PEX plumbing is a type of plastic tubing made from high-density polyethylene. Besides being the newest player in the water supply line game, PEX is also used for radiant floor heating tubing.

What Is PEX Plumbing?

You’ve probably seen rolls of blue and red PEX pipe in the plumbing aisle of your local home improvement store, but you might not know that this colorful tubing now makes it possible for enthusiastic DIYers to replace their own leaky water lines instead of calling a pro.

Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), a type of flexible plastic, is currently replacing traditional copper and galvanized steel as water supply lines in new construction and remodeling projects.

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What Is Pex Pipe Used For?

PEX plumbing pipe was developed in the 1960s and is accepted by all major plumbing and building codes in the U.S. However, local codes, which are the law in any area, may have specific requirements or restrictions for PEX installations.

In general, PEX piping can be used for:

Water supply lines or portable distribution systems
Water distribution for hot water applications, including radiators
Heat transfer applications, such as floor cooling, snow melting, and permafrost protection
Radiant floor heating applications
Residential fire/sprinkler systems

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PEX Vs. Copper Pipe Lifespan

PEX pipe is not only cheaper than copper but more durable too. PEX is immune to corrosion and mineral build-up, and it’s not affected by electrolysis, which can cause small pinhole leaks in copper piping.

Copper pipes can last anywhere from six months to the life of a building. But PEX tubing, when operating within its pressure and temperature ratings, has a predicted life expectancy of 50 years.

Additionally, PEX-b offers the highest-rated chlorine and six-month UV resistance to combat the risk of premature failure.

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