Pex Versus Copper

Copper vs PEX as seen by the grand minds of Radiant Plumbing Service, Austin Texas.

We are getting lots of questions regarding this new blue and red water pipe popping up all over Austin. It is no wonder with Copper prices shooting through the roof. On a sizeable house there can be thousands of dollars of savings.

So, is this plastic water pipe any good?

You bet! We have jobs with PEX water pipes that have been in service for 6 years with no problems. The product is nearly 30 years old and has been proven in domestic, and radiant heat installations.

Well, there are two types. One is PEX, (solid cross linked polyethylene) Of the many fitting systems that work on this type of pipe, there are a couple that I see in the Austin area. This is our first choice, and we use the Rehau fitting system

The good:

Flexible, quiet, pipes structural memory helps it retain its shape even if smashed by the carpenters. Does not burst when frozen. No calcification. Can handle acidic RO or well water. It is super easy for the plumber to repair

The bad:

So flexible that it requires lots of strapping to keep it where you want it. A varmint (rat, mouse, squirrel) might be tempted to chew it.

A tool set will run you some where around 900.00 for Rehau.

Another pipe is PEX-AL-PEX ( Cross linked polyethylene inner and outer layers with an aluminum core. The locally common fitting system for this pipe was Kitec. Kitec is now out of business. But there are many other brands that offer a pex-al-pex fitting system

The good:

It’s normally the lowest price option. It is similar to soft copper like stiffness, and requires less strapping.

The bad:

It can be crimped , and mangled like copper. The crimp system is more prone to errors than Rehau.

Copper… Well, it has worked in the majority of its applications. If you are willing to pay the price, don’t have any threat of acidic water, can live with a little noise, it is a good product. Central Texas water has an extremely high mineral content, so your copper will have some scaling. It is not something to worry about, but it will reduce your water flow.

Radiant Plumbing Service

Austin , TX

Call us at (512)-948-3453

We are Austin’s Plumber https://www.radiant-plumbing.local

If you are looking for plumbing or air conditioning service in Austin, Texas then please call (512)-948-3453 or complete our online request form.

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