When you have a new home built from scratch, some of the biggest decisions you'll need to make will involve the materials. For instance, you will need to choose the material your pipes are made from. While copper and PVC are two of the most common options, a popular new choice is PEX. Short for cross-linked polyethylene, this material is flexible like a garden hose. It does have a lot of advantages, especially when used for new construction, but there are also some downsides to consider before you agree to PEX as your plumbing material.
Benefits of PEX in New Construction
It can be installed at any point during construction.
When you opt for a typical, rigid pipe material like copper, the plumbers need to come install it at a very specific stage of the construction process. This can be tough to schedule and may involve some waiting as the plumbers may not immediately be available when the construction reaches the right phase. With PEX, however, the plumbing can be installed before or after the drywall goes up. (It's easy to thread the flexible pipe behind walls.) This allows for more flexible scheduling which may allow construction to move at a faster pace overall.
You don't have to worry about joint leaks.
One of the most common issues in new construction homes is leaky plumbing joints. Often, these are discovered until move-in, and at that point, the walls are obviously up, making it hard to fix the leaks. With PEX, there are no joints — just one long tube — so you don't have to worry about these post-construction leaks.
Drawbacks of PEX in New Construction
Its longevity is not well known.
Since PEX has only been popular for a few years, plumbers are not yet sure exactly how long it lasts. It's known to be reasonably durable, but will it last 20 years? 30 years? 50 years? Nobody knows for sure. If it's important to you to know how long your plumbing will last, you may prefer a more conventional pipe choice.
It can't be used outside.
For many homes, this is not an issue, since all of the plumbing is internal. But if you plan on having an outdoor kitchen or an irrigation system for outdoor plants, PEX is a poor choice. Constant fluctuations in temperature weaken it over time.
If you won't be having outdoor pipes and don't mind just a little uncertainty, PEX can be an easy-to-install, convenient choice for new construction plumbing. Contact a plumbing company like Legacy Plumbing Inc. for more information.Share