Suffering water leakages and a pipe burst in your home or office? It’s probably one of those structures built in the ’80s and ’90s and was piped with the legendary Polybutylene also known as Poly B. Poly B piping was thought to be the solution to the future of plumbing until it started exhibiting leakages and pipe bursts. Majority of home owners are now renovating and switching to PEX A piping to ensure no surprise leakages will effect their homes.
Issues with Poly B
If you own a structure with poly B piping, you should consider replacing it with the PEX A to avoid leakages and a pipe bursts. Here are some reasons you should fix Poly B and also why you should replace them with class PEX A piping as soon as possible.
- Poly B faced a number of lawsuits. Poly B fault originated from the foundation of Poly B which is the production and moves to the transportation and installation.
- Polybutylene is prone to leakages because of the breakage of its molecular bonds. What weakens the bonds of Poly B the most is the exposure to UV light prior to installation. The more sun it’s exposed to the higher the chances of leakages to occur.
- Another factor that has affected the Poly piping is the reaction to chlorine. The piping tends to deteriorate quickly in places where they have chlorine in the water like most municipal water supply systems.
Replacing Poly with a PEX A pipe is the best option so far because their average life span is up to 50 years.
We are going to discuss PEX A piping and compare it with Poly B piping.
Class A PEX Piping
PEX is polyethylene that has all it’s polymer chains joined chemically as it undergoes a transformation process in the molecular structure. The polymer chains are cross-linked with each other creating a three-dimensional network, This process leads to flexible thermoset polymer, having enhanced chemical, thermal and mechanical properties.
PE means polyethylene while the X symbolizes the cross-linking. You can as well say it’s cross-linked polyethylene.
Commercial cross-linking was started in 1968 with the use of high-pressure peroxide known as PEXa. It requires the addition of liquid peroxide in a small quantity to HDPE in a monitored building under normal temperature. The next cross-linking achieved a higher and better result with pipes cross-linked up to 85 percent. Some PEX pipes have the unique ability to expand under pressure and contrast back to normal when the pressure is out. This occurs because of the flexibility of the PEX pipe.
Some Comparable Qualities – Poly B to PEX Piping
- The brief information above shows that PEX is as a result of the reaction gotten from a High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). This piping is used all over the world, and it is also used to replace Poly B. Currently, it’s the best.
- The process of manufacturing anything at all is very important. Let’s examine the manufacturing process. During PEX production, the polymer chains connect with each other, and this connection is called “Cross-Linking,” this is not applicable in Poly B manufacturing process.
- One of the significant and outstanding qualities of the PEX A is the pressure tolerance. The PEX A has a high-pressure tolerance capacity unlike the Poly B. Though the manufacturers of Poly B pipes have tried to improve on their pressure tolerance but to no avail.
- The PEX A pipe does not react with chlorine, but Poly B reacts with chlorine. When one Poly B gets in contact with water containing chlorine, it results to slow deterioration, ruptures and leakage of the pipe. This is different for the PEX A piping.
- The both of these products are strong to water pressure, and they do not easily get broken by water pressure but the PEX A pipe is known to be stronger and more flexible against water pressure.
- The cross-linking feature in the manufacturing process of PEX A has left the pipe to be known as the most favorable and reliable pipe to use. The Poly B does not have this Cross-linking feature as it is outdated, though the manufacturers have tried to improve on the Poly B, the product has been retired and nothing has been done.
Read: Copper vs PEX Piping
Why Switch from Poly B to PEX A Piping
We will discuss some exceptional qualities of the PEX A pipe, that makes it the perfect pipe for the replacement of Poly B piping.
- Exceptional Flexibility; The PEX A pipe is seen to be the best because of the ability to stand impacts and freezing. It’s flexibility also allow it to withstand pressure more than any other pipe. The feature of expanding and contrasting of the pipe under pressure is as a result of its flexibility.
- Resistance to Chemicals; Chlorine comes to mind. The PEX A pipe is highly resistant to many chemicals; these are silicones, glycols, urethane foam, acid and bases, and latex paints.
- Easy to install; The PEX pipe is easy to install because of its Flexibility and a unique joining technique. This pipe requires no glue nor soldering in the process of installation, and they also do not tend to produce a flame.
- Strength; The PEX A pipe is proven to be the strongest pipe plus a top of the range pressure ratings. This means the pressure or weight of water in it does nothing to the pipe
- Reliability; This PEX A pipe is reliable in the sense that it has been in usage for over 40yrs, which makes it the right replacement for Poly B piping.
- Resistance to Corrosion; The PEX A pipe is strong and not open to corrosion from soil or water. This pipe barely leaks no matter how bad the situation is.
- Environmental Friendliness; PEX A pipe is the only pipe that has been recorded to be environmentally friendly because of the following stated reasons Bellow;
- The weight is light, and the cost of transporting it is very low
- There is no chlorine added in the production process of this PEX A unlike that of Poly B
- Efficient and fast delivery of hot water through the pipes
- Heat loss is reduced and as well as condensation
- The durability and the longevity of the PEX A pipe have passed the test of time. 50 years on the average that sounds like forever
- Production of the PEX A does not require mining of ore as do other pipes
The difference is now made know you can now choose which is your best pipe among these. PEX pipe is generally accepted everywhere for piping projects while the Poly B is no longer accepted. PEX A is generally the best replacement for Poly B pipes so far, because of their good features. Having a bad contractor replace or install your PEX A pipe is as bad as having a Poly B pipe in your home, so make sure you contact professionals with experience like the urban piping.
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