Cross Linked Polyethylene (PEX) Pipes
Cross Linked Polyethylene (PEX) is an increasingly popular material for a variety of piping applications. PEX is hydronic tubing that features a stable three-dimensional molecular bond within the structure of the plastic.
Advantages of Cross Linked Polyethylene (PEX) Pipes
Due to this three-dimensional molecular bond, PEX pipes offer a number of advantages over traditional metal pipes.
The bond improves the pipes' resistance to:
- Heat deformation
- Stress cracks.
In addition, impact and tensile strength are increased and both high and low temperature properties improved. No special additives or water treatment is necessary for either soft or hard water; PEX pipes ensure years of constant water flow and pressure.
Also, PEX pipes are:
- Quieter than copper and other metal pipes due to their flexibility and ability to absorb pressure surges
- Convenient to install, requiring no solders, flames, or chemicals.
Cross Linked Polyethylene (PEX) Pipes Equal Clog-Free Pipes
PEX pipes also have shape memory, so if kinked, they require only the application of heat to return to their original shape. Unlike metal pipes, PEX pipes are non-conductors and therefore extremely corrosion resistant. Because of the smooth interior walls and chemical properties of PEX pipes, they are resistant to the type of mineral build-up that can interfere with the performance of metal pipes over time, and sometimes clog them completely.
Disadvantages of Cross Linked Polyethylene (PEX) Pipes
Some types of PEX pipes do not provide an impermeable membrane, allowing for the possibility of contamination. Be sure to purchase PEX pipes that hare guaranteed impermeable. In addition, PEX pipes may be damaged by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Using Cross Linked Polyethylene (PEX) Pipes
PEX pipes are easily combined with remote manifolds to:
- Reduce the amount of piping and fittings required in the house
- Speed the installation process
- Balance water pressure throughout the system
- Reduce the potential of leaks.
PEX pipes are long-lived, with an expected lifetime of 50 to 200 years, and due to their greater flexibility, less likely to burst after freezing than metal pipes.
Because PEX pipes perform so well at high temperatures and pressure, they are popular for use in:
In addition, PEX pipes are considered safe for use with both hot and cold potable water provided they have been tested in accordance with the governing standard, meet the requirements of ANSI/NSF Standard 61, and bear proper certification from a recognized testing agency.
PEX tubing comes in a variety of sizes, and is widely available at plumbing and hardware stores. It is a great alternative to metal piping for both residential and commercial use.