People often don’t pay much attention to plumbing until something goes wrong, so it’s easy to understand why a slow revolution in the world of interior plumbing has gone largely unnoticed. Since its introduction in the early 1990s, PEX piping has been transforming the plumbing installation process and has become the material of choice for both commercial and residential applications. Keep reading to learn more about PEX and why you should consider it for your next interior pipe installation or replacement project.
How It’s Made
PEX is a cross-linked polyethylene. What this means is that chains of polyethylene are chemically altered and bonded with each other to produce high-density polyethylene, which is then melted down and formed into a durable, flexible tube. There are three types of PEX piping available on the market: PEX-A, PEX-B, and PEX-C, which are used for different applications. PEX is a resilient material and generally comes with a warranty lifespan of 25-30 years.
How It’s Used
One of the biggest advantages PEX pipes has over metal or plastic pipes is that PEX is flexible. This means it’s an ideal product for retrofit and remodel projects since it’s able to easily handle corners, be fed through walls, and maneuvered around obstacles. Unlike rigid pipes, PEX also doesn’t require any sort of glue or bonding agent, but rather uses proprietary fittings, valves, manifolds, and connectors to create a watertight system. This type of installation can translate into higher quality work in unconventional applications and quicker turnarounds for contractors and owners alike.
PEX can be used for a variety of applications in the home, including water supply lines and radiant (or hydronic) heating systems. Depending on the type, PEX pipes can withstand water temperatures as hot as 200° F. Thanks to its flexibility, PEX is also able to better handle cold temperatures than many of its rigid counterparts. In the event water freezes in the pipe, PEX can expand, meaning it’s much less likely to burst than metal or plastic.
Some important things to be aware of is that PEX is not rated for use outdoors nor is it approved for continuous UV exposure. However, these limitations are generally not of major concern for most standard building projects, where pipes are hidden away in the walls or under floors.
Want to Learn More?
If you need to upgrade your home’s interior plumbing or are building a new construction, you should consider making the switch to PEX piping. Contact the experts at Best Plumbing to discuss your plumbing needs and we’ll help you find the best solution for your project. We have proudly served Seattle and the greater Puget Sound area for over 50 years! Call us today at (206) 633-1700.