PEX vs CPVC to Replace Galvanized Pipes in Duplex

4 Replies

Hello BP,

I am currently renovating a duplex (built in 1930) I recently purchased and I have a question about re-plumbing the home. The galvanized piping throughout the house is corroded and needs to be replaced, and I am trying to decide between using CPVC and PEX. Does PEX piping throughout the home increase the appraisal/resale value at all? Is there any functional difference aside from freeze/thaw cycles between the two? When it comes time to sell the property at some point in the future will the PEX piping improve my ability to sell the home or does the plumbing not really matter to (most likely other investors) so long as it works? I have CPVC left over from a previous project so that would be the cheaper route, but since all the plumbing needs to be replaced anyway I figured if PEX piping has an intrinsic advantage over CPVC I might as well "do it right" while I have the chance. Any and all thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

@Arthur Cross-Najafi I would go with PEX over CPVC but I am in a cold climate where freeze protection is a major concern. PEX generally has less joints because you are running reels of hose. It is flexible to an extent, so it can easily move around things. CPVC is rigid and requires more joints. Generally PEX is more reliable unless exposed to sunlight. If the pipes are outdoors, they should be CPVC or copper. As far as resale value, it probably depends on location. In my part of the country, CPVC would be frowned upon, but down south probably not an issue.

The average buyer may not know the difference however, PEX is a superior product and if you are going through the expense to redo all the plumbing, I would go with PEX. Adding that to your description upon sale and pointing it out to buyers will certainly help and not hurt your efforts to getting top dollar. WHat people see and touch is certainly more helpful to your bottom line like kitchen remodels, baths, curb appeal, etc.

I'll echo what has been said already.  PEX all the way.  In my part of the country, PEX has a very bad reputation.  We recently had an abnormally cold winter and the houses with CPVC were the first to have frozen and burst pipes.  I would mention it briefly in your marketing as well.

PEX is cheaper to install and has the added advantage of not bursting as easily but it should be noted that it will burst too.  One advantage of CPVC is that can take hotter water than PEX but above 140 degrees where PEX fails you are likely to have scalding anyway.  One consideration is that copper actually kills bacteria and algae unlike the plastic options.  Some people have had horrible experiences with pinhole leaks from copper pipes.  In the end, I doubt most buyers care.