Have you decided to replace your home's old galvanized plumbing? If so, you may be debating between which material to use. While copper is always the safe bet, PEX is an alternative choice that may be better for your home. Here are some questions you may have about PEX before you move forward with an installation.
PEX plumbing is a flexible pipe, which is the complete opposite of rigid iron or copper. The best comparison is that it is similar to your garden hose, but with a much stronger exterior. When a plumber installs the material, they unroll the PEX from a large spool and fish it around corners to get the pipe to where it has to go.
What Are PEX Benefits?
One advantage of having PEX installed is that it will help provide an easy installation. Some plumbers can take several days to redo the plumbing in your home when using copper, mainly due to all of the bends that have to be created for the pipes to reach their destination. It involves opening up walls to get to places that are otherwise impossible. PEX can be fished through tight spots without any demolition.
Many homeowners love PEX, because the pipes are not prone to scale buildup, which is quite common with metal plumbing. The pipe also will not burst if the water in the pipe freezes, which helps protect your home if your furnace stops working during the winter.
In addition, the plastic pipes of PEX are color-coded. This can help easily tell you which lines carry hot and cold water, which can help you identify which pipes need to be turned off in a pinch.
What Are PEX Disadvantages?
While PEX does have some great benefits, there are some downfalls to using this plumbing material. Since it is fairly new, be aware that not all areas approve of PEX being used in homes. You'll want to check with your local municipality to find out if you can even use PEX plumbing. Be aware that not all plumbers install PEX plumbing, because it is a newer plumbing method that requires special tools to create any joints in the pipe. You may have to call around to find a plumber that will do the installation for you.
With these things in mind, you'll be able to make an informed decision about if you should use PEX plumbing in your home.