Used for more than 30 years in the construction of applications in Europe, PEX plumbing has begun to replace copper pipes as the material of choice in the American PEX is synonymous with polyethylene cross (X) = Connected, which describes how the products. Three types of PEX products are available, donated as PEX-a, PEX-b and PEX-c. The classification system indicates the flexibility, strength and uniform nature of products with PEX-PEX to the highest degree.
Impact and installation
Although PEX is a manufactured plastic, it is respectful to the environment than traditional copper pipes, leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Because it does not absorb heat so easily, less heat loss occurs, resulting in lower energy costs. In addition, PEX can be recycled at the end of its useful life, as it can be ground and pulverized into small particles for use as a filler in the production of other resistant plastic products.
Installation is easier because most PEX products are connected through compression instead of welding. Because PEX is flexible, it can be rotated in 90-degree corners without using angled pieces. It can also be installed on long runs without coupling accessories. These advantages make it quick to install, which reduces labor and product costs.
Other advantages of PEX
PEX further reduces the cost of installing plumbing, as it is cheaper than comparable copper products. With fewer accessories, PEX systems are less prone to leakage. They are also resistant to bursting due to their ability to expand and contract. The shut-off valves at the beginning of each supply line justify the easiest repair to achieve. PEX is very versatile, since it can be used with traditional copper pipes and another one with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes. It can be used in hot and cold water applications and resists the effects of many chemicals found in pipes, making it less likely to corrode. PEX is ideal for service lines, central heating systems, snow melting applications and ice rinks.
No outdoor applications
The biggest disadvantage is that PEX products cannot withstand the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun; Therefore, PEX plumbing cannot be used for exterior applications. Even storing PEX pipes for extended periods of time can damage the material. PEX should not be installed in applications where the water will be higher than 180 degrees F at 100 psi as the combination of temperature and pressure could also damage the pipe.
The disadvantages are few
PEX has a waterproof membrane that can allow water contamination through the development of bacteria. To avoid this problem, installers can add oxygen barriers to the pipe system, which adds to the installation costs. Oxygen barriers are required for radiant heating applications. Although it is easier to install, the learning curve is longer, which leads to the possibility of incorrect installations. Detractors also claim that PEX does not conform to sustainability practices due to its short life and its inability to directly recycle products.