Is Pex Pipe a Better Plumbing Alternative to PVC?

Ever seen blue and red pipe protruding from various commercial establishments or professional offices, but are not sure what its purpose is? Well, this pipe is growing in popularity among many who run pipes frequently, and it is probably coming to a home near you.

Cross-linked polyethylene, or PEX pipe, is taking over where traditional galvanized steel and copper piping left off, due to its flexibility in water supply lines for both new construction and renovation jobs.

Let us learn how a German scientist’s experiment turned into the PEX pipe used by thousands of licensed plumbers today.

Introduction to PEX pipe

This is good stuff

This colorful pipe, although it has been used in European construction projects since the mid-1980s, made its way to America much later, simply because the pipe had too many restrictions. Today’s PEX pipe is far superior to what was initially created in 1968.

PEX comes in several colors and sizes. Size-wise, standard diameters are 3/8” to 1”; color-wise, the fact it comes in easy-to-identify hues makes installation easy. Red (hot), blue (cold), white (either) and gray (either) are standard PEX pipe colors used in plumbing installations.

The beauty of PEX is that its flexibility and quick installation reduces the labor factor, which is awesome news for customers needing whole house pipe reinstallation.

Also, PEX requires no soldering and connects to fittings without much effort. It is noncorrosive, easy to change out and can eliminate many problems that other nonflexible piping can cause in residential and commercial water lines.

But is it better than PVC?

Depends on where you use it

The problem with traditional polyvinyl chloride pipe is the lack of flexibility and the sometimes confusing identification of hot and cold water lines. Conversely, PEX pipe cannot be used outside nor does it recycle well.

Another drawback to PEX is the need for special connectors, which can incur costs. PVC pipe connects with pipe glue and sheer strength.

Sweating copper and using glues are eliminated when PEX is used, so that is an added bonus for DIY pros and plumbers alike.

If you eliminate the need to change outside water lines, there is no better pipe to use than PEX pipe, and many pros will agree. Costs would come in a little higher than PVC installation but are well worth the long-term benefits.

The verdict

Which do you think is better?

Because it is color-coded, flexible and makes connecting pipes to various equipment like hot water heaters much simpler, PEX pipe is the better option here without respect to cost. It can withstand slight freezing, although direct exposure to outside cold may be detrimental over time.

The biggest revolution to hit plumbing in years is PEX, and according to what many people are experiencing, it is here to stay. Expect roughly 30-50 years of good use and little maintenance when switching to this new plumbing type.

Plumbers in Cerritos are using PEX pipe in more residential and commercial applications than ever before. If you are looking to redo your interior plumbing system and want PEX as your material of choice, phone us anytime at (562) 457-4206, and check out our website daily at

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