Answers To 5 Common Questions About PEX Plumbing Systems

For many years, copper piping was the king of all plumbing systems. Thanks to its flexibility, durability, and anti-bacterial properties, it made a lot of sense to use copper pipe for all sorts of plumbing applications.

In recent years, however, the PEX plumbing system has continued to grow in popularity. Because it’s even more flexible than copper, requires fewer time-consuming fittings, and is cheaper to ship and store, plastic-based PEX piping has become a preferred choice for plumbers and contractors alike.

PEX plumbing is still fairly new to the public, and from time to time you might be asked a question about the PEX plumbing system that you’re not really sure how to answer. That’s why we’ve put together this brief list of frequently asked questions! Armed with these answers, you’ll be able to handle inquiries from any source.

1. Is PEX really better than a copper pipe?

At the end of the day “better” is a subjective judgment, but there are a few reasons why we think that PEX plumbing systems deliver superior performance over more traditional materials. For one thing, PEX is cheaper than copper by about 60 percent. This can save both the plumber and the end consumer some serious cash. PEX plumbing systems are also faster to install, won’t corrode, and less affected by acidic water than copper pipes.

2. Does PEX require special installation tools?

In most cases, PEX plumbing systems do not require special installation tools. “You can use stab-in or compression fittings to make the connections,” explains Crimp rings, cinch clamps, and cutting tools are also necessary for PEX installation, but these are standard residents in most plumbing tool boxes.

Although it’s not required for PEX installation, we’d also recommend adding a PEX GUN to your arsenal of plumbing tools. This PEX pipe tool was specifically designed to help you install PEX pipe five times faster than it can be installed by hand. With the PEX GUN, your crew will be able to tie two or three wraps of galvanized steel wire to a PEX pipe, automatically twisting securely, in one second or less.

3. Does PEX satisfy plumbing codes?

The answer to this is “maybe.” Contrary to popular belief, there is no national plumbing code. This means that each state, city, and even village has the authority to decide for itself which plumbing systems are acceptable, and which aren’t. It’s always a good idea to check the local regulations before installing a PEX plumbing system.

4. What Do The PEX plumbing system colors mean?

PEX tubing is available in three colors: red, white, and blue (patriotic, right?). These colors are meant to make it easier for the PEX installation expert to keep track of the hot and cold lines. Typically red is for hot water while blue is for cold; white PEX tubes can be used for whatever you wish.

5. Can PEX be connected to a water heater?

Unfortunately, it’s not recommended that you connect PEX tubing directly to the water heater. Instead, it’s best to use at least 18 inches of copper piping up from a water heater and connect the PEX tubing directly to this pipe.

Need answers to more questions? Contact us today!