What Are the Differences Between PEX and Copper Piping?


Quick Answer

PEX pipes are made out of high-density polyethylene, while copper pipes are composed of copper alloys. PEX pipes are mostly used inside the house for plumbing purposes. Copper pipes, on the other hand, are used both outside and inside the house. Manufacturers offer a 50-year guarantee for copper pipes.

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Full Answer

The manufacturers offer a 25-year guarantee for PEX pipes. However, they are easier to install as compared to their copper counterparts, since PEX is more flexible than copper. Also, PEX tubing has fewer joints and is resistant to breaks during winter. Fewer joints and fittings reduce the risk of leaks.

Copper pipes are not as cost-effective as PEX pipes, but they are sturdier and long-lasting. Moreover, copper pipes are resistant to fire, corrosion and bacteria, while PEX tubes are not. On the other hand, copper piping is more likely to corrode and break when exposed to excessively basic or acidic water.

PEX pipes are burst-resistant and have shutoff valves at every supply line, which makes them very convenient for users to get repairs done. During natural disasters, PEX pipes do not snap immediately, but they do release toxic gases in a fire, unlike copper pipes. Copper pipes are also recyclable, while PEX tubes are not.

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