEX tubing? ›

In most cases, PEX is extremely durable and lasts up to 50 years or more. PEX piping is also less likely to crack or break than metal pipe because it does not expand and contract as much when heated and cooled.

What are 2 disadvantages to using copper pipe? ›

Copper piping is expensive. It can cost 10 to 15 times more when compared to other types of pipes. Copper may also freeze easily. If your home runs on well water, copper pipes could have problems if the water is acidic.

What is the best pipe to replumb a house? ›

Many plumbers and builders swear by copper pipes because they're a tried and true material. It's considered the gold standard in home plumbing systems, and they can last 75-100 years.

Do PEX pipes get clogged? ›

While copper, PVC and PEX pipes are more resistant to hard water buildup and corrosion, they can still get clogged or completely blocked by scale deposits.

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