Choosing Between Copper and PEX Piping for Your Home

With everything going on in your daily life, it’s oftentimes easier to avoid asking the tough questions about your residence. One of these concerns, which remains so important, is where your water comes from and how it arrives to your kitchen or bathroom. The obvious answer is pipes, but what kind of pipes are found in your home?

History vs. Today

Historically, underground pipes have been put into place in growing cities to better supply water to rising populations. During Queen Victoria’s rule of the British Empire from 1837 through 1901, a huge number of pipes were installed in London, and around 30% of these pipes remain in use today. Although this water passes all safety standards, it can still be a bit odd and off-putting to think that the pipes water travels through are nearly two centuries old. This situation exists elsewhere as well, with many cities and regional towns experiencing the need to ensure clean water can be delivered to the entire population. Your local plumbing company and plumbing contractors will lead the way in making sure all homes are properly fitted with safe and working pipes.

Main Choices

While municipal pipes are one thing, the private pipes that deliver water to your beloved home are another. Whether you’re in the midst of constructing a new home, renovating your current space or just replacing faulty plumbing, copper pipes are still thought of as the norm. The experts specializing in plumbing installation services in Gainesville, GA, would tell that they encounter many copper pipes, particularly in historic homes. However, modern advances in plumbing technology have allowed for a new option called PEX piping. Formally known as cross-linked polythene, this piping has been made from extremely durable polythene (plastic) with impressively strong cross-links. Although PEX first appeared in the 1930’s, it wasn’t until production processes improved that it became known as a truly viable alternative to copper piping.

Positives of PEX

As a synthetic material, PEX does not have as many environmental implications as its copper counterparts, which are made with a non-renewable resource. Although many newer copper pipes are created from recycled copper, they are still much more costly than PEX, which has become more popular for both residential and commercial plumbing as copper prices continue to rise. Most plumbing contractors have seen a rise in demand for PEX plumbing installation services, as this material has shown off these key benefits.

Positives of Copper

Despite the arrival of PEEX on the plumbing scene, copper has remained a go-to choice for the industry due to its longevity and durability. In many cases, newly installed copper pipes will come with a manufacturer 50-year warranty, which is pretty attractive for homeowners everywhere. PEX does have a long shelf life, but it just can’t compete with copper’s durability. This is especially relevant for areas prone to natural disasters like flooding and wildfires. Even in the event of significant damage, copper pipes often survive these incidents unscathed, while PEX is more likely to succumb to floodwaters or extreme temperatures.

Ultimate Decision

When it comes to making the choice between copper piping and PEX, you should think about your needs and have an open and honest conversation with your contractor and plumber. They can help you go over the options in more detail. A lot of homeowners will lean toward the ease and lower cost of PEX, which can also have stronger water pressure. That’s because PEX is typically installed with less abrupt turns within your wall, so water doesn’t have to slow down as much on its way to your shower. In places with harsh winters, PEX is oftentimes the better option as it’s less likely to crack from frozen water than copper pipes. Regardless of which type of piping you go with, you should keep in mind that it’s unlikely to last for centuries, so you should focus on what is best for you and your budget right now. While both options have their benefits, increasing copper prices and ongoing environmental concerns about the material’s supply may lead to PEX taking over as the most used piping within the next decade. If you want to replace or install new plumbing in your home, Gainesville Mechanical can help you make the right call for the best price. Call today (770) 532-9130.


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