Here at A to Z Statewide Plumbing in South Florida, our team hears this question just about every time a home or business owner needs to replace one or more new pipes. So, what are the differences between PEX and copper piping, and is one superior over the other? Here are the benefits and potential drawbacks of each option.
Copper pipe or copper tubing has been the industry standard for indoor plumbing, and is what one will most likely encounter in a home that is twenty years or older. The natural attributes of copper make it an excellent choice to handle home and commercial plumbing needs. Copper is naturally resistant to bacterial growth because it creates a bio-static atmosphere. Furthermore, copper resists corrosion and UV rays, so it can also be utilized for outdoor plumbing.
However, copper does have some disadvantages. While it’s resistant to corrosion, those with water that is low in alkalinity and high in pH may experience a certain level of degradation with copper pipes. Another drawback is that copper prices have risen in recent years, making it the more expensive option. Copper pipes might also freeze up and burst in cold weather climates. Copper also requires soldering or compression fittings, which can be time-consuming , expensive and installation also requires a bit of know-how and the right equipment.
Cross-linked polyethylene, or PEX as it’s commonly known, has been used in some homes and businesses since the 1980s. While it was first utilized for radiant floor applications, PEX is now becoming the new standard for repiping and plumbing repairs. This plumbing material is easy to install and is about a third of the cost of copper piping replacement.
While it is not suitable for outdoor use, PEX is far more resistant to freezing temperatures and rupturing. Furthermore, PEX doesn’t lose heat like other pipes do, making it an efficient choice, as well. This flexible material is resistant to chlorine and scale, so there are less clogs typically experienced with PEX pipes.
As you can see, while copper and PEX are both considered suitable for commercial and residential, copper will most likely be the preferred method when cost is no object.
Considering Repiping Your Home or Business in South Florida?
Here at A to Z Statewide Plumbing, we service both residential and commercial plumbing needs. Be sure to reach out to us if you are in need of plumbing services or have questions about choosing the right kind of pipes for your home. Give us a call at 954-981-2133 or 305-949-2133 to schedule a consultation today.