what is pex plumbing

Copper and iron are the most common traditional plumbing materials. As the plumbing industry innovates, evolves, and improves, PEX is becoming the leading pipe material to use. There have been similar materials in the past, but PEX has outperformed them all in several ways. These pipes are often identified with ease due to their blue and red color. What is PEX plumbing? Well, in today’s post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Read on to learn more. 

So, What Is It? 

PEX, also known as cross-linked polyethylene, is a flexible plastic tubing. It’s taking the plumbing world by storm and replacing copper and steel water lines. Most new-construction homes feature PEX supply lines due to cost, efficiency, and ease of installation. This somewhat new material is in about 60% of U.S. homes. 

A German scientist, Thomas Engel, created what we know as PEX in the late 1960s. PEX came about to provide the first heated flooring. Now, though, PEX is a piping material with many plumbing benefits. 

It’s Great For DIY

If you’re a big-time DIY aficionado, plumbing is often a tricky field to dabble. In the past, copper and steel were your options for supply lines. Copper is challenging to work with because you need to use handsaws, blowtorches, and solder to install copper pipes. There is a much smaller margin for error, so PEX is best for DIY. If you’re looking for it at the hardware or plumbing supply store, it is in large coils of blue and red pipe. 

It’s Flexible

The best thing about PEX is its flexibility. When you’re working with any metal or PVC piping, the biggest obstacle is flexibility. Instead of having tons of branches to get to a fixture, PEX snakes through walls, attics, and crawlspaces. 

It’s Reliable

When PEX heats up, it expands. When it cools off, it contracts—this expansion and contraction means that it’s excellent for hot and cold weather. The problem with metal plumbing in the winter is that it is rigid. It can’t expand or contract, so the pipes crack and are more likely to leak after a freeze. Although, you should always have your plumbing insulated, no matter the material. 

In addition, PEX doesn’t break down and leak. Materials like polybutylene fail for many reasons. You won’t find that with PEX. Even with high chlorine content in drinking water, it will hold up. In the past, PEX was susceptible to chlorine but has since innovated to account for chlorine. So, you don’t have to worry about the pipes breaking down and leaking. 

Call The Pros

Looking for a reliable, licensed, and insured plumber to help you with your plumbing projects? You’ve come to the right place. Drain Express is the premier drain cleaning and plumbing service in the Raleigh-Durham area. Give us a call today to get on our schedule!