Understanding the Drawbacks of PEX Plumbing

Plumber in Charlottesville, VA

Installing PEX plumbing in your home might seem like a good idea since it doesn’t require soldering like galvanized steel and copper pipes do. Moreover, given that these colorful tubes of cross-linked polyethylene naturally expand, they’re also believed to be more resistant to freezing than other options. PEX pipes are resistant to corrosion which makes them seemingly ideal for water supply lines and radiant heat flooring systems. However, before you purchase and install PEX plumbing, there are a few major drawbacks that you should know.

PEX Plumbing Is Known to Leach Toxic Materials

One of the most common uses for PEX plumbing is at water supply lines. This is problematic given that this material is known to leach both BPA and many other harmful chemicals. There are three different types of PEX that can be used in residential plumbing systems: type A, B, and C. Of the three, only B has consistently proven problem-free in this area.

PEX Is Semi-Permeable

PEX has a noteworthy level of permeability which means that water and other liquids can enter PEX pipes. For water supply lines, this poses the constant threat of contamination. While copper piping is inherently antimicrobial, PEX is most certainly not.

PEX Pipes Aren’t Resilient to High Heats

Never mind that PEX pipes are resilient to freezing temperatures in winter. This benefit is greatly offset by the fact that PEX plumbing cannot stand up to high heat. It cannot be installed anywhere near heat-generating appliances or even near recessed lighting.

These Pipes Are Also Extremely Photo-Sensitive

Homeowners often find PEX plumbing appealing due to its easy installation. However, this material is incredibly photo-sensitive. It should never be exposed to any UV light for extended periods of time. PEX manufacturers recommend limiting light exposure when this material is installed.

At Beck Cohen, we’re committed to keeping our clients well-informed. If you need help choosing the right pipes for your home, we’ve got you covered. We’ve been providing quality electrical, plumbing, and indoor air quality services to residents of the greater Charlottesville, VA area since 1955. Call us today for a consultation!