Colorful, flexible tubing called PEX pipes are becoming an alternative to copper piping in today’s plumbing applications. But what is PEX piping? It’s helpful to know the details to ensure the Illinois plumbing company you choose is trustworthy and offers the latest piping solutions.
At Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co., we strive to provide the most useful information for our clients. Trust us for quality plumbing repairs, maintenance, and more when you need the best of Barrington’s plumbing services. In this article, we offer valuable information on PEX piping.
For more information on our services or PEX piping, contact our plumbing professionals in Elgin, IL, at (847) 613-1344.
What Is PEX Piping?
What is PEX piping? PEX, or cross-linked polyethylene, is a flexible type of plastic that is easy to install. It comes in sticks and coils, giving plumbers and DIY homeowners the flexibility they need to complete any plumbing job.
PEX piping has been the most popular piping solution in Europe for over 20 years. However, it has only recently become available in the US due to past concerns regarding leaching when coming in contact with highly chlorinated water.
After resolving these concerns, PEX is becoming popular for bathroom and kitchen plumbing. The colored piping allows you to keep track of hot and cold water lines easily. Red PEX piping represents the hot water line, while blue represents the cold line. White and gray PEX piping is also available for carrying both hot and cold water when color coordination is not necessary.
PEX Connectors and Tools
Plumbers need special tools to install PEX piping. Compression fittings, cinch clamps, and crimp rings are the most common tools for fitting and installing PEX piping. Cinch clamps and crimp rings are more popular due to their affordability.
These connectors slip over the fittings and tighten the pipes into place. In addition to these connectors, plumbers need heavy-duty scissors to cut the PEX piping to an adequate length.
Benefits of PEX Piping vs. Traditional Copper Piping
For those wondering, “what is PEX piping?” this form of plastic offers many benefits compared to traditional copper piping, making it the perfect choice for plumbing. Despite being plastic, it offers advantages including flexibility, energy conservation, affordability, installation ease, and corrosion resistance.
PEX tubing features flexible plastic. Despite past quality concerns, the piping is also durable. Traditional metal piping does not offer this flexibility and requires separate connections to the main line and branches.
With flexible piping, plumbers don’t have to attach separate connections for each fixture in the home, making it easy to connect the piping from the main water flow to the receiving appliance. Plumbers can feed a single pipe through your home without it getting stuck.
Corrosion risk is a significant disadvantage of using copper pipes. As hard water and contaminants flow through metal tubing, it will corrode from acidic water, scale buildup, and bacteria. This corrosion can create leaks and burst pipes.
With PEX, there is little to no risk of experiencing burst pipes or leaks. While PEX may develop wear and tear after years of use, it does not rust as traditional metal pipes do. Thanks to its plastic material, it is entirely corrosion-resistant and highly durable. In rare cases, it may crack with extensive sunlight exposure.
Still wondering, “what is PEX piping good for?” Copper and other metals transfer heat quickly, making them more liable to lose that heat fast and result in less efficient fixtures. PEX’s material does not have this downside.
Instead, PEX can conserve energy. As hot water flows through a red, white, or gray PEX pipe, the plastic heats up but does not spread the energy to other locations. The thick tubing maintains the temperature of the water, so water is hot when it reaches the faucet.
PEX costs around one-third of copper’s price. With the previously mentioned advantages plus a significantly cheaper price tag than metal piping, choosing PEX for your plumbing needs will offer excellent value vs. choosing traditional repair components.
Compared to CPVC, the costs are similar. However, you will get significantly better value with PEX versus other plastic tubing. Plus, you’ll need fewer pipes and no glue to hold PEX piping in place.
During Illinois’ cold winters, the last thing you want is to deal with frozen or burst pipes when you come home. PEX tubing expands as water freezes, reducing your chance of cracked or burst pipes and leaks.
As the water inside PEX piping melts, it is virtually silent. You won’t notice the clanging and other disruptive sounds produced by metal pipes as they unfreeze. After the water has sufficiently melted, the lines return to their normal size, preventing future plumbing issues for years to come.
Easy to Install
PEX is ideal for water distribution systems of all sizes and complexities. With its durable yet flexible nature, plumbers and homeowners can easily snake it through existing piping after a home remodel. It can also connect to existing metal water supply lines.
To install PEX, you need only scissors and suitable connectors. With designated colored tubing for water temperatures, installing plumbing solutions is faster and easier. In addition, you need no soldering tools, glue, or fancy equipment for a successful installation.
Get a Reliable PEX Piping Installation or Repiping With Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co.
At Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. in Elgin, IL, we offer the latest and most advanced plumbing solutions for residents in Barrington and the surrounding cities. If you’re still wondering, “what is PEX piping?” our professional plumbers can answer your questions. We have significant experience installing PEX in local homes and businesses.
We offer a balance of friendly, knowledgeable service, expert handiwork, and prompt response times. When you have an emergency, we arrive quickly and diagnose problems accurately.
Whether you need pipe repairs, repiping, or other services, our team can help. After learning about PEX, consider repiping services from Advantage Plumbing to get the most out of your plumbing system. Contact us at (847) 613-1344 or fill out our online request form.