Replumb: PEX versus CPVC

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PEX versus CPVC is hotly debated within the plumbing industry

Choosing between CPVC “Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride” and PEX “Cross-linked Polyethylene” water supply piping for a replumb or new construction application can be a difficult decision that requires careful thought. Both plumbing products are used extensively throughout the country in the residential plumbing industry with each having both positive and negative traits. While this has been a long-standing debate—which product is best—between industry professionals, this post will point out the basic pros and cons for each material type to help you decide which type is best for your project.

PEX: PEX pipe is a very flexible plumbing product used for both residential remodeling as well as new construction applications.

Pros

  • Fewer fittings can mean less chance of leaks
  • Extremely versatile and can be used for both hot and cold water supply lines
  • Flexibility allows for greater expansion and more burst resistance
  • Flexibility allows the material to be bent around a corner without the use of a fitting
  • Resistant to temperature extremes, stress and chemical attack
  • Less fittings can mean easier installation and reduced leak points
  • Does not require the use of torches, glue or solvents
  • Dampens rushing water noise such as water hammer

Cons

  • Not recommended for exterior applications where pipe is exposed
  • Is not recyclable
  • Because it provides an impermeable membrane, there is a small chance for water contamination


CPVC:
CPVC and PVC are time-tested products that have been in use for over fifty years in the plumbing industry.

Pros

  • Contains extra chlorine increasing its safety for potable water
  • Pipes and fittings are easy to work with which makes them ideal for novice home repairs
  • Are suitable for both hot and cold water supply lines
  • More flexible than standard PVC “Polyvinyl Chloride” piping

Cons

  • Can split when subjected to freezing temperatures
  • Is not recyclable
  • Increased fittings can mean increased installation labor and more potential leaking points

As you may have figured out by now, both plumbing products carry advantages and disadvantages over each other and choosing one over the other can be a difficult if not mind-numbing decision. While many professional plumbing contractors use PEX plumbing there are also many who prefer PVC and CPVC or that simply stick to copper tubing. The decision on which plumbing material is best for your replumb or new construction project will depend on the location of your home, the climate and your budget as well as recommendations from your plumbing contractor.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

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