While most people think of the world of plumbing as relatively unchanged, it’s actually constantly featuring new upgrades and materials that make plumbers’ jobs easier and people’s plumbing systems better. And while many plumbers still need to whip out the old wrench to do their job, there are some fascinating technological advantages that are helping everybody have a better plumbing system. One such invention is PEX piping.

PEX is a relatively new pipe material that’s saving people money without sacrificing quality, toughness, or durability. Made from high density polyethylene, PEX is made with cross-linked bonds throughout the pipe that help is stay strong and reduce the stress of temperature variations that our pipes have to deal with everyday. It’s unique, flexible structure and low manufacturing costs has made PEX the latest piping material that’s got everyone excited, and it’s also slowly phasing out PVC pipe.

PEX has several advantages over other piping that has made it even more popular. Probably the most popular advantage is its price, usually ringing in at about the third of the cost of copper pipe. It’s also incredibly easy to install: you pretty much run it through a building as you would a garden hose. Connections are also easy, which are made with special kits that don’t require soldering like regular copper pipe, or the frustrating gluing of PVC. It also won’t corrode like copper, similar to PVC, but its easier to handle, making it ideal for buildings and special spaces that may be experiencing high acidity levels in the water. And for anyone who lives in colder areas, PEX doesn’t freeze like PVC, so it stays strong no matter how cold your home or climate can get and you do not have to worry as much about frozen pipes bursting.

But one of the favourite properties of PEX vs other piping is the colouring system. Remember when you saw diagrams of a home’s water system and pipes were different colours based on whether they were carrying hot or cold water? Well, PEX pipe literally comes in those colours, so you or anyone installing the pipe can keep track of what’s hot and cold by simply looking at the pipe. No more marking up copper pipe just to know which is carrying the water its supposed to.

Bear in mind that since PEX is still a relatively new piping material, it can be difficult to work with for a few reasons. First, connecting to certain appliances, like hot water heaters, can be difficult if not impossible, requiring you to connect PEX to an older type of pipe to make the proper connection. It’s also not approved for some plumbing codes, so always check your local codes before spending any money of PEX piping.

Overall, PEX piping is strong, durable and efficient, the perfect piping solution for the 21st century. And it can save you a ton of money! Since it’s cheaper than copper pipe to begin with, you’ll save money at the check out. And because PEX is much easier to install than copper or PVC pipe, you can also reduce the labour costs for any plumbing projects you may have. It’s a win-win for everybody involved: cheaper, faster, and longer lasting than other piping, and much easier to handle.

Andrew Olexiuk - Your Toronto Plumbing Expert
Andrew Olexiuk - Your Toronto Plumbing Expert
Andrew has over 20 years of experience as a plumbing contractor. He is co-owner and operator of Absolute Draining & Plumbing, a professional plumbing company serving residential & commercial properties across the Toronto, Ontario region.
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