What is PEX Plumbing?
Cross-linked polyethylene (abbreviated PEX or XLPE) is formed into tubing and is used predominately in building services:
Domestic potable (drinking) water
In floor radiant heating systems
PEX is a good alternative in new construction.
In new construction, PEX it is quicker to run than copper.
When used with the manifold system with dedicated hot and cold leads, PEX has few or no connection hidden in the wall.
PEX is worth considering for older construction when replacing leaking copper pipes with pin holes.
It is easier to route through wall and floor cavities.
There is less chance of fire because the need for a torch and sweating joint in copper is minimal.
Advantages of PEX:
PEX is more flexible than copper or CPVC.
PEX is faster to install than copper or CPVC.
PEX is more reliable than copper. It is not prone to corrosion or pin hole leaks.
PEX is less likely to freeze or burst during cold weather.
It can be run with no connections from a distribution point to a fixture with no fittings.
PEX is easy for DIY (do it yourself)
A hot water recirculation system is easily added to a PEX system.
www.pexsupply.com Make sure the PEX tubing you selected is rated for a hot water recirculation system.
Disadvantages of PEX:
PEX needs to handled and stored with care.
Protect from sun and UV rays
PEX can kink easily during installation
Fittings are more expensive.
Health concerns with lead content in PEX manufactured and sold prior to 2012.
PEX must meet NSF/ANSI Standard-61 www.nsf.orgThe lead content must not exceed 0.25%.
California and Vermont adopted NSF/ANSI-61 January 1, 2010.
Sites to research to make an informed decision on using PEX:
www.ppfahome.org (Plastic Pipe & Fittings Association)
www.nsf.org (lead content law)
www.pexsupply.com They have how to videos, specifications, and on line help to answer questions.