Yesterday afternoon we had an fascinating call from a gentleman in New Jersey. He was inquiring about building a vacation home in The Lakes Region of Rutland County Vermont. We talked about all kinds of thing and somehow, we ended up talking about Copper Pipes vs. PEX Tubing.
So, what is PEX? It is a high-density polyethylene manufactured tubing that can easily be used for a wide variety of plumbing applications. Technically speaking there are three types of PEX, type A, B, and C. The difference between A, B, and C is in the manufacturing process and deals with how the molecules are linked together. We will limit our comments to Type B which is probably the most common and most widely used form of Pex.
But, back to Copper vs. Pex.
As you are probably very aware Copper has been the material used with hot and cold-water pipes for a very long time and has long since passed the test of time. Copper is an excellent product. The obvious question is why has PEX become so very popular in the past few years?
Throughout history copper has been a highly valuable mineral along with Gold and The mining of copper has significant environmental side effects, mostly with the creating of arsenic acid that serves no purpose other than as a harmful side effect. Areas surrounding a copper mine are severely damaged.
PEX is s purely synthetic material that easily extrudes into strong and durable tubes that can be used for a myriad of purposes. It is available in several colors such as Red, Blue, and White. The various colors do not denote anything unique about the tubing it is done so that a home’s pipes can be “color coded.” Blue is typically cold, Red is almost always Hot, and white is used everywhere.
Advantages of PEX:
- Less Expensive – Pex will cost approximately one-third as much as copper
- Quicker to install – installing PEX will take far less time and that translates into less expense because of labor
- Corrosion – PEX does not corrode and therefore is apt to be more durable and last longer.
What do you think? Which is better for you?