Unless you are a qualified and experienced plumber, you won't probably know exactly what type of piping is best for particular applications. While most people know that copper piping is widely used, the less well-known is the use of PEX plumbing fittings. In fact, many people probably don't even know what PEX is. Here is guide to this material and its relative advantages within plumbing.
PEX piping is essentially a cross-linked polyethylene tubing. The basic material is subjected to several adapting processes whereby it is optimised for use within plumbing applications. More specifically, during these processes, the material is made more resistant to extreme temperatures, be they hot or cold. They are also made more resistant to deformations which can occur through extreme stress and exposure to acids or alkalines. Flexibility Having gone through this process, the extremely resistant characteristics of this material combined with its considerable flexibility make PEX tubing and pipe fittings ideal for a variety of plumbing applications.
Comparisons with copper
The suitability of copper piping to plumbing applications is well-known and, having been used for many decades, its performance here, especially as compared to materials such as iron, is proven. As well as being both flexible and durable, copper piping is also extremely hygienic due to its ability to limit the potential of bacteria growth to a minimum. Copper versus PEX The advantage that copper has over PEX is that the former can be used outside due to its resistance to ultraviolet rays. This is in contrast to PEX pipes which, being liable to damage by ultraviolet light, is not suitable for outdoor use. On the other hand, copper is not as resistant to acids or alkalines as PEX.
The advantages of PEX
Therefore, whether copper or PEX is used for a particular plumbing application can often come down to the specifics. Nonetheless, PEX has distinct advantages that can often make it the superior option. These advantages include the following: -PEX is extremely adaptable and easy to use. -It can be used effectively in both extremely hot and cold systems. -It can be suitably combined with PVC or metal piping and fittings. -In general, having fewer fittings, PEX can be installed quicker and is less liable to leaks. -Its greater flexibility means that it is less liable to burst. -This greater flexibility also means that it can be bent to extremes, avoiding the need of extra couplings or fittings.