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Comparing PEX And Copper Pipes

Copper and PEX pipes are two of the most common types of plumbing available on the market. Though they perform the same function, their different materials each possess a unique set of attributes, providing distinctive advantages and disadvantages to your home. Understanding what both types of plumbing have to offer can help you choose the best type of pipes for your home.

PEX Pipes

PEX (which stands for crosslinked polyethylene) pipes are made out of plastic, which provides a number of benefits over traditional metal pipes. PEX pipes are flexible, which means that they can be more easily installed in tight corners as they do not need to be fitted with joints. Furthermore, the flexibility of PEX pipes means that they can resist bursting better, as they are not brittle like metal is. Finally, it should be noted that PEX pipes are much lighter when compared to copper pipes, which helps expedite the installation process and cut down on labor costs.

However, PEX does have a number of drawbacks. Firstly, it does not stand up well to exposure to sunlight and will degrade fairly quickly. This means that PEX piping is not ideal for exterior use. Furthermore, PEX piping can release toxic fumes if it begins to burn, so it poses a greater health threat in a fire than copper pipes do.

Copper Pipes

Copper piping is the more traditional plumbing choice, and it provides an extremely durable plumbing solution to your home, which means it can withstand a great deal of pressure without breaking. Furthermore, copper possesses natural antibacterial qualities, which help prevent organic matter and contaminants from growing in your water supply. It is also resistant to rust, which can help extend its lifespan even further. Unlike PEX piping, copper pipes can survive a fire and will not release any fumes if exposed to fire, making them a safer alternative during a fire. Finally, copper pipes are able to be used both inside and outside.

However, copper pipes do have a number of downsides, the most notable of which would be the price. Copper pipes are extremely expensive when compared to PEX pipes. Ten feet of copper piping costs about ten dollars (or more!), while a hundred feet of PEX piping costs roughly thirty dollars. While copper piping will add resale value to your home, the high initial price is something that should be kept in mind, especially for homeowners with a tight budget.

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