As a homeowner, you likely understand the importance of choosing the correct pipe type. Copper piping is ideal for water supply lines and heating systems.
However, PEX is a better choice for drain and waste lines due to its noncorrosion properties compared to copper, as well as being more resistant to freezing and splitting.
PEX pipe material is more cost-effective than copper, with prices typically running 60% lower per linear foot depending on the type. This difference in cost is partly due to lower materials expenses but also means labor and installation expenses are reduced.
The cost of plumbing can vary considerably based on a house’s size, number of fixtures and pipe diameter. For instance, repiping a small 1-bathroom home with PEX tubing would cost between $2,000-$3,000 while repiping an expansive 2-story, 3-bedroom 2.5-bathroom home could prove much more costly.
On average, copper repipe jobs cost between $8,000-$10,000 more than their PEX counterparts due to more wall demolition required and additional plumbing fixtures needing installation.
Installing a copper system can be tedious due to the necessity of soldering copper pipes. Soldering is an intricate process requiring specialized tools and equipment.
On the contrary, installing a PEX system is much quicker and simpler as there is no need for soldering or other specialized tools. Most connections are made using push-to-connect fittings which makes for much quicker work than soldering copper pipes.
Another major advantage of installing PEX is that it won’t corrode. This keeps your home’s water quality uncompromised for the life of the pipe.
PEX is also resistant to mineral buildup and does not emit a ‘water hammer’ sound when shutoff valves close. These qualities, along with being eco-friendly, are why many homeowners opt for PEX construction.
Copper pipe remains a popular option for residential and commercial applications despite its shortcomings. Its superior corrosion resistance and longevity have made it the go-to choice of plumbers for decades. But before making a final decision, homeowners who wish to switch from copper pipe to PEX should take into account both pros and cons. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives available for those looking to make the switch from copper to PEX.
Copper and cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) plumbing pipe are two of the most popular materials. When selecting which material is best suited for your home, both have their own advantages that should be taken into consideration.
Durability is an integral factor when selecting pipes for your project. Not only can durability affect costs and environmental footprint, but it’s also the best option.
PEX and copper both have extensive testing programs that can give you insight into their durability over time. However, when it comes to durability, there are some key distinctions that make one option superior over the other.
Copper is a more traditional and reliable piping choice than pex, especially in residential settings. It can withstand extreme conditions while still functioning properly for years on end.
However, it can also develop leaks and corrosion over time. That is why proper installation of the piping is so essential.
Copper is more costly than PEX due to the higher energy requirements associated with mining and extraction.
PEX requires significantly less energy in production and is thus more eco-friendly than copper.
This makes it a great option for homeowners who want to reduce the environmental impact of copper pipe.
Additionally, copper is a more eco-friendly choice than its copper counterpart due to its cheaper raw materials. This means you’ll save money on your water bill too – great news!
Additionally, copper is much more durable than its copper-based counterpart; in some cases, it can last up to 100 years before needing replacing.
Another advantage of PEX is its ease of cutting and installation. You can do so with either a razor-blade-equipped rotational cutter, or use an exclusive tool designed for this task that cuts from within out.
You can also use a crimp ring to connect pipe to brass fittings, eliminating the need for soldering. This helps you save on labor costs and guarantees that installation is done correctly.
Copper pipe manufacturing and transportation has a high environmental footprint due to the use of non-renewable energy sources. On the other hand, PEX manufacturing has lower environmental effects since it uses common low-temperature extrusion techniques that are clean and sustainable.
Another advantage of PEX pipes is their longer lifespan compared to copper. Studies show a PEX system can last 10 times longer than one composed solely of copper, meaning you don’t have to worry about repiping your plumbing system as often, saving money in the long run.
PEX systems are more durable and resistant to corrosion than copper piping, especially in areas subject to heavy rainfall or snowfall. As a result, they’re better protected against pinhole leaks and scale buildup in copper pipe over time. As such, PEX systems offer greater resilience against damage compared to their copper counterparts when exposed to hard water conditions like corrosion.
PEX systems tend to use less energy than copper pipe systems since they are non-conductors and better at retaining heat. This helps keep your plumbing system’s water warm, conserving energy on your water heater and cutting down on utility bills.
PEX piping also has a low carbon footprint, with less pollution impact and emitting fewer greenhouse gases than copper does. This makes it an ideal choice for homeowners who wish to safeguard both their health and the environment.
Copper piping is less sustainable than its copper-based counterpart due to the absence of mining and manufacturing activities that use nonrenewable energy resources. The process by which copper is mined, refined and transformed into products such as piping has a significant environmental impact and often leads to the short lifespan of the pipe itself.
PEX is widely considered the greenest piping material. According to research from both The Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association (PPFA) and The European Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association (TEPPFA), PEX has a low carbon footprint due to its lower energy consumption during production than other types of piping materials.
Finally, the type of piping you select depends on your environmental goals and how the pipe will be utilized in the future. Whether installing PEX or copper piping, make sure to select a professional plumber certified by the product’s manufacturer who can guarantee that your plumbing system is constructed using eco-friendly materials and installed correctly.
Copper is an abundant metal used in numerous applications such as wiring, motors, plumbing and machinery. Furthermore, copper has the advantage of being highly eco-friendly since it can easily be recycled and repurposed for other uses.
Copper pipes are a popular choice among homeowners due to their strength and resistance to corrosion. With the capacity to last over half a century without needing maintenance, copper pipes make an ideal choice for both residential and commercial properties alike.
Copper can be recycled and repurposed into various products depending on how it’s manufactured. The initial step in the process involves separating copper scrap into its constituent parts.
#1 Copper pipe, also known as clean copper, is an uncoated piece that hasn’t been coated with paint, solder or any other materials. You might find this form of copper in the wiring of old appliances.
#2 copper pipe is often employed in electrical systems and contains some paint, solder or other materials but still contains a substantial amount of pure copper. Although this scrap may be harder to sort due to its purity level, it will typically yield greater profits due to increased profits from selling it on.
PEX A – Produced via the peroxide method, this type of pipe offers greater flexibility than its two counterparts and is often employed in residential plumbing applications due to being less expensive overall.
PEX A has the advantage of coil memory, or the ability to return to its original coiled shape when exposed to cold or hot water. This makes it the go-to choice for many home and commercial plumbers.
PEX A has a lower price point than other plastics, but its flexibility makes recycling it more challenging than other types. Therefore, when disposing of PEX A it’s important to keep this in mind as separation may prove more challenging in the future.
Copper is an incredibly easy metal to recycle, so there’s never been a better time to start. With just some effort on your part, you can help reduce landfills and make some extra money while doing your part for the environment!