PEX vs Copper: Which one you should choose? (June 2022)

Choosing the correct plumbing material that lasts longer and functions better is a very important decision for any homeowner. With different types of materials available in the market, it is quite crucial to make a correct decision so that renovations last longer. If you are looking forward to know about PEX vs Copper, then this article is just for you. We will help you to make the right decision so that the plumbing system of your home remains perfect for decades.

PEX vs Copper Pipes

Below, we are addressing every minor difference between PEX and Copper, so that, you can choose the best pipes for your plumbing.

PEX Pipes

PEX Pipes

In the last 40 years, PEX is constantly replacing Copper because of being light in weight and steady in nature. The plastic-based pipes are flexible and suitable for avoiding pressure leaks. The current generation plumbers specifically prepare PEX because it can easily bend up to 90 degrees and reach the destination in a hassle-free way.

This is a very significant factor why PEX tubing is an option for hydronic Radiant floor heating, drinkable water supplies, and service lines. The complex pipeline installations always choose PEX.

Pros of using PEX

  • More durable and resistant against freezing and breaking
  • Affordable installation costs
  • Lower possibilities of pipeline leakage
  • A good option for building renovation and extension
  • Easily bends and reaches curves

Cons of PEX Pipes

  • PEX cannot resist water having higher chlorine concentration and the material can be easily get destroyed in such cases
  • Excess exposure to UV light can damage the pipe very soon
  • Need to be protected from extreme temperature

Copper Pipes

Copper Pipes

Copper pipes are durable and are most of the time free from contamination. They are expensive because of their metallic nature. Moreover, Copper pipes can take up a lot of heat and for that reason, they are suitable for pipelines requiring extremely cold or hot water.

Pros of using Copper Pipes

  • Completely rust resistant
  • Recyclable and environmental friendly
  • Antimicrobial properties
  • Durable

Cons of Copper Pipe

  • Extremely expensive pipeline material
  • Has a Corrosive nature and can give a bad taste to water
  • Not resistant to acidity
  • Laborious and expensive installation

Why Copper Pipes are outdated?

Copper is tough and also very rigid as a plumbing material. It is highly difficult to divide it into smaller pieces so that it can be used as a part of small fittings and elbow joints. Most of the plumbers find it highly laborious to use Copper during plumbing installation.

Talking about PEX, it is completely bendable and can easily reach out to the required corners easily. Managing to plumb becomes handy Because of the non-rigid nature of the material. You can easily use the pipe in a zigzag or Snake pattern according to your needs. The results are finished walls that continue to remain intact forever. The use of Copper as a plumbing material needs a plumber to break away the wall in order to create waterproof connections. PEX is a perfect option to get fit in all plumbing needs in a hassle-free way.

Which is more durable?

Copper is undoubtedly durable but PEX can last for more than a hundred years. As long as you do not pass extremely hot water through the pipe, PEX as a part of home plumbing lasts forever.

Most Copper pipes cannot last for more than 50 years on average. Exceptionally, there are some varieties of Copper material that can exist for up to a hundred years.

Which is more pocket friendly?

Copper is an extremely expensive plumbing material for most homeowners. A basic Copper pipeline would cost you around $15 as compared to a PEX pipe which sits around $3. Needless to mention, Copper pipelines require almost five times the higher investment.

In simple words, using PEX can save your money from 58-60%. So, if you have a tight budget and want to try something advanced plumbing system, the PEX could be your best option.

Which material exposes humans to higher Health risks?

PEX comes with zero health hazards and it is one of the most prominently used piping materials to deliver safe drinking water.

Copper on the other hand can create nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach complaints because of oxidation. An average Human body cannot tolerate long-term exposure to Copper. Copper toxicity can result in the failure of certain body organs. As we know, Copper corrodes when water repeatedly passes through the pipeline. Such water when ingested can lead to death and uncountable health hazards.

Which is best for meeting multiple pumping requirements?

As we know, PEX is a perfect option for city water supply pipelines which most people use as drinking water. Along with that, if you planning to use it for hot water distribution, then there wouldn’t be an issue at all.

You can also use PEX Pipes in cold weather to keep the floor evenly warm, protect the floor from permafrost, and for cooling melting snow. With its flexibility, you can also use it like a sprinkler system for your gardens and use it for managing residential fire. In simple words, if you are planning to choose pipes for multiple usages, then PEX could be your best option. Perfect for plumbing installation for managing the residential fire.

Copper on the other hand suitable for underground pipe installation, transferring gas, and water services. Due to its durability, many plumbers suggest using it as a vent and drainage system. Along with that, many industrials use it for fuel systems as 3/4-inch drawn copper pipe can easily handle the pressure of 701 pounds per square inch.

Finally, which material to choose?

So, in this PEX vs Copper dispute, we would prefer to choose PEX over Copper Pipes as Copper pipes have been commonly reported to give a Metallic taste in water which makes people reluctant to choose them for one reason. Another most common reason for the rejection of Copper pipe is its pinhole leakage in the presence of acidic water.

Frequent calcium buildup can restrict water flow and result in thermal loss. Also, pipelines that use Copper material are extremely noisy when water passed through them.

Another main reason to choose PEX as a house plumbing system is repairing Copper pipe is very difficult and you need to hire a specialist to manage the flaw. Copper joints are quite prone to failure because of the inflexibility of the material. You need an insulating Jacket in order to avoid thermal loss. Copper is a good conductor of heat and that is why it affects the existing temperature of the water that has been passed through it.

Advanatges of PEX over Copper Pipe:

  1. PEX is also known as cross-linked polythene which clearly means that it is a plastic-based pipeline
  2. PEX is suitable for transferring both hot and cold water
  3. The flexible nature of PEX makes it an easy choice for installation under the slab
  4. You can avoid tool expenditure during the installation of the PEX pipeline
  5. Repairing is very easy which again makes it a choice of new constructions

Final Words

Any person can easily make out that PEX is a better choice than Copper for meeting plumbing requirements. It is more versatile and can reduce home construction expenses marvelously. Somehow, you must avoid using this material if there is a need for extremely hot water running in the pipe. In such a case, Copper is a better choice because it remains more heat resistant.

So, that’s it, homeowners! We hope we had solved your queries regarding PEX vs Copper Pipes. If you have any other questions related to plumbing, or if want any suggestions in choosing the best plumbing system for your house, then feel free to comment below.

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