The Differences and Benefits of PEX and Copper Plumbing
If you’re a homeowner in need of plumbing services, you deserve to know the technique the professionals are using to repair or maintain your plumbing system. Typically, experts resort to two types of tubing while installing new fittings: PEX or copper. Each type has unique advantages that can drastically improve the functionality of your system.
PEX: A Revolution in Plumbing
When PEX became popular, it changed the plumbing game. It’s made from cross-linked polyethylene, and it’s substantially cheaper than copper tubing. Professionals can acquire PEX for about the third of the price of copper. In addition, the material doesn’t corrode as easily as copper. Especially in areas that have an acidic water supply, copper can wear down over time. Thus, PEX is a better investment for homes that channel harsh water.
For medium to large sized jobs, professionals often use PEX tubing. It takes a short amount of time to install; professionals simply have to run it to a fixture like a garden hose. Occasionally, some connections and fittings are necessary, but even those take less time than installing copper. It’s safe to assume that most homeowners can save a significant amount of money and hassle by choosing PEX over copper.
Copper: A Tried and True Approach
Copper has a wide range of aesthetic and functional applications. It’s used in automobiles, home appliances and tools. Cooper has been used for plumbing jobs since the 70s. Often, a reliable copper job can outlast the lifespan of your home. Currently, the majority of homes contain a copper plumbing system, and the popularity of the material shows no signs of slowing down.
Despite the need for soldering, copper is very safe tubing. Unlike PEX, it’s not a synthetic material, and thus is exceptionally environmentally friendly. Contaminants cannot penetrate it, and it doesn’t give off toxic fumes. Even during a fire, copper won’t melt. Better yet, copper has been proven to withstand 1,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. This is 10 to 20 times the normal system pressure typically used in your home. Copper is certainly a very reliable material; while not as cheap as PEX, it is nonetheless affordable. It can even add value to your home if you’re considering selling it in the future.
Both PEX and copper are excellent choices for a home. Only a licensed plumber, however, can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option and suggest the best one to use. Homeowners should educate themselves about the benefits of each material before making a final decision.