What is PEX pipe?
Cross-linked polyethylene tubing (PEX) is used in a wide variety of applications. When used as tubing, it can be found in residential, commercial, and industrial plumbing systems.
In residential plumbing, PEX is most commonly used for hot and cold potable water, as well as hydronic heating systems. PEX is the preferred plumbing material in repipes and remodels, and is also now frequently used in new construction in place of copper pipe or cpvc/pvc pipe.
Quality varies widely with PEX pipes. Here at Repipe Specialists we use the Uponor PEX system (and provide a lifetime warranty with all our repipe installations). PEX can be installed without solvents, glues, or chemicals - and is completely lead-free. It is also compliant with all national and state standards for drinking water quality.
What are the key benefits of PEX?
PEX plumbing has a range of benefits over other plumbing systems.
- Both the material and installation costs of PEX plumbing systems tend to be lower than alternative systems (often significantly lower).
- In areas prone to freezing- PEX tubing can expand more than other materials without failing.
- During installation, there is no risk of fire, since PEX does not require torches to join pipes to fittings.
- PEX does not corrode (like copper or galvanized steel)
- PEX can be routed directly from a central manifold to outlets throughout a home. This means fewer potential failure points (fewer connections), and a higher flow rate to each outlet (no sharp bends, fewer connection restrictions, fewer outlets sharing the same line).
How much does a PEX repipe cost?
PEX piping is the most affordable repipe option.
On a linear foot basis, PEX is significantly less expensive than copper pipe. It can also be run throughout a home with minimal connectors (from a central manifold, direct to all the outlets).
PEX repipe labor costs are also comparatively lower vs copper. Because of PEX's flexibility, it can be run through walls, over attic spaces, in raised foundations and open basements: all with minimal wall-opening and connections (compared to installing rigid copper pipe that requires soldering connections at each joint).
The precise cost is influenced by the number of outlets, the length of pipe required, and the general accessibility of where the PEX tubing needs to be run. Contact us to schedule a free consult with one of our local estimators, who can provide a free, fixed-price quote.
Should I choose PEX tubing or copper pipe for my repipe?
Both are perfectly acceptable materials for a whole-home repipe (and we provide lifetime warranties for both PEX and copper repipes).
The "pros" column tends to be longer in favor of PEX - particularly when it comes to price.
Perhaps the single biggest reason our clients opt for copper at times (although most choose PEX): is that they simply don't like the idea of having plastic pipes.
There's been some concern historically about PEX leaching chemicals into water: but after governmental review and testing, PEX is considered completely safe for drinking water.
There's also been some other "plastic" piping systems infamous for failure - like polybutylene piping. However, the current PEX piping and connector systems, are widely considered to be a superior, high quality solution.
In theory, copper should have a longer lifespan than PEX: but it can be shortened significantly by chemicals in some water systems (this is much less of an issue for PEX). And, as said before, we provide a lifetime warranty on both systems.
PEX can't be used anywhere exposed to UV light. If your home may be prone to rodent infestation - then copper may also be a more durable solution.
Our local estimators can help you choose the right material for your specific situation and preferences. We provide both on site and remote virtual consultations. Call or Message to schedule an appointment.