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
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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
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