plumbing pipe types PEX copper

Plumbing Pipe Types: PEX and Copper Varieties

At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, we’re well aware that home services like our plumbing solutions are a partnership with our customers. Homeowners will often perform basic upkeep or maintenance areas here, such as plunging a backed-up toilet, for instance, but then there are also areas where leaving an issue to our trained plumbers is the right move, both for your safety and for the quality of your plumbing – such as a trenchless sewer line repair.

For the involved homeowner who cares about the quality and long-term value of their property, there’s another area here: General education and knowledge. While there will always be certain advanced plumbing jobs untrained homeowners should never attempt, increasing your body of knowledge in general plumbing areas will help you understand and manage your system more effectively on a day-to-day basis. One piece of education many homeowners can benefit from: Knowing the different kinds of pipes that might be present in your plumbing system, plus whether they’re right for the purpose they’re serving and whether you should perhaps consider a replacement in certain areas. This two-part blog series will go over all the primary plumbing pipe variations.

PEX Pipes

One of the most common forms of piping used today for both homes and businesses is PEX piping, or polyethylene piping. PEX piping has several benefits, the largest of which in many circumstances is its flexibility – it’s not as rigid as other pipe types, making it simpler to both install and maintain.

In addition, PEX pipe is highly heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant, plus durable and long-lasting. It also requires virtually no regular maintenance, plus saves energy through heat conservation. This means that installation costs tend to be somewhat high up-front, but this cost is generally recouped quickly due to the quality of these pipes. It’s one of the first choices for new buildings today.

Rigid Copper Pipes

There are two different copper pipe formats that might be utilized in plumbing. The first is rigid copper, which is most common for water supply lines in homes and other buildings. This pipe does bend slightly despite its name, but is relatively solid. It does well against heat and pressure, plus is easy to recycle.

On the flip side, rigid copper pipe is tough to install and can be expensive. It’s also susceptible to corrosion or pinhole leaks over time without proper maintenance.

Flexible Copper Pipes

Flexible copper pipe, on the other hand, is a pipe or tubing format used to connect to fridges, water heaters and certain sinks. It’s only for short runs, fitting in small spaces and coming with a high heat tolerance. Like rigid copper, it’s expensive and may be prone to structural risks if it’s not well-maintained.

For more on the kinds of pipes often found in homes and buildings today, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.