Copper and Pex Piping
All homes require piping for water supply lines that connect to the city’s water system, a cistern, or a well. Traditionally, copper piping has been used for houses for years. There has been very little change until a new pipe type came on the scene known as Pex. This piping is made out of cross-linked polyethylene and is fast becoming a popular choice for home builders and remodelers everywhere. They can completely replace copper piping for water supply and are easy to install.
Copper and Pex both have advantages and drawbacks that are important to know when replacing piping.
Differences Between Copper and Pex Pipes
Copper has long been the industry standard for water supply pipes in homes of all shapes, sizes, and locations. For most homes, copper piping is the most commonly used material.
Pex is a newer piping concept that has recently come on the homebuilding scene and is quickly becoming popular. Unlike copper, Pex piping prices stay consistent no matter what the metals market does. It’s a durable material ideal for water supply lines, renovations, first time builds, and even DIY projects.
Thanks to its flexibility, it’s also ideal for both cold and hot weather environments. Both types work perfectly well in homes of all types, and deciding which material to use primarily comes down to personal preference and the situation.
Pros and Cons of Pex Pipes
Pex piping is newer but rapidly gaining in popularity for several reasons. Here are several pros and cons of this newer piping material.
- Fewer connections required: Pex is flexible and can bend around corners, so unlike copper, fewer connections are necessary. These pipes run from the water connection to each fixture, like tubs and sinks.
- One shutoff: Rather than having individual shut-offs that homeowners have to crawl under sinks and behind toilets to access, Pex allows for a single shutoff with labels for each fixture, similar to an electric panel.
- Pex may not last as long as its competitor, copper. The average lifespan of Pex is somewhere between 30-50 years, as opposed to the 50-70 years for copper.
- Pex is not made for use outside of the house. When exposed to UV sunlight, the piping materials degrade, making it fragile and liable to deteriorate faster.
Pros and Cons of Copper Piping
Copper has long been the favored material for installing piping, and for a good reason. There are, however, some downsides to be aware of as well.
- Copper lasts longer: The average lifespan of copper far outranks any other piping material, including Pex and PVC. It will typically last for the life of a house and at least until a major renovation is started.
- Copper is a good defense against rodents and UV damage: UV light won’t harm copper the same way it will with Pex, and rodents can’t chew through it. These reasons make it a good overall option when considering piping for crawlspace foundations.
- Copper is expensive: The price for copper can fluctuate and is much more expensive than other piping options.
- Copper isn’t flexible: Because of this, more connections are required, especially for those areas bending around corners. Additionally, the drywall may need to be removed or replaced to access piping and corners.
Trusted, Reliable, Plumbers
Guardian Plumbing and Drain proudly serves Cobourg, Ontario residents for all their plumbing needs. They offer fast, same-day service, free estimates, and a 100% guarantee. Each customer receives these perks on every job from burst pipe repair and repiping work to water heater installation and hydro-jetting services.