When it’s time to replace your plumbing pipes, should you choose between copper or cross-linked polyethylene, also known as PEX?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Read below for some information we’ve put together to help you make an informed decision.

A plumber talking to a customer about kitchen sink problem

When it comes to hiring this guy to install new pipes, which will you choose, PEX or copper?

The Benefits of PEX:

  • PEX is cheaper than copper: a half-inch of PEX tubing costs as much as one-third less than the same amount of copper pipe. Some of these savings, however, will be offset by the need to use a special tool to install the PEX’s fittings. Still, if you’re re-piping project requires a lot of pipe, PEX may be the way to go.
  • Copper can corrode; PEX doesn’t. If the area in which your home is located has acidic water, it probably will corrode copper pipe over time. Talk with your plumbing company to see if your area has acidic water. If it is, you’re probably better off with PEX pipe.
  • PEX also is faster to install than copper pipe. It can be as “easy” as running a garden hose to each of your plumbing fixtures and is much quicker and easier than soldering copper.
  • Other countries have been using PEX for several decades. Thirty-year-old homes in Europe using PEX are leak-free, so PEX can be very reliable. Problems do tend to crop up when PEX isn’t installed properly or when the piping has faulting fittings; problems don’t tend to come from the PEX tubing itself.
  • There’s a slight chance that PEX may not meet code for your area. Your Dallas plumbing company will know the specific local code requirements.
  • PEX also is less likely to burst due to freezing than copper.
  • Water also tends to run more quickly and smoothly through PEX.

The Benefits of Copper:

  • Copper has been around and used in homes much longer than PEX. While PEX has been used in homes in Europe for upwards of 30 years and has shown few problems as it ages, copper is known to last – and serve you well – for far more than 30 years.
  • Copper also provides what is called a biostatic atmosphere, therefore making it harder for bacteria to grow inside; this can be an important consideration when it comes to your family’s health.
  • Copper also isn’t affected by ultraviolet rays, making it a viable option for pipes located outside the home. PEX, on the other hand, shouldn’t be used outside your house.
  • Copper is safer should a natural disaster occur in or near your home.
  • Copper is recyclable; it’s a better choice if you’re concerned about the environment.
  • Copper resists fire.

If still undecided as to whether to use copper or PEX for your re-piping project, contact Dallas plumbing company Plumbing Dynamics for advice and insight. Call us at 214-929-3431 or send us an e-mail using our online contact form.

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