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We don’t need to familiarise you with the horrors of a leakage.
It’s a hassle to fix, but the more serious issue is that it compromises your family’s health. Needless to say, choosing a suitable pipe is necessary for maintaining the sanctity of your home.
Now, the two most common pipes available out there are copper and pex, but which one should you purchase? In today’s guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of each material to help you make an informed decision. Furthermore, we’ll tell you how environmental factors impact the quality of your pipe system.
If you’re ready, let’s get started.
If you’re constantly troubled by pipe damage and leakage, it would be best to consider repiping. But knowing when to repipe is the key.
Usually, after a couple of decades, all pipes start corroding, which disrupts the water supply. Copper and pex are the two most sought-after materials for fixing a leak; to learn about them, you can read the following section.
You should know that there is no right or wrong material as both serve their purpose efficiently. That said, either pex or copper may be more suited to your home and knowing the benefits of each will help you make an informed decision.
All things considered, pex is more flexible, allowing plumbers to connect the tubing easily for a smooth installation. This is because pex comprises cross-linking polyethylene material, delivering stability and attractiveness to your pipe system. It’s also available in different sizes, with the shortest being ¼ inches and the longest 4 inches.
On the other hand, copper is sturdy and one of the strongest metals for repiping. Choosing copper ensures that your pipes last longer, offering value for money.
There are certain factors based on which you can make a decision. Read on to know about them.
Understanding the quality of water running through the pipes is critical for choosing a suitable material. It’s important to ask the plumber or building manager whether the water is acidic, chlorinated or neutral. If it’s the latter, you can use pex pipes, but it’s imperative to purchase copper for the former.
Similarly, water temperature determines which material works best in your home. Copper has higher resistance, ideal for temperatures reaching over 80 degrees celsius, whereas pex is more suited to cooler conditions.
As mentioned, pex is flexible and perfect for repiping hard-to-reach areas. For small and medium-sized apartments with crawl spaces and convoluted corners, it ensures that installation is smooth and easy.
What’s more, it’s important to think about maintenance and safety when redoing your pipeline. On both these counts, pex is the right choice, delivering long-lasting and reliable performance.
Now, for repiping in an open space, exposed to external elements and animals like rodents, copper is your best bet. It can withstand extreme conditions while preventing animals from burrowing into the pipeline.
We suggest opting for pex if you’re renovating. As it costs less than copper and is easier to lay in narrow spaces, you won’t have to go through the hassle of breaking down walls. It also takes less time to clean.
In contrast, copper is ideal if you’re building a new home that doesn’t have any solid structures yet. So, with fewer obstructions, laying copper pipes becomes easier, and they will last for many years before deteriorating.
Now, let’s look at the advantages of using pex pipes:
Pex costs less than other piping solutions, so you can afford to use it according to your needs. It has fewer joints, so you can complete work quickly without compromising on quality. It’s also highly resistant to both hot and cold water, meaning you won’t face reliability issues.
We found that pex can expand or contract with the changing temperatures without incurring damage. As we’ve discussed, it has fewer joints, thanks to cross-linking polyethylene, which makes it incredibly flexible. Long story short, it won’t burst, and stores heat inside the tube to help maintain optimum water temperature.
Thanks to its easy installation, plumbers won’t need to torch or use elbow fittings to join the pipe; convenient for making repairs. Additionally, each pex pipe has a shut-off valve, ensuring that it’s easy to stop water supply during leakage.
There are a few downsides of using pex pipes, which we’ll highlight in this section.
If there is a problem with the outdoor supply line, it would be best to not use pex pipes. They are more suited for indoor plumbing and may not be able to withstand external conditions.
While pex pipes can resist cooler conditions, they are susceptible to a sharp fall in temperature. As they operate by trapping heat within the pipeline, extremely cold environmental conditions could hamper water supply, leading to internal damage.
Once pex deteriorates, the only option is to use new material. So, it’s not eco-friendly, and you can’t recycle old pipelines.
Having discussed the pros and cons of pex pipes, let’s now look at the advantages of using copper for repiping.
It’s incredibly durable, leading to its growing popularity among customers. Your copper pipes will last a long time, while most brands also offer a substantial warranty, extending up to 50 years.
Copper is eco-friendly and remains in top condition even after decades of heavy use. You can reuse copper pipes, meaning there’s no need to buy new materials, which proves affordable.
As it’s a naturally occurring element, it won’t give off toxic fumes in the event of a fire. Plus, it prevents bacterial growth to keep your family safe.
There are two types of copper pipes – hot and cold; colour-coded according to their durability. Hot water pipes are red while the latter is blue, and you can choose one based on your needs.
It’s also possible to use these pipes outside as they don’t deteriorate under UV rays. Moreover, with proper maintenance and installation, you can ensure that your pipes never leak.
Copper pipes cost three times more than pex, meaning you need to have a flexible budget. You should never compromise on quality, but because of an affordable and efficient repiping option in pex, many people may hesitate to purchase copper.
Even cold copper pipes may freeze and burst, making them unsuitable for repiping in extremely cold temperatures. So, we suggest contacting a plumbing service who will guide you on what material will work best.
We believe that you can now choose either copper or pex for your repiping needs.
However, irrespective of your choice, maintenance is the key, so it would be best to hire a plumbing service to look after the condition of the pipes. That’s it for now.
Take care and see you soon!