Should I choose a copper or PEX pipe?

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When it comes to plumbing systems, one important decision you’ll need to make is whether to use copper pipes or PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) pipes. Both options have their pros and cons, and understanding the differences between them can help you make an informed choice. In this article, we will compare copper pipe fittings and PEX pipes, highlighting their features and benefits.

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Copper pipe fittings: traditional and reliable

Copper pipes have been used for plumbing for centuries and are known for their durability and reliability. Copper pipe fittings are commonly used in residential and commercial applications. One of the major advantages of copper pipe fittings is their resistance to corrosion, making them ideal for both hot and cold water supply lines. Additionally, copper is a natural biostatic material, meaning it inhibits the growth of bacteria, making it a safe choice for potable water.

PEX pipes: flexible and versatile

PEX pipes are a relatively newer plumbing option that has gained popularity in recent years. Made from a flexible plastic material, PEX pipes offer several advantages over copper. One of the primary benefits of PEX is its flexibility, which allows for easy installation in tight spaces and around corners. It also requires fewer fittings, reducing the potential for leaks.

Comparing the Two

Cost: Copper pipes are generally more expensive than PEX pipes, especially when considering the cost of copper pipe fittings. PEX is often more cost-effective, especially for larger plumbing projects.

Installation: While professionals can install both copper and PEX pipes, PEX is generally easier and faster to install due to its flexibility. It requires fewer connections and fittings, which can save time and money during installation.

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Durability: Copper pipes are known for their long lifespan, often lasting 50 years or more. PEX pipes are also durable, but their lifespan may be slightly shorter, typically around 40 years.

Water Quality: Copper pipes have a long-standing reputation for providing excellent water quality. PEX pipes are also safe for potable water, but there have been concerns about the potential for chemical leaching, especially when exposed to higher temperatures.

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