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Copper vs PEX Piping – Which is better?

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Copper vs PEX Piping – Which is better?

The Showdown! Copper vs PEX Piping

In short, PEX-A piping is the better solution to be using for your plumbing projects however, in this article we are going to examine the pros and cons of both pex and copper piping. We will explain the reasons behind the answer to using copper or pex in detail.

Copper Pipe

Copper is a shiny metal that is often used for a good amount of plumbing projects, Copper pipe and fittings are used to connect the water supply system in a great many homes till date mostly by handymen. The cost of using copper is relatively higher than PEX (66 percent costlier), copper is promptly accessible at all home enhancement and tool shops. Copper’s greater expense is predominantly because of the cost of mass copper.

PEX

PEX is the abbreviated name for cross-linked polyethylene, a durable, semi-unbending plastic piping. For comfort, it comes in three main colors that represent the temperature limits; a red PEX pipe is for hot, the blue PEX is for cold, and white PEX tubing can be used for any temperature. These color variations are just set up to help in the installation of the item and in ensuing repairs; they don’t present any temperature-related characteristics on the pipe.

There are three main classes or types of PEX piping, and each of them has unique features.

Read: Different Classes of PEX Piping, and Coloured Coding Plumbing Lines.

PEX-A

This sort of PEX tubing is fabricated by utilizing a crosslinking system known as peroxide or Engel technique. The designer of this strategy is Tomas Engle, and this procedure was named after him. In the midst of the generation method, free radicals are delivered when a polymer (HDPE) is melted, and there is cross-connecting between the atoms at temperatures that outperforms the temperature at which the polymer decays. This type of PEX is the most flexible, kink resistive, with high bend radius and noteworthy coil memory

PEX-B

This sort of PEX tubing is produced by utilizing a crosslinking strategy known as Silane or Moisture fix system. In this crosslinking procedure, the connections are shaped between the HDPE polymer and the atoms after the expulsion procedure. A catalyst is required for the effective consummation of this procedure, and the PEX tubing is additionally presented to a steam shower. The PEX-B tubing is exceptionally prevalent and is made by various organizations. It is not as flexible as the PEX-A and has a lower overall advantage compared to PEX-A

PEX-C

This kind of PEX tubing is fabricated by utilizing a crosslinking procedure known as “Electronic Irradiation” system. This procedure is for the most part called “Cold” crosslinking method. In this crosslinking technique, particles are cross-connected after the expulsion procedure is finished, by acquainting the pipe with an electronic radiation beam. The current connections between atoms of polymers are separated by the radiation transmitted. This starts the crosslinking procedure. This type of PEX piping offers a lot of advantages, but its benefits don’t compare to that of PEX-A.

Read: Poly B to PEX Piping, Making the Switch

The pros and cons (Copper or Pex)

Pros and Cons of using Copper Pipe

Reusable: the main portion of the copper utilized in this nation—which would incorporate pipes and fittings—is made from reused copper, as indicated by the CDA (Copper Development Association, Inc.)

High Rigidity: PEX’s adaptability is incredible when you need to circumvent corners however terrible when you have to stub out to a sink or toilet. For this reason, you have to either utilize a copper stub-out or purchase exceptional PEX fittings to combat this issue.

Higher resistance to heat: PEX pipes have good resistance to heat and can even be utilized for radiant heating beneath the floor. In any case, to interface with high-heat zones, similar to your water heater, you have to make that last fitting with copper or exceptional hardened steel braided connectors.

Less likely to produce toxic fumes: As CDA calls attention to, PEX is plastic and will soften and exude harmful vapor in case of a fire. Copper has a more extended melting point and does not radiate lethal vapors.

Less expensive Fittings: If you do choose to utilize copper fittings, they are unfathomably less expensive than PEX piping SharkBites. For instance, a half-inch SharkBite tee will cost around 10 times more than a practically identical copper pressure tee.

Estimation of Copper: The copper pipe that outcomes from a devastation undertaking can be sold in light of the fact that the material is capable of retaining its value. This is not the case for most building materials took from demolished homes and surely not for PEX pipe.

Read: Plastic or Brass Fittings, Which are Better?

Pros and Cons of using a PEX Pipe

Simple to Join: when you choose PEX piping like PEX-A for your plumbing projects, you won’t have to figure out how to sweat joints. You can utilize the SharkBite fittings, or you can buy a pleating instrument that utilizes either copper or steel rings that fix the PEX onto metal fittings.

Simple to Cut: While copper is anything but difficult to cut with a pivoting tub cutter, PEX is significantly less demanding. An extremely sharp steel rotational cutter makes speedy work of PEX in only a couple of turns. Or on the other hand, significantly less demanding, you can cut it with a scissors-kind of the cutter.

Cheaper cost: PEX is generously less expensive than copper pipe.

Bendable: A Half-inch distance across a PEX-A kind of PEX piping can make 5-inch curve turns without the use of heat. On straight runs, it has moderate squirm room without curve bolsters.

Coil memory: The coil memory of a copper pipe is very poor when you bend a copper pipe it just doesn’t come back to its after being coiled. On the other hand, PEX-A type of PEX pipes has a highly noticeable coil memory, as it regains its initial shape the instant you uncoil it.

Kink reparability: Kink reparability is the ease of repairing a kink when it appears across the length of a pipe. For copper pipes, a kink is not so easy to fix, it would take a lot of heat and in some cases a little bit of hammering to remove a kink from it. It is easier to remove a kink from a PEX-A pipe – you can easily fix it by using the heat from a heat gun.

The Answer: PEX Piping is the Better Solution to Plumbing Needs

In the event that you are having a hard time choosing between copper or PEX for your plumbing projects, the best pick would be PEX over copper. But bear in mind that there are three types of PEX and the PEX-A is the only one that offers the most benefit when put shoulder to shoulder with copper pipes. Therefore, for your plumbing projects the class A PEX pipe (PEX-A) is the best choice.

PEX Piping is what we use in all of our Polybutelyene Pipe Replacement work.

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2019-09-04T19:17:38+00:00 March 10th, 2019|Plumbing Tips|