The ABCs of Plumbing : What the Heck is PEX?
The invention of PEX piping was one the most important advancements in plumbing. So what exactly is PEX and what makes it better? PEX is an acronym for cross-linked polyethylene. It’s a type of plastic tubing that offers some important advantages over traditional copper piping. First, PEX costs much less than copper and is generally easier to install. Second, installing PEX tubing is generally much faster than copper and, when using a manifold and “home-run” set up, it’s not unlike running a flexible garden hose to fixtures. thirdly, PEX will not corrode like copper piping when it comes in contact with acidic water.
The disadvantages of PEX include it’s susceptibility to UV light, which can degrade the material over time. This means PEX should not be used outdoors. Due to its shorter usable material life, PEX cannot be recycled or reused like copper.
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