PEX vs Copper Pipes: Which Is The Better Choice for a Repipe?
What exactly is repiping?
What exactly is a repipe? Most clients have no idea what to anticipate when they are repiping a house with PEX or copper. Many consumers believe that repiping entails replacing all of their plumbing lines, including drain and water lines. Or that repiping their house would fix all of their plumbing issues. This is not true. When a specialist recommends a repipe your home, it is typically due to a pressure leak.
What exactly is involved in a repipe?
- A repipe will typically include all water lines in the residence, as well as all lines to each plumbing fixture.
- Hose connections have been replaced.
- New valves installed beneath sinks and toilets.
- New supply routes.
- Your house and water heater now have a new main cut off.
- New ice maker and laundry box with valves.
How long does it take to repipe a whole house:
The question of how long does it take to repipe a house or how long does it take to replumb a house might arise. A full repipe might take a few days to a week. Smaller houses may be repiped in two days or less, however larger homes with several bathrooms can take considerably longer.
It is crucial to note, however, that you will not be unable to use your plumbing for the whole of that period. The majority of the job consists of constructing the new plumbing network alongside the old pipes. The only time you will be without water is when they are transitioning from the old to the new system.
A question frequently asked by homeowners: “Which is better PEX or Copper?”
Copper and PEX pipes are two of the most often used pipe materials for water delivery lines.
Both have been used for decades, and many homes can witness their copper and PEX plumbing disadvantages and advantages. As a result, determining which one is the best choice for your house or property may be challenging.
In this post, we’ll look at your plumbing system alternatives and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
But first, here’s a brief rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of PEX versus copper to find out which is better PEX or copper?
PEX tubing was devised in 1968 by German scientist Thomas Engle, but it did not reach the United States until the 1980s. This device uses radiation to connect ordinary plastic, resulting in a more flexible material. Initially, the tubing was employed in radiant floor heating systems. When PEX tubing was originally used for plumbing in the United States, it experienced degradation owing to high chlorine levels in the water.
Manufacturers have to add antioxidants to the PEX in order for it to withstand typical drinking water in the United States.
PEX tubing has established a steady position in the plumbing business now that the early concerns with it have been resolved. PEX is used in more than 60% of new residential water supply systems.
Plex Plumbing Advantages:
- As PEX tubing is so flexible, it eliminates the need for connections. Connection areas in your plumbing system have the most potential for leaks, thus fewer PEX fittings mean fewer leaks.
- Less expensive and simpler to install or maintain.
- The cost of PEX pipes is less than that of copper pipes. Because PEX pipes are fast and simple to install, hiring a professional will save labour costs.
- DIY-friendly. PEX pipe is simpler to install on your own than copper piping when combined with easily accessible connections.
- PEX pipes are very flexible and can readily bend to fit into your corners.
PEX Plumbing Disadvantages:
- Cannot be used outdoors and will shatter if exposed to UV radiation. Ultraviolet radiation have the ability to degrade the molecular structure that binds PEX pipes together. When exposed to UV radiation, such as sunshine, PEX pipes grow brittle and finally burst.
- Rodents may consume them. Rodents may eat through your PEX pipes since they are not as strong as metal. After hearing the sound of running water, rodents are more prone to attack the pipes.
- More prone to contamination. Water pollution produced by PEX tubing may be caused by both the tube’s composition and any chemical pollutants in the surrounding environment.
- Problems with the warranty. In most cases, warranties cover faulty pipes that cause premature degradation and leaking. However, claiming your warranty may be difficult since most warranties do not cover harsh water conditions, which are the cause of the majority of PEX pipe failures.
Copper has traditionally been used to transport water to civilizations. Copper pipes were utilised for water supply by the ancient Egyptians as early as 2150 BC. Copper was the most widely utilised plumbing material in the industrialised world by the 1940s.
Copper is the preferred material for 80 percent of service lines. This has long been the standard option for plumbing work, and it is still worth considering today.
Copper Plumbing Advantages:
- They have a longer lifetime on average.
- Copper pipes may persist for more than 50 years under the right conditions. However, copper breakdowns have occurred in as little as 5 years.
- Lightweight and very adaptable. Copper pipes, although not as flexible as PEX pipes, are lighter and more flexible than most.
- Environmentally responsible. Copper pipes are completely recyclable. Scrap copper pipes may even be sold since they can be remanufactured into other copper-based devices.
Copper Plumbing Disadvantages:
- It is more pricey. Copper pipes are substantially more expensive than PEX pipes due to the expense of mining and processing the copper.
- When extra expenditures for professionals in soldering copper pipes are included, and the project’s intricacy is taken into account, the labour cost will be greater.
- Water may take on a metallic flavour. Because of the metal presence in the copper pipes, your drinking water may have a harsh metallic flavour. This is particularly true if the pipes are ancient.
- Because of the chemistry of the water, it is very corrosive. While copper is inherently stable, contact with polluted water and chloramines in the water can soon corrode your copper pipe.
- Furthermore, contact with any mineral or electric component may trigger electrolysis, resulting in pinhole leaks and corrosion.
Examining your options:
Your choice of pipe material may be influenced by the quality of the water in your house. Copper is corroded by acidic water, and high levels of chlorine cause PEX pipes to wear out quicker. Water that is 180 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will also reduce the longevity of PEX.
If you have an older house with inadequate insulation or live in an extremely cold region, you should think about the possibility of frozen pipes. Solid construction and enough insulation prevent the possibility of frozen pipes in most contemporary houses, although this is not true in all buildings. If you’re worried about your pipes freezing, PEX is a better choice.
Energy Diagnostics can assist you in developing an energy-efficient and ecologically responsible update for your house. Our expert staff is prepared to assist you in understanding and comparing your choices so that you may choose the best match for your house. A new plumbing project may seem daunting, but the right construction and materials can increase the value of your home.
Copper has a long history as the predominant material for residential plumbing systems. However, a more contemporary competitor is now displacing copper in many projects. PEX, or cross-linked polyethene flexible tubing, is gaining popularity as a top choice for home plumbing renovations. While PEX has numerous advantages over copper, it also has drawbacks. If you’re planning a plumbing improvement for your house, it’s critical to weigh both choices so you can make the best decision for your specific circumstances.