Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?
16 posts / 0 new
Last post
Rekonn
any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

I'm in the process of buying a house built in 1928 in MA. The inspection found multiple spots where brass was connected to copper, resulting in corrosion. He recommended replacing it with Pex. I've been doing a little reading and watching youtube videos, it all sounds great. Are there any downsides to replacing all supply lines in the basement with Pex up to the risers?

MLB Construction
Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

i can't think of one downside, i use it all the time.

A. Spruce
Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

Pros:
1 - It's cheap

Cons:
1 - Mice and rats LOVE it.
2 - It's plastic

johnjh2o
Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

Pex is the way to go. But your statement about copper being connected to brass, are you sure he said brass and not galvanized pipe? There is no problem with copper to brass. What may be the case in a home that age is the piping is threaded brass which is failing do to its age.

dj1
Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

Brass has copper in it, and it doesn't corrode when attached to a copper fitting.

PEX could be the right pipe for you. The jury is still out on PEX and the risk of plastic in drinking water. It could take decades to find out it's not safe. It was approved to be used in CALIF only 3-4 years ago, yet very few plumbers use it here.

In the meantime, it's cheap, easy to install, has fewer connections - plumbers and DIYers love it, in places where it's to code. Just don't expose it to sun and light.

Rekonn
Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

Thanks! The rats/mice point is interesting, haven't seen that yet. I have two cats though, so that should help. :) I have no worries about it being plastic either.

Here's a quote from my inspection report:
"There is brass water piping that has electrolysis in a number of locations . Some areas are taped. This is older piping that is nearing the end of its life . The need to replace the brass water piping should be expected."

I'll keep the light exposure in mind. I'm planning to (someday) finish the basement too, at which point it shouldn't be exposed.

I'm strongly considering replacing all supply lines throughout the house and having a manifold system.

guy48065
Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?
willsonsarah wrote:

...Pex piping, it is basically crossed-linked polyethylene pipe that makes it undurable and long lasting...

I'll remember that next time some environmentalist tries to convince me poly lasts forever.

Timothy Miller
Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

Howdy, manifolds sure use allot of additional pipe. The 25 year warranty seems too short for plumbing compared to copper. But the $$$ difference and ease of running pipe is very appealing to me. Check out Dahl of Canada plumbings pex shutoff valves and the UV shielding for stub out with pex instead of copper. I'm re plumbing a grand old home an using the stainless steel crimp rings - one tool to crimp makes the job easy and inexpensive.

johnjh2o
Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?
Timothy Miller wrote:

Howdy, manifolds sure use allot of additional pipe. The 25 year warranty seems too short for plumbing compared to copper. But the $$$ difference and ease of running pipe is very appealing to me. Check out Dahl of Canada plumbings pex shutoff valves and the UV shielding for stub out with pex instead of copper. I'm re plumbing a grand old home an using the stainless steel crimp rings - one tool to crimp makes the job easy and inexpensive.

There is no warranty on copper and it will fail, in many cases in less then 25 years.

Rekonn
Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

Wilsonsarah, do you have a link to an article or something that shows it to not last long? One weakness of PEX is vs UV light, is that what you're talking about?

Copper looks like it's vulnerable to certain pH levels, whereas PEX is not. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpZLft4WLss

The 25 year warranty for PEX is pretty impressive, and leads me to believe it will last if a company is willing to stand behind it for that long.

One downside to PEX I've found on the internet is a few cases of people saying it leaves a plastic taste in their water. Some attribute that to confusion between PEX and CPVC, while others think there may be some bad brands of PEX that you should stay away from.

I think I can avoid that issue by buying a known brand from a reputable store. PexSupply.com looks like a solid site, with a great rating from resellerratings.com. Their products have lots of positive reviews too. For instance, 1/2" Rifeng PEX looks great with a 4.9 out 5 rating from 61 reviews. Would you guys agree?

Fencepost
Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

Copper isn't a panacea, either.

Certain water conditions may cause corrosion of copper, or react with the copper to leach harmful copper compounds into the water.

Some plastics indeed are harmful, but polyethylene is considered a food-safe material by the FDA. Milk jugs are made of polyethylene; paper milk cartons and the lids of glass milk bottles are also coated with polyethylene. Cross-linked polyethylene is even more stable and less likely to leach harmful compounds into the water.

Pages

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.