If you are trying to figure out which piping is right for your home, you have probably come across both cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) piping and copper piping. Even though copper has been around since the dawn of modern plumbing, it has been displaced slightly by PEX piping in contemporary projects. At the same time, both options have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Longevity: Copper Lasts Longer Than PEX Piping
It is difficult to outlast the longevity of copper pipes, which usually last somewhere between 50 and 70 years. In contrast, PEX piping is going to last between 30 and 50 years. In houses that use excessively hot water (such as 180 degrees F or higher), or in houses that use water with chlorine, PEX piping can wear down even faster.
For copper piping, acidic water can shorten its lifespan significantly; however, copper pipes should outlast PEX piping by about 20 years, on average. In homes that use a private well, it is a good idea to check the well water for signs of chlorine or acid, as this can shorten the lifespan of the pipes.
Cost: Copper Is a Little Bit More Expensive than PVC
The cost of copper pipes has risen significantly during the past few years because of their value in recycling projects. Expect copper pipes to cost somewhere between 60 and 65 percent more than PEX pipes. It is critical to price out both options before deciding which to choose.
Connections: PEX Requires Fewer Connections than Copper
Copper is a rigid metal so it has to be cut down to size perfectly for every section of the home. Then, whenever there is a corner, elbow fittings need to be installed as well. This adds to the price of labor because there are more individual pieces to install.
In contrast, PEX piping runs continuously from a manifold (a panel for distributing water) to each individual fixture. PEX will bend around corners with ease, which means that no additional connections are required. The flexibility of PEX is a major advantage in every project.
Consider the Benefits and Drawbacks
These are a few of the most important points to keep in mind if you are considering PEX versus PVC piping. For any questions or concerns, contact the pros at A to Z Statewide Plumbing at 954-981-2133!