PEX Water Piping: A Thing of Beauty

This post will probably solidify my standing as a big house dork, but frankly, I don’t care. This is how much I admire, and envy those that have, PEX water piping.

Unless you live in a new construction home, your water pipes are most likely made of copper or old galvanized iron. They run along your basement ceiling, sometimes cutting into joists, making various twists and turns before they disappear into the floor above and up the walls of your home. Copper and is nice and all, but it’s expensive and all of the joints required to make the twists and turns will eventually leak. It also doesn’t have any expansion capacity, so if you’re unfortunate enough to have your pipes freeze, they’ll burst, leaving you with a big mess to remediate.

Now enter in plastic PEX (Crosslink Polyethylene) water piping. The coolest thing since portable air conditioners. Here’s a picture of a PEX system at a new construction townhouse that one of my clients is closing on next week.

The yellow pipes are the gas lines. The red and blue pipes are the hot and cold PEX water pipes. Look how neat and tidy everything is with the PEX pipes! The lines are clearly identifiable as hot and cold based on their color, can be easily bundled, make twists and turns without joints, and it’s orders of magnitude cheaper than copper due to lower material and installation costs. Additionally, PEX is expandable, so if the water in your pipes freezes, PEX may not burst like a conventional pipe.

If you’re updating water pipes in your home, you may want to ask your plumber about PEX. In the meantime, you can learn more about PEX here and here. Happy plumbing!


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