PEX vs Copper


Plumbing problems are a frequent area of concern for many people. The main reason for this concern is a lack of knowledge about the types of plumbing pipe systems that are available. The two main choices for potable plumbing systems are PEX and copper. Once you know the basics, you will find it easy to make the best decision for your plumbing pipe.



PEX tubing is cross-linked polyethylene pipe. It is an excellent material for plumbing, as it is durable for both hot and cold temperatures. It is also an exceptional piping option for all types of water systems and does not burst when the temperatures rise or fall.

PEX tubing is rated for potable water and is safe for use in drinking water applications. The installation process for the tubing pipes requires less labor, which makes the systems less expensive. However, PEX cannot be used for exposed outdoor plumbing, because the tubing can be damaged easily by Ultra Violet (UV) rays from the sun.


Advantages of  PEX piping:

  • At least three times cheaper than Copper
  • Can be installed into any pre-existing plumbing system
  • Works with hot and cold water applications
  • Fewer fittings needed for installation
  • Corrosion resistant, due to non-ferrous components
  • Applicable to be connected to all types of piping
  • Can expand and retract, making it less prone to bursting
  • Flexibility allows for easy installation around corners
  • Lightweight of tubing aids in installation
  • Does not allow miner scaling
  • Eliminates water hammer possibilities


Disadvantages of PEX piping:

  • Exposure to UV(Ultra Violet) rays can cause damage to pipe
  • Cannot be recycled
  • Not for outdoor applications (exept special PEX with insulation)



Most plumbers choose copper tubing because of its familiarity. Since copper pipes have been used for many years, people prefer it for its durability. Copper is not damaged by the UV rays of the sun. However, copper pipes are expensive and heavy, as compared to PEX, as copper requires more labor to install.


Advantages of copper piping:

  • Extremely durable, life expectancy up to 100 years
  • Bacteria will not grow in the copper pipes
  • Corrosion resistant, under most conditions
  • Recyclable, can be used again


Disadvantages of copper piping:

  • It is expensive
  • Can build corrosion internally
  • Copper pipe can freeze and burst in cold weather


Both PEX and copper are good options; however, both have some advantages and disadvantages as well. PEX is less expensive, and fast to install, while copper is more expensive and can burst in cold weather.




































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