difference between cpvc and pex 770x450

Pex Plumbing Advantages and Disadvantages For Plumbing Installation

pex plumbing advantages

In this article” pex plumbing advantages and PEX Plumbing disadvantages“, I will discuss and compare the advantages and PEX Plumbing disadvantages of piping technology for residential use already existing or currently existing on the market.

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Over the years, the art and science of pipes have changed dramatically.
From the first terracotta pipes in 1700 BC to the latest PEX pipe technology today, you can not make any construction without pipes.

The urban expansion we are experiencing today would not have been possible if it were not for plumbing and plumbing professionals.

If it was not a pipe, the pipe would not be possible.

Cast iron tube

In the 1960s, cast-iron pipes were the most popular form of pipes in residential buildings. Such pipes are inexpensive and relatively easy to install at that time. It is also noted that its strength and ability to withstand high pressure. At that time, this made it ideal for domestic installations. Unfortunately, cast iron, which has a major defect. Such pipes are prone to failures due to rust.

  • Most cast iron plumbing systems have at least one leak in 20 years after installation, but plumbing problems in many houses far outweigh their fair share.
  • Cast iron pipes are also called water that leaves a metallic taste.
  • This is due to the rust of iron dipped in water from the pipes.
  • Today, cast-iron pipes, due to their malfunction, are no longer used in residential pipes.

Copper Tube

Copper is probably the most widely used pipe material in the United States today.
This pipe material has long lasting durability and stability, but is soft enough to withstand shocks when crushing.

It is extremely durable and, in fact, copper pipes can be used even in upper and underground outdoor environments.

Another advantage of copper pipes is their natural resistance to bacteriological growth.
This is important because it helps to ensure that your water supply is clean and safe to use.
Finally, copper has a very high melting point and is able to withstand deformation.
This means that during the fire of the house, the pipes can remain intact and can be reused.

Although copper offers all the great things, there are some drawbacks.
The first significant drawback is the fact that copper is expensive to buy and install.

The installation of this pipe requires the skills of welding equipment and trained plumbers.
If the water contained in the copper pipe becomes too acidic, it can also suffer severe corrosion.

In addition, copper pipes can leave the water slightly metallic taste.

PVC pipes

In addition to copper, PVC pipes are one of the most common materials in residential pipe applications.
PVC is great because it is an inert and stable material that is resistant to corrosion.
It is also a very cheap material that is quick and easy to install.
Proper installation of PVC pipes at home requires a minimum of skills and tools.

The main drawback of the PVC pipe is that it is very fragile and can break or break if handled incorrectly.
This is especially true for properties located in a cold climate.
In addition, it can only be used indoors, not for water distribution (its maximum operating temperature is 140 degrees Fahrenheit).
Therefore, care should be taken when installing objects near heat such as a stove or oven.

PVC pipes

CPVC stands for chlorinated polyvinyl chloride.
This yellowish plastic polymer was invented to handle higher temperatures than conventional PVC can not afford.
It is also slightly stronger than standard PVC.
CPVC also has some advantages over copper.
It is usually a stable compound that does not corrode as easily as a copper tube.
CPVC also has 25% less installation time than copper (although it requires more support).
However, installation is not as easy as other plumbing materials (such as PEX).

The PEX Plumbing disadvantages include that it is fragile, it can not withstand very high temperatures, such as copper cans.
Other PEX Plumbing disadvantages are the high coefficient of thermal expansion.
Therefore, CPVC may not be the best choice for climates with high temperature variations.
In addition, CPVC costs twice as much as standard PVC.

Pipe line PEX

PEX is the abbreviation for “cross-linked polyethylene”.
This material is relatively new in the field of plumbing (only 20 years ago in the United States) and has a clear advantage over other materials available.
The first and most noticeable feature of this material is its flexibility.
The flexibility of the pipes allows the installer to avoid many obstacles while using fewer fittings.
The speed of installation also increases due to the usual type of compression of plumbing fixtures.
Finally, PEX, thanks to its flexibility, is very good for resisting the effects of freezing and thawing.

However, this material has some drawbacks.
Installation usually requires a wide range of support and support.
If it does not work properly, the pipe can move inside the wall by opening and closing the water (water hammer).
PEX cannot be used outdoors unless it has a UV protection coating.
PEX is also a softer material, rodents like to chew.
This can lead to a sudden and catastrophic loss of water pressure (and potential damage) at home.

Measure the advantages and disadvantages of different materials

The general consensus is that plastic pipes are the cheapest to buy and install, however, they usually can not be used outdoors, and the temperature of use is relatively low.
Copper is the way to go if you need to provide warm water or want something that is durable and durable.
Today, many houses are being built using a combination of PEX and copper pipes.
This combines the ease of installation of PEX with the durability and strength of copper.
This gives new owners the best combination of advantages that the residential plumbing industry can offer.

The following table summarizes the main features and information of various types of plumbing materials for comparison purposes.

Comparison of performance of ordinary pipes

Cast Iron
Copper (Type M) *
CPVC (Schedule 40)
PVC (Schedule 40)
PEX (Class A)
Pressure Rating @ 73°F
200 psi
225 psi
400 psi
100 psi
150 psi
Pressure Rating @ 180°F
200 psi
120 psi
100 psi
100 psi
Max Service Temp
200 °F
200 °F
.200 °F
200 °F
Softening Point (Vicat Test)
295 °F
250 °F
255 °F
Melting Point
2,300 °F
1,981 °F
428 °F
360 °F
270 °F
Thermal Expansion
0.000006 in/in/°F
0.000009 in/in/°F
0.000037 in/in/°F
0.000028 in/in/°F
0.000083 in/in/°F
Tensile Strength @ 180°F
25,000 lbs
34,800 lbs
8,700 lbs
6,500 lbs
1,806 lbs
12.2 lbs/ft
0.33 lbs/ft
0.23 lbs/ft
0.21 lbs/ft
0.1 lbs/ft

Specific Gravity
Corrosion Resitance
Life Expectancy
20-75 years
50-75 years
75-100 years
75-100 years
75-100 years
Thermal Conductivity
3.8 Btu in /h ft² °F
19.2 Btu in /h ft² °F
1 Btu in /h ft² °F
1.1 Btu in /h ft² °F
3.2 Btu in /h ft² °F
Specific Heat
0.11 Btu/lb °F
0.09 Btu/lb °F
0.2 Btu/lb °F
0.25 Btu/lb °F
0.55 Btu/lb °F


Data from over 100 resources, including textbooks, websites and other technical guides.

The given attribute is 3/4 “or the equivalent of pipes, but cast iron is 3 inches in diameter.

Note: The bonding method and material will determine the nominal pressure of copper.
In this table, tin/lead solder 50-50 is used, because it is the weakest of all common copper connection methods.

Is PEX Plumbing Right for You?

There isn’t a perfect material for water pipes—copper pipes have their own problems, such as installation cost. And while PEX still has a few kinks to work out, millions of U.S. homes rely on it every day.

At Smart Choice Plumbing, we just believe that you should know and understand your options, so you can always make the smart choice for your home. To learn more about PEX and your other water piping options.

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