PEX pipes (also known as cross linked polyethylene) are a great alternative to other types of piping.
So, if you’re considering using PEX piping for your next plumbing project, or you’re thinking about replacing your existing pipes with PEX, you’ve come to the right place for more information!
Read on to find out how long PEX pipes last and whether they are the right choice for you.
Generally, PEX pipes last for between 25 and 40 years. After this time, they will usually need to be replaced.
This is slightly shorter than copper piping and PVC pipes, however there are some other pros to PEX pipes despite them having a slightly shorter life span.
Copper pipes usually last for around 50 to 70 years, whereas CPVC pipes last around 50 to 80 years.
What Are PEX Pipes?
PEX pipes are reliable, lightweight and easy to install and work with.
They are great because they are easy to install and so it allows everyone to have a go at installing PEX pipes if they want to! PEX pipes are very easy to identify.
PEX pipes are colorful.
These colors all represent the different water that they transport – for instance red pipes carry hot water, blue pipes carry cold.
There are also white and gray pipes which can be used for either.
PEX tubing can take both cold and hot water which is why it is such a versatile choice of piping.
However, it can be damaged in the sunlight so it is not as good as outdoor piping. It will deteriorate quicker in direct sunlight, unlike a copper pipe which can be used outdoors.
Unlike copper pipes, PEX plumbing has a lower thermal conductivity, allowing for good water quality regardless of temperature. It’s also far cheaper in comparison to copper prices.
These pipes are best installed underground or in finished walls so that they are not impacted by the sunlight.
These are also flexible pipes, meaning that the pipes are much less likely to burst because they can expand as the ice in the pipes expand.
It also is able to withstand being bent so it is easy to fit in place. They can sometimes last up to 50 years.
PEX pipes can be available in two different grades: PEX A and PEX B. PEX A pipes are easier to install and more bendy and flexible.
PEX B pipes are slightly more sturdy and rigid, which is great for sewer lines.
What’s the Lifespan of PEX Pipes?
A PEX pipe will last for between 25 to 40 years. PEX pipes do deteriorate over time.
They also deteriorate quicker if they are in direct sunlight.
You should consider replacing your pipes after 40 years to prevent any pipes bursting and costing lots more.
During the 40 years, there may be some minor problems such as corrosion and pinhole leaks.
You should ensure that you stay on top of replacing your pipes to avoid any further problems.
Disadvantages Of PEX Pipes
PEX pipes also have some disadvantages. These are:
- PEX pipes deteriorate when they are in direct sunlight. If they are left in direct sunlight, their lifespan may be lower than it would be if they are not. These pipes will also be more likely to burst or to leak if they are in the sun.
- PEX pipes don’t last as long as some other pipes. Copper and metal pipes can last up to 100 years which is more than double the expected lifespan of PEX pipes.
- PEX pipes are likely to be damaged by rodents, especially in hot weather where these rodents thrive. Because of the water in your PEX pipes, the rodents are attracted to them when they are thirsty. If you are aware that this is a problem in your area then you should consider a copper plumbing system which won’t be affected by rodents.
Advantages Of PEX Pipes
PEX pipes are a great choice. They have many advantages, such as:
- PEX pipes are flexible. As the pipes are flexible, they are much easier to install than copper pipes or PVC. These pipes come in circular rolls because they are so bendy. These pipes can fit into small places because of this.
- PEX pipes are also very lightweight making them much safer and easier to install.
- PEX is also color coded. They have one color for hot water (red) and one color for cold water (gray). This makes them easier to identify when you are installing or repairing the pipes.
- PEX pipes don’t need to be soldered together, saving a lot of time in the installation. Copper pipes must be soldered.
How To Make PEX Pipes Last?
While you can’t make PEX piping last forever because they do deteriorate over time, there are some things you can do to ensure that they don’t need to be replaced prematurely.
- Ensure they are installed correctly. If there is anything leaning on the pipes or rubbing against them then they may deteriorate more quickly.
- Chlorine in the water can cause the PEX pipes to prematurely deteriorate. In order to avoid this, try to check the chlorine levels in your water supply. If they are particularly high, then it may be a good idea to consider choosing a different pipe. PEX B pipes are better than PEX A for this as they have extra resistance against chlorine.
- Avoiding direct sunlight. These pipes deteriorate a lot more quickly when they are in direct sunlight so make sure that you bury them underground.
Are PEX Pipes Reliable?
PEX piping is very reliable in the plumbing world. Like other pipes, there are some problems and they will fail sometimes.
It is also much easier to install and can be used for both hot and cold water pipes.
PEX tubes are a great choice for many people. They are affordable and reliable.
While they may not last quite as long as some other pipes, they are still a very viable choice and they might be best for you!
Now you know everything about PEX pipes, you can make the decision for yourself!