What’s the Difference between Copper and PEX Repiping?
Remodeling your home should include remodeling the infrastructure, as well, such as the outdated plumbing system. But even if you’re not remodeling, your plumbing may be showing signs that it’s ready to be upgraded, such as recurring leaks and other repairs, discolored or foul-smelling water, or inconsistent water pressure.
Many older homes have copper pipes, and you may feel like you need to stick with that. But newer options, such as PEX piping in Mission Viejo, may be better for your home. Here’s what you need to know about how copper and PEX piping compare:
Copper piping was preferred for plumbing for a long time because it is durable and has a biostatic atmosphere that is resistant to bacterial growth. Copper is not affected by UV rays, so it can be used for outdoor plumbing, and it is resistant to corrosion. These are all great attributes for a plumbing system.
However, copper has many disadvantages. Primarily, it is quite expensive. In fact, many criminals break into empty houses just to steal the copper pipes out of the wall and sell the metal. That’s how valuable it is.
Copper is also difficult to install. Not just anyone can install copper piping. You need an expert who knows how to connect the many fittings, including being able to weld or solder them for a solid fit.
Finally, although copper is resistant to corrosion, it is not impervious. It can still corrode if the pH levels of the water become acidic. And, of course, it can still burst if the water inside it becomes frozen. Replacing even one frozen pipe can be cumbersome and expensive considering the cost of copper and how difficult it is to install.
PEX stands for “crosslinked polyethylene,” and it is a new type of material being used for plumbing. It was introduced in the United States in the early 1980s, and it was primarily used for heated flooring. Once people saw what it could do, they started using it for plumbing, and it has become a popular choice for piping.
PEX is like plastic tubing. It is a very flexible material, so it can be run around corners and through tight spaces without having to connect a lot of fittings. No specialized skill is required to install it, and it can be installed much more quickly than copper pipes, which means that you’ll spend a lot less on installation.
PEX is also much less expensive as a raw material than copper, which brings down the overall cost of your repiping project significantly. On average, PEX costs about a third as much as copper piping.
PEX has many other advantages. It doesn’t lose heat as quickly as copper pipe does, so it can save you money on electricity while also providing a more consistent temperature. That characteristic also makes it less likely to burst from frozen water. You can even use PEX piping for outdoor plumbing without having to worry about a high risk of freezing and burst pipes.
Finally, PEX is resistant to corrosion, scale, chlorine, and bacterial growth. The material stands the test of time, and you likely won’t have to replace the plumbing in your lifetime when you opt for PEX repiping in Mission Viejo.
While it is easy to look at this list of pros and cons and come to the conclusion that PEX piping is the best choice for your home or business, it is important that you consult with your plumber before making your decision. Your property may have characteristics that make another type of plumbing better suited for it. Only an experienced plumber can assess your property and make the appropriate recommendation.
At Integrity Repipe in Mission Viejo, we typically recommend PEX piping for our residential and commercial customers. The material has a number of benefits, and it saves owners money. Our trained and licensed plumbers specialize in PEX piping installation and repair, though we also work on all other types of plumbing. We perform routine maintenance, as well as emergency repairs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact us today to learn more about PEX piping or to schedule an inspection and see if it is right for your home or business.