Does Pex tubing have any advantages over copper? Home Improvement Stack


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The spool is not bad if you plan a bit ahead and lay out your run in the sun for a hour ahead of time. Helps take the curl out. I also like the red and blue option on the tube, easy to ID hot/cold in future. Been used a lot in mobiles for years. Can be easier to fish through old walls that are not open. spicetraders Oct 6 ’16 at 16:45

Another advantage to PEX if you’re doing a from-scratch installation is that it’s typically installed using a manifold at the water source with a run to each faucet. That approach significantly reduces pressure loss at one faucet when another faucet on the same branch is turned on, as often happens with copper plumbing.

You could do the same thing with copper, of course, but it would be prohibitively expensive in time and materials.

A huge disadvantage with PEX is that it is semi-transparent. If your water supply has nutrients in it and the PEX is installed so that light will get to it, you will find that algae (green), bacteria (black, orange or yellow) will grow inside it. It sloughs off in long, stringy goop similar to the biofilm that grows in diesel tanks that haven’t been treated to prevent bacteria growth. Keep it well hidden in walls and away from crawlspace vents where sunlight can penetrate.

Keep squirrels away from it, they find it delectable.

Also another advantage listed is that there’s no lead. That’s true insofar as you stay away from the type that requires brass fittings.

Otherwise, you have a highly flexible, smooth bore water supply system that will allow for using smaller tubing, which can speed up hot water temperature delivery. It’s cheap enough that you can do end-run (star) delivery to a central control manifold, typically each run will only have two joints, one at the manifold and one at the the coupling to the shutoff valve. You also don’t have a problem with meth addicted copper thieves coming and stripping your house plumbing out if you leave it unattended (summer cottages, another reason iron ain’t so bad).

answered Jan 2 ’13 at 7:01

I know PEX is cheaper (specially considering the rising price of copper), easier to run and less noisy than copper but you have to buy a special crimping tool for the fittings (don’t know how expensive the tool is). My only fear would be long term effects depending on water type. For instance I have very hard water (very high calcium content; I should NEVER have to worry about osteoporosis) and I wonder what will happen 10, 15, 20 years down the road to the PEX pipe based on the minerals in the water.

I’m also not sure if there are any long term health effects from having water run over PVC. Not sure what kind of chemicals leach into the water over time. I’m 99.99% sure it’s safe though.

answered Jul 22 ’10 at 13:05

Get a pinch clamp tool, like this one. and a pipe cutter. Those are the tools you’ll need. One tool works for all size pinch clamps.

  • Copper has antimicrobial properties.
  • Copper will oxidate and leak under certain water and electrical conditions.
  • Copper that is not completely dry and clean cannot be soldered.
  • Pex can be fixed underwater and covered in poo.
  • Out of the 1000s of pinchclamps I’ve installed, not one has leaked.
  • Pex fittings can be easily undone and reused, just heat the pipe slightly.
  • Out of the 10 sharkbite fittings I’ve installed, one leaked.

If you have to use a slip on style fitting, smear the outside of the pipe with plumbers grease.

answered Sep 26 ’14 at 1:53

Tester101
105k 46 208 422

PEX tubing has much much better freeze burst resistance properties than copper. Its very important especially for people who lives in cold climate areas.

answered Nov 18 ’15 at 21:03

There is a notable potential downside with PEX (and I’m saying this as someone who’s chosen it for his own house).

PEX has the lowest strength of the three most common materials. If I recall my numbers correctly, copper will burst at something over 5,000 PSI. CPVC at around 3,000, and PEX at around 1,200.

Of course, if you get 1,200 PSI in your system to begin with, you’ve got bigger problems. But still.

answered Jan 3 ’13 at 18:01

Since you ll often have at least one valve that fails around 100psi (running toilet or dripping sink), and the TPR valve on the hot water tank will give out at 150psi, it would take some extraordinary circumstances to get the home water pressure up to 1,200psi. So like you say, if that happens, you ve got bigger problems. BMitch Sep 26 ’14 at 2:10

Here in upstate NY (it’s -12 tonight which I will admit is unusually low) the risk of copper is freezing and bursting. That happened to me many times until I discovered Pex, which will expand several times its size without breaking and then return to its normal size. (Hmm, what does that bring to mind. But I digress.) Pex is so easy to work with and so much cheaper than copper, I don’t know why you would not choose it. BTW, I have taken other measures to prevent freezing — our hot water heating system is still copper but we have put in antifreeze, which works well. But, of course, you can’t do that with domestic and live to see Superbowl 51. Use Pex.

answered Feb 14 ’16 at 4:56


28/09/2017

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23/09/2017

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Find Water Leaks with Thermal Imaging, Acoustics and Tracer Gas #water


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The trace gas, a safe mixture of hydrogen and nitrogen, is introduced into the pipe with the suspected leak. The gas, is the lightest in the atmosphere and is made up of of small molecules. The gas will exit at the leak and make its way to the surface where it is detected using gas sensitive detection pobes.

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14/09/2017

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Rubbing Alcohol to Clean Pipes #clean #drain #pipes


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I know alot of people like to use vodka or rum to clean their pipes, but I’m not much of a drinker. I’ve read that if I don’t use a drinkable alcohol to clean my pipes that I should use a “non-denatured” alcohol. Where can I find this? I’ve already checked all the drug stores and X-marts. If I can’t find it anywhere, should I use ethyl or isopropyl rubbing alcohol?

Posted 7 years ago #

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Some people use rubbing alcohol but I never have, so I can not comment on the pro’s and con’s of using it.

I use grain alcohol to clean my pipes. I do not drink grain alcohol and buy to use just for cleaning of my pipes.

“When the Government Fears the People, There is Liberty;
When the People Fear the Government, There is Tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson

Posted 7 years ago #

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Yeah, i’m with Python on this one. Don’t play around with denatured or isopropyl alcohol. I don’t drink either but buy grain alcohol to clean pipes. Everclear or any high proof alcohol works great and you know it won’t poison you.

Posted 7 years ago #

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Hello! I know this is kind of like. 7 months since the last post. but all the answers in this thread seem really helpful and I just have a question that sort of adds on.

A good friend of mine just bought me my first pipe and I absolutely love it.

I was in an antique store the other day and found a sort of unique looking one for $2 and decided it was maybe worth getting and trying to clean it out!

I see lots of people saying that isopropyl alcohol works fine as long as you leave it to dry for a while first. So here’s my question:
Doing it with iso alcohol, is that using the same method as posted HERE for example? Still use salt and do the same basic steps even though it isn’t everclear or something similar?

Posted 4 years ago #

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Isopropyl alcohol is what you want. I use 99%. Far less water content than booze, unless you can get your hands on pure !00% grain alcohol, but I have never seen it. It is not poison (at least anymore than any other alcohol) – they use it to clean open wounds. I understand that in some countries it is “denatured” – which simply means they add something to make you sick otherwise whines would be buying it to drink.

Posted 4 years ago #

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Isopropyl alcohol is what you want. I use 99%. Far less water content than booze, unless you can get your hands on pure !00% grain alcohol, but I have never seen it. It is not poison (at least anymore than any other alcohol) – they use it to clean open wounds. I understand that in some countries it is “denatured” – which simply means they add something to make you sick otherwise whines would be buying it to drink.

Posted 4 years ago #

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I think the “proof” of grain alcohol, like Everclear, can vary by state law and/or can be found in different proofs up to 190. In my state, you can’t buy it at all.

Unless you restore and clean a boatload of pipes, for the “average” puffer, a “fifth” (750 ml) of Everclear or Bacardi 151 will last for many years (assuming you don’t drink it up LOL). So for guys like me, it’s not expensive at all.

90+% Isopropyl alcohol, though, works just fine and sells for about $2-$3 a bottle in pharmacies. I just prefer using something potable so I use Bacardi 151.

Posted 3 years ago #

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I suggest isopropyl alcohol. Denatured ethaol is made toxic, so you do not drink untaxed alcohol (or IMO so you can’t consume alcohol at all). The toxin may or may not evaporate, so there are a risk of a light poisoning.

Posted 3 years ago #

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I know this is somewhat extravagant but I use Jim Beam Bourbon to clean my pipes after every 5 – 6 smokes. Does the job for me. Because I always clean my pipes thoroughly with a pipe cleaner after every smoke, I find I do not need to use a lot of alcohol. I use this also to restore pipe stems of estate pipes I have purchased. Soaking for 24 to 48 hours brings up the oxidization. Then it is straight to the buffer wheels(Beall system) and soon I have jet black shiny sparkling stems that look like they just arrived from the factory.

Posted 3 years ago #

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I know alot of people like to use vodka or rum to clean their pipes, but I’m not much of a drinker. I’ve read that if I don’t use a drinkable alcohol to clean my water pipe. click here for guide. that I should use a “non-denatured” alcohol. Where can I find this? I’ve already checked all the drug stores and X-marts. If I can’t find it anywhere, should I use ethyl or isopropyl rubbing alcohol?

I’ve never used vodka, I would think it might be a tad weak. Nail varnish remover or isopropyl will more than do it

Posted 5 months ago #

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Lots of people will tell you they use iso alcohol to good effect, no harm done, but I don’t like the smell or the possibility of additives in the lesser grades. It takes very little grain alcohol like Everclear, or vodka or the like to clean a pipe— drops, it is always readily at hand, and I have never disliked the smell or taste of any of them!

To Master Po: Is it not being able to see that makes you tire of life?
Master Po: No! It is being able to hear!

Posted 5 months ago #

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To me, I can’t tell the difference between any of the liquors or isopropyl. I don’t drink, so one is just as good as the other to me.
Now nail polish remover, or acetone, you’d want to be careful what materials you are using that stuff on. It is known to dissolve some plastics.

Posted 5 months ago #

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I live in California and have only been able to find the 151 proof version of Everclear. That’s what I’ve been using and it works fine, but it costs a bit more than Bacardi 151, which is what I used to use and is easier to find. Both are great for cleaning, the Everclear being tasteless compared to the rum. Either way, a bottle dedicated for pipe cleaning will last a long time.

Posted 5 months ago #


03/08/2017

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