PEX Pipes vs Copper Pipes

Sioux Falls Plumbing Repair: PEX Pipes vs Copper Pipes in Cold Climate

pex pipes vs copper pipes

Every so often we get a call from a new homeowner or prospective home buyer asking us about plastic pipe durability.Generally speaking, when it comes to smaller repairs we will go back with the same type of pipe which you had before, generally copper or PEX. However, in larger repairs or re-pipes we will go back exclusively with PEX.

Most people assume that metal pipes last longer than plastic pipes. However, this is a misnomer. In many instances, plastic pipes are actually the best choice for your home, though it is important to know which kind of plastic is being used. Continue reading to find out more about which plastic pipes are durable, flexible, affordable and of the best quality.

Most Metal Pipes Need Replaced

First off, most metal pipes should be replaced with plastic. Lead pipes which were widely used in the early to mid 20th century can actually lead to lead poisoning. On the other hand, galvanized steel pipes tend to totally rust out after 20 or 30 years. Copper is probably one of the better metal pipes, but could have lead in the solder. Copper also tends to pit out and leak over time. We have very hard water in Sioux Falls and there are a lot of chemicals in the water which are hard on our metal pipes.

The Benefits of PEX Pipe

Fortunately, there is an excellent pipe choice that is both affordable and long lasting. When it comes to water lines you will want to have PEX water lines installed. PEX, or cross-linked polyethylene pipe, is about 30% less expensive than copper and it doesn’t corrode from acidic water. PEX pipe also has no known issues with pin holes, is flexible and easier to install, and significantly reduces the likelihood of a frozen burst water pipe during our long cold Sioux Falls winters.

The Benefits of PVC Pipe

On the drain side you should have PVC pipe, or polyvinyl chloride installed. We recommend that you avoid using PVC for your water lines since it is not rated for hot water usage. PVC also tends to get brittle and crack over time. The same brittle cracking happens with CPVC pipe, which is rated for hot water usage.

Plastic Pipes to Avoid

You should avoid grey plastic polybutylene pipes. Another plastic pipe to avoid is Kitec pipe, which is blue or orange. Neither one of these piping systems are in use anymore due to the potential for flooding homes and causing water damage. If you have polybutylene or Kitec pipe then you are ready for a re-pipe.

If you suspect that your metal piping system is ready to be repiped with plastic or if you are concerned that you may have a recalled piping material installed in your home then call our team of re-pipe specialists at Comfort Heroes and we will send one of our Service Experts out to evaluate your needs and provide you with a list of options.