PEX tubing

17 Replies

Everyone that I have spoken too recently in terms of plumbing has been praising this stuff so I did some research and found a lot of faulty material. What are some personnel opinions on the topic?

PEX is great. A lot cheaper than copper and you don't even necessarily need special tools if you use push fittings.  I like the Mueller pro-line brand sold at Lowes because the fittings are cheaper than the other brands.  The plastic push fittings are also nice because they're less likely to get stolen and they are easier to remove.

I have re-plumbed 4 buildings completely with PEX so far and have had 1 defective shutoff valve leak.  The first one was done 4 years ago and it is holding up with no issues.  I love this stuff...much easier than copper.  I will definitely continue to use and recommend it.

Use the thick-wall stuff and you will be happy with it. I was a plumber in college and I always swore by copper, and hard plastics if it had to be, but the PEX they are making now is pretty good stuff. 

I do not like the pex faucet shutoff valves because they tend to screw up if you turn them when it's cold inside.  I like the $8-10 push fitting shutoff valves.  I also like the push fitting braided hoses for water heaters because they also work for clawfoot tubs.

PEX is really good for colder climates, where the temperature fluctuates. Like everyone else said, the price is hard to beat. If you are using it for a rental property, it's a no brainer. If it was for your personal residence, I would put in copper. 

Thank you for the replies everybody! I have done some more research and apparently there are some faulty companies, but for the most part that is in the past. I can't seem to find anything recently about class action law suits. It seems the general answer I am getting is a yes. I've read about the freeze burst resistance among other feature that PEX pipe offers, and it seems to be a really innovative thing. I am just worried about regretting the decision in time.

Personally, I love this stuff, but do yourself a favor and get the tool for the connectors and don't use the push on type. The tool is only about $100. And in my area, this makes the connectors cheaper and higher quality. I wouldn't want to have a push on connector on a water line o have pressure on. If doing an entire house, you'll easily save the cost of the crimp on tool by not having to buy the more expensive/cheaper made fittings.

im using a combination of pex and copper in my flip now.I use copper at all the terminations where the pipes come into the cabinets and hook up to all fixtures.I use the pex for the long runs and in the walls.I do this because the pipes that are exspodes in cabinets and coming out of the floor tend to get banged up a bit,and also during construction the get some abuse.its just a little insurance and the amount of copper used is minimal.buy the crimp tool its well worth it.

The whole world is using PEX. No worries.

There were lawsuits 20+ years ago regarding Polybutelene in mobile homes. Mainly the fittings and leaks.

For the record I even built a house in 1992. I used Polybutelene, No issues for 23 years, I still live there, Always will. 

Get the tab crimp type tool and collars, the tool is much cheaper and much easier to reach into tight spaces during a reno since you don't have to get around the pipe, just grab the tab and crimp. The swage type might be better for new construction.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/SharkBite-Full-Size-Sta...

I purchased a house a few years ago that was already re-plumbed with PEX. The tenants abandoned the house in the middle of winter without notifying me, and the lines froze. To my surprise, the PEX lines were fine, but the faucets and the pressure valve on the water heater needed to be replaced. I was sold on it from that point, especially since it has no scrap value.

The stainless steel crimp rings system work great. You only need one tool for all pipe sizes (just different ring sizes) You can buy the tool on Amazon for 50$

Push fittings are great for exposed areas like shutoff valves or basements with open or drop ceilings. It isn't a good idea to use push fitting connections in areas that are going to be hidden/walled up. 

Lots of great input here.

I use pex quite often, but like @Sam Ball said, its always a good idea to do your terminations (where your pipe comes through cabinets and such) in copper. people have a tendency to shove as much stuff under those cabinets as possible and the copper will take the beating better.

Also, don't be cheap! I have fixed more burst pex lines then I can count. Yes they are a lot less likely to burst in freezing conditions, but that doesn't make them bulletproof. The Quality of your pex can make an enormous difference.

I use Uponor quite often. the rings are designed with a "memory". In other words, you slip the ring on and expand both the ring and the pipe. Then the ring attempts to compress back to its original shape. Thus the ring spends its entire time compressing that joint. higher quality pex, and way less likely to push off if something happens.

For those of you that don't like pex, and prefer copper. Check out Pro press fittings.

and since there are far fewer fittings -- 90's and 45's-- there is less pressure and volume loss at the user end.

Works well if installed properly.

I had a property with pex and either because they were not crimped properly or for whatever reason, there would be a slow leak and the slightly acidic water (well) would eat away at the fittings, causing many leaks and replacements. 

Originally posted by @Percy N. :

Works well if installed properly.

I had a property with pex and either because they were not crimped properly or for whatever reason, there would be a slow leak and the slightly acidic water (well) would eat away at the fittings, causing many leaks and replacements. 

 The way it was explained to me about water quality was if there was a possibility of corrosion then use the plastic fittings vs the metal which is what we do here in the Texas hill country.

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