There are a lot of plumbing materials and supplies out there to choose from. Two of the most popular are PEX tubing and copper pipes. PEX tubing is the latest innovation in plumbing materials, it is made out of plastic and comes on a spool. All you need to do to install it in your home is to cut the correct length and feed it to where you need it to go and terminate it. Copper pipes have been used as long as indoor plumbing has been in homes. It's made of copper as the name suggests and it needs to be measured and cut specifically to fit your plumbing plan. We will take a closer look at the good and bad qualities of both materials in this article so you are well informed and can make the correct choice for your home. PEX and copper are both used for water supply, not evacuation or disposal. This means that you don't have to think about things like drain clogs and instead must think about what you need out of your water supply piping.
PEX tubing has many advantages. It's lightweight, which cuts down on shipping costs, and it is able to move and bend around corners without the need for fittings. Traditional plumbing pipes need fixtures, like elbow fixtures, to make sure that the pipe turns into the right place to link to a faucet. PEX tubing also does not need to be soldered into place, eliminating the need to use torches, solder, flux, etc. to make connections in the tubing. This makes PEX a breeze to install in places with abundant water supply needs as in bathroom renovations and kitchen renovations.
When you need to make connections with PEX tubing all you need to do is use special PEX connectors to join the tubing together or to adapt it to standard plumbing fittings. PEX is also resistant to acidic water and less prone to pitting or freezing pipes as it is more flexible and able to expand with the water. PEX tubing is semi - transparent though, so be sure to keep it in inside the walls of your home. If PEX tubing is exposed to sunlight you could have algae or bacteria grow inside your plumbing and that would be bad for your family and yourself. Additionally rodents are known to chew on plastic piping and that could result in a puncture being made, and a hole in your pipes can lead to a leak that can cause damage, mold, or rot in your home.
Copper pipe is one of the original metals used in plumbing and for good reason: it is strong and durable, but very flexible. This makes it easy to install and hard to damage. This clip has some great quick info about copper. Another plus is that it is weather and bacteria resistant meaning it will hold up through all types of weather and can be used outside. Copper naturally resists bacteria, suppressing mold and other pathogens in your water and giving you cleaner water for your family’s consumption. Copper is also recyclable making it a sustainable product to use in your home. One problem is that copper piping is attractive to thieves - in some places in the US they strip it out of a house to recycle it for cash. Copper can also corrode because it's a metal and metal is always vulnerable to corrosion. Its price fluctuates sometimes and it can be somewhat expensive depending on where you live and what the metals market looks like.
Now that you know the pros and cons of both materials it is up to you to decide what the best option is for your house. Check out this video for some more PEX and copper pipe comparisons.