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Pex or Copper

71028 Views 130 Replies 45 Participants Last post by  ASMCHICO
I am finalizing plans for my new house and have talked to severyl local contractors. 2/3 of them recommend Pex and the remainder would use copper. I understand all of the advantages of Pex over copper. But I am conserned about the longevity of it. what are your opinions on my Pex vs Copper debate.
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I have seen catastrophic failure of polyethelene when exposed to certain chemicals. The tube walls were so weak that they would crumble with the slightest finger pressure, cleaning solutions or something else stored under the sink was the suspected cause.
Copper has been around for ages and gets my vote.
I would go with pex, that is all you see here anymore. The pipe is very tough I am wondering if your thinking of the old gray poly tub that was mainly used for trailer houes, know that stuff is bad. The testing I have seen on pex tells me that the pipe is really tuff and hard to damage. What I make the contractors do here is test the piping with 100psi of air. But, copper has been around for ever and works good. Pex in my mind is just as good if not better.

Justin
Teetorbilt said:
I have seen catastrophic failure of polyethelene when exposed to certain chemicals. The tube walls were so weak that they would crumble with the slightest finger pressure, cleaning solutions or something else stored under the sink was the suspected cause.
Copper has been around for ages and gets my vote.
Pex just got approved in MA. I've heard of a lot of good things about it on other forums but, no local experiences. I'm a hard sell so I'm with copper all the way until.....
I'm familiar with Qest polybutylene right up to the class action lawsuit. It seemed like a good idea at the time, hope that the same does not apply to PEX. I would feel better if it was polyurethane instead of polyethylene but then it would be 3 times the price. The whole idea is to save time and money, what is best is #3 on most peoples list.
I do several rehabs of my own each year. All of them have been refitted with PEX for speed of installation mainly. These are either flips or rentals. I don't care how long it lasts, because I won't own them long enough to find out.
Wow!
mdshunk said:
I don't care how long it lasts, because I won't own them long enough to find out.
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Any renos or new construction I do now, I use pex. The stuff is bombproof, Ive done thousands of crimps and have not yet (touch wood) had a drip. You can run it through stud walls with no joints, cut it easily, add pieces and subtract pieces, it doesn't require drying or even draining to be connected. It's true it hasn't been around as long as copper, but at one time copper hadn't been around as long as iron.
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In the intrest of this question I use both systems daily, both have there good and bad points. However if you are looking for good looks and repairable in the future with parts obtained from your local hadware store, then go with copper.
If you are looking for speed and are not too concerened with looks, as pex is inpossable to keep neet then go with it. However if you do intend to do any repairs and or upgrades to this system, you may have a problem with getting parts and tools to make such repairs, as if you are not certified to install most supply houses will not sell to you.
Also even the simple expation tool used for the installation is about $300.00,
add that to your shopping cart as well.

BJD
Bjd is correct on the cost of the tools, as for the looks need to take so me pride in the work, I have contractors that put copper in very sloppy. I hound then and hound them until they install the pex or copper in a professional way. I think and I have seen that you can make pex look as good if not better then copper.
The more pex is being used the more your going to find replacement parts and tool rentail, we have to hardwar stores that supply and rent all the tools you will need to do the job.
One last thing pex is quiter, you get hot water faster to the fixture, and the pipe will be around for ever.
faster dosen't always mean slopper.
Justin
Holy crap batman!
:eek: :eek: :eek:
mdshunk said:
I don't care how long it lasts, because I won't own them long enough to find out.
Calm down guys.... it's a recognized piping system that is 100% code compliant. It's not like I'm having a place piped up with bendy straws from McDonald's. There's a time and place for craftsmanship, and there's a time and place for business. Rehabs to flip are business.
Mike Finley said:
Holy crap batman!
:eek: :eek: :eek:
Straws are polypropylene. The charactristics are not much different than polyethelyenes.
True enough, but straws do not seem to have an ASTM standard number. :cheesygri Plus, they are not one of the eleven accepted water piping materials listed in IRC Table 2904.5.
Teetorbilt said:
Straws are polypropylene. The charactristics are not much different than polyethelyenes.
md, I dealt in operational and prototype pneumatic and water hydraulic systems for 12 yrs. The failures were much more frequent from external sources. Absolute causes were never identified due to cost of evaluation. To save many projects, we went to polyurethane tubing.
md, I dealt in operational and prototype pneumatic and water hydraulic systems for 12 yrs. The failures were much more frequent from external sources. Absolute causes were never identified due to cost of evaluation. To save many projects, we went to polyurethane tubing.
I run copper to my icemaker.
The crimping tool here costs about $240 and crimps both 1/2" and 3/4", the parts are available everywhere
Bjd said:
In the intrest of this question I use both systems daily, both have there good and bad points. However if you are looking for good looks and repairable in the future with parts obtained from your local hadware store, then go with copper.
If you are looking for speed and are not too concerened with looks, as pex is inpossable to keep neet then go with it. However if you do intend to do any repairs and or upgrades to this system, you may have a problem with getting parts and tools to make such repairs, as if you are not certified to install most supply houses will not sell to you.
Also even the simple expation tool used for the installation is about $300.00,
add that to your shopping cart as well.

BJD
I'm glad we got that cleared up after 8 years with a one word answer
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When the victory is that decisive a one word answer is all that it takes.
wyoming 1 said:
I'm glad we got that cleared up after 8 years with a one word answer
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