Pros and Cons of PEX and Copper Pipe

Are you in need of professional plumbing services for a new construction or remodeling project? Wondering which materials will be the best fit for your needs? Today there are several options to choose from, the most common and recommended of which are traditional copper pipe or the newer alternative, PEX. Each has pros and cons to consider, so let’s take a look at some of these factors to help you determine which will be most advantageous for your project.

Copper

A longtime standard in the plumbing industry, copper pipe is the more traditional option when considering which material best suits your project. Some may prefer to utilize copper pipe because of its long history of use in the industry, providing fewer unknown results than newer alternatives.

Pros

Several natural attributes make copper ideal for plumbing, including:

  • Durable and flexible material
  • Suitable for outdoors, unaffected by ultraviolet rays
  • Bacteria resistant
  • Resists corrosion more than other metals
  • Safer option for areas prone to natural disasters
  • Recyclable and environmentally sound
  • 50-year limited warranty

Cons 

There are some disadvantages associated with copper, such as:

  • More expensive
  • Certain pH levels of water can cause corrosion
  • Frozen water can burst copper pipes

PEX

Cross-linked polyethylene flexible tubing, or PEX, has been a popular alternative to copper pipe since its introduction to the U.S. around 1980. Previously seen more often in radiant flooring applications, it has now become a preferred choice for many commercial buildings or homeowners.

Pros

People are finding PEX to be the advantageous choice for many reasons, including:

  • Non-corrosive and more affordable material
  • Fewer connections and fittings needed
  • Flexible material excellent for maneuvering in tight areas
  • Expands and contracts to reduce rupture
  • More convenient repairs, with shutoff valve at each supply line
  • No heat loss for higher level of efficiency

Cons

While the pros of using PEX are appealing, there are also some disadvantages to consider, such as:

  • Unsuitable for outside, affected by ultraviolet light
  • Non-recyclable and less environmentally friendly
  • Most warranties are only for 25 years

Ultimately, choosing between PEX and copper piping is your decision, based on what fits your project needs best, while also considering factors such as geographical location and budget. Our team of plumbing professionals would be happy to discuss your needs and help you make the best choice for you. For more information, contact us today.