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How Long Do PEX Pipes Last?

PEX header

PEX piping is all the rage these days. It’s been around for a few decades but has gained popularity over the last ten years. Why is that though?

Let’s explore a little more to find out why, and if PEX piping is the right choice for your business or home’s plumbing needs.

What is PEX piping?

PEX piping is a type of plumbing pipe made from cross-linked polyethylene. It comes in different sizes and can be used for water lines and tubing. PEX piping is a popular alternative to copper and galvanized steel.

You can buy PEX pipes in either coils or sticks. It’s a flexible material, so sticks are sometimes easier to work with as coils spring about like an angry snake.

It’s easy to cut to length with a utility knife or a saw. PEX piping is suitable for hot and cold water lines. Furthermore, PEX pipes come in various diameters. Ask a professional plumber if you are unsure of the pipe sizes you need for your home.

When is PEX piping used?

PEX piping is used for hot and cold-water lines, including supply lines, drains, and waste lines. PEX piping is also popular for hydronic radiant floor heating and solar hot water systems.

PEX piping is often used for new construction and remodeling projects, but it can also be retrofitted into existing homes. In addition, it’s flexible, making it ideal for use in tight spaces and curved areas.

How long do PEX pipes last?

One issue with PEX pipes is that they don’t last forever. The material itself might not break down over time, but the joints between the pipe sections may leak as they wear or burst if not installed correctly.

Pipe meme
If you install a new section of PEX piping, you should expect it to last for at least 50 years before there is any need to replace it again.

The Pros and Cons of PEX Piping

PEX piping can be an excellent choice for you, but you need to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

The Pros:

Cheaper than copper

PEX piping is less expensive than copper, making it an attractive option for homeowners looking to save money on their next home improvement project.

Easy to install

PEX piping is also easier to cut, bend and join than copper. In addition, PEX pipe has no joints or seams, eliminating the need for soldering. This makes it ideal for plumbing systems that change direction often.

Easier to cut

PEX piping is easier to cut than traditional piping. You only need a ratchet cutter, scissor-style knife, or PEX cutter. It’s softer to cut than traditional metal piping systems.

Corrosion and freeze resistant

A benefit of PEX is that it has a high resistance to temperature changes and can withstand temperatures up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. It also doesn’t expand or contract when exposed to the cold, meaning it’s less likely to crack.

frozen pipes
Another great feature of PEX is that it isn’t subject to the same problems as copper pipes when exposed to chemicals in the water. Substances like fluoride cause copper pipes to corrode over time, which can lead to leaks in your home’s plumbing system.

Drinking water safe

Some people may be concerned about the safety of drinking water that flows through plastic pipes. However, no known risks are associated with using PEX pipes in a drinking water system. In fact, PEX plumbing systems have been extensively tested and proven reliable and safe under normal use conditions. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) has certified PEX tubing as safe for drinking water.

Reduced plumbing joints reducing leak points

PEX piping has fewer plumbing joints than copper. Most PEX systems have only two joints; copper systems usually have at least one joint per run (for example, an elbow). Each joint creates a place where the water can leak out of the system, so fewer joints mean fewer opportunities for leaks.

PEX pipes

The Cons

It can’t be used outside

PEX piping is made of a polymer called polyethylene. It’s flexible and has a variety of uses, but it’s not designed for use outside. This is because PEX pipes are subject to UV rays from the sun, which break down the material over time and cause it to become brittle.

Although PEX piping can cope with low temperatures, it’s not suitable outdoors because it’s difficult to properly insulate the pipes.

Rodent attacks

Rodents are not just annoying. They can also be a health hazard. Rats, mice, and other vermin can gnaw through the softer PEX pipes, causing leaks and flooding.

rat meme

Limited lifespan

Although PEX pipes have a good lifespan, it’s still not as long-lasting as traditional piping systems. For example, PEX generally lasts up to fifty years, whereas copper can last much longer.

Looking for affordable and efficient plumbing services for your home or business? Call the experts at Adeedo today.

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