PEX, also known as cross-linked polyethylene
Plumbers are doing most of their repairs today with PEX and builders are using PEX more and more on new homes. PEX has also been used in Europe for a number of years now and has performed well.
You may have heard about homes that had pinhole leaks in the copper plumbing. This tends to occur more in certain parts of the country than others, possibly due to a chemical composition change in the water. In these cases, you may be wondering if the home has been piped or re-piped with PEX piping.
Like everything, there are advantages and disadvantages to PEX
Advantages: less expensive and easier to install, less skilled labor needed to install it, faster to install than copper and PEX doesn’t corrode like copper. PEX also stands up to cold or freezing temperatures better than copper.
Disadvantages include: Rodents can and do chew through the pipe at times, PEX can’t be recycled as easily as copper, is not good for exterior use, and may produce toxic smoke when burned.
Tip – If you have PEX piping, make sure to have a high-level rodent control plan.
PEX is generally considered a good product and if you need to repair or replace your copper or galvanized water lines, then PEX would be a good choice.