Understanding PEX Piping


PEX piping is the newest and best plumbing revolution to come about in a long time. Some of our Tampa plumbers might even say it’s the best thing since the flush toilet! Before you go out and buy a bundle, there are some important things you need to know about its use, benefits, and more.

Better Than Copper and CPVC

PEX tubing has many advantages over copper, including cost. It costs just a third of the price! Some of the tools used to install PEX piping may be a bit pricier than those needed for copper, but if you plan on using it often or are doing a medium to large plumbing job, you will definitely come out on top with the price. It’s a lot faster to install than copper because you don’t have to worry about soldering it. It’s also doesn’t corrode like copper if you live in an area where your water has a high acidic content.

CPVC costs about the same as PEX, but some of the differences are that it is less likely to burst if it freezes. PEX is more flexible than CPVC and doesn’t require any glue, so you won’t need to worry about working in well-ventilated areas to apply it.

You May Need Special Tools

While you don’t necessarily need special tools to install PEX, you’ll definitely want to have them when working on larger projects. Stab-in or compression fittings would be too expensive for large projects, so investing in a special tool will be worthwhile. Since you will need metal crimp rings, using a universal tool for different-size tubing will make your job go a lot faster but cost you a little more upfront. You may also need a cinch clamp tool, but one tool will do the work for any size cinch clamp. The last tool our Tampa plumbers recommend is a scissor-cutting tool to cut the tubing.

Other Important Things To Know:

– Before you start any plumbing job, check your local inspector for specific requirements.
– PEX comes in red and blue so you can specify heat or cold.
– PEX cannot be connected directly to your hot water heater, so you will need additional piping to connect first.
– PEX expands and contracts more than copper, so don’t pull it tight when installing!
– If you goof, you can easily cut out the section that is wrong.

Image Courtesy of: Flickr