Why PEX Plumbing Is Bad for Your House?

PEX plumbing is a type of plastic piping used in residential plumbing systems. It is often favored for its affordability and flexibility, making it easier to install compared to traditional metal pipes like copper. If you’re thinking about using PEX plumbing in your home, you might want to reconsider. Here are some reasons why PEX plumbing is bad for your house.

UV exposure can degrade PEX pipes over time, potentially leading to leaks. Chemical reactions between water and PEX can affect water quality. Installing fittings and connections properly is critical and may result in failures. It’s time to find out in detail why PEX plumbing may not be the best choice for your home.

What is PEX Plumbing? 

PEX plumbing refers to a type of plumbing system that uses PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) pipes to transport water. PEX pipes, introduced in the ‘80s and ‘90s, became widely used due to their affordability and ease of installation. They are made from a flexible plastic material ideal for bending and shaping, making them easy to install.

Why is PEX Plumbing Bad for Your House?  

PEX plumbing is generally considered safe and effective for residential use. There are several potential drawbacks and concerns associated with PEX that some homeowners should be aware of:

1. Chlorine and Its Effects on PEX Plumbing

Chlorine and PEX pipes don’t mix well. Water disinfection can accelerate the deterioration of PEX plumbing. Chlorine in water can lead to oxidative failure in PEX, causing it to become brittle and prone to leaks or bursting. However, they only delay the inevitable degradation.

2. Sensitivity to Light

One significant limitation of PEX plumbing is its sensitivity to light. Exposure to UV light can cause PEX to degrade over time. This means that PEX pipes cannot be used in outdoor applications where they are directly exposed to sunlight for extended periods. Some types of indoor light, such as bulbs, can affect the lifespan of PEX water lines.

Is PEX plumbing bad for your health - Why do plumbers not like PEX?
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3. Bacterial Susceptibility

PEX plumbing can be susceptible to bacterial contamination under specific conditions. This risk increases when PEX pipes are buried deep underground and exposed to moisture. It is possible for moisture-related bacteria to penetrate PEX pipes and potentially contaminate water systems.

4. Non-Recyclable Material

PEX pipes, like many plastics, are non-recyclable. The lack of effective recycling methods leads to the disposal of old PEX water lines in landfills. This contributes to environmental concerns surrounding plastic waste disposal.

5. Vulnerability to Rodents

A common issue reported by homeowners is the vulnerability of PEX pipes to rodent damage. PEX pipes can be chewed through by rodents with sharp teeth, unlike copper pipes. This damage compromises the integrity of the waterline, leading to potential leakage and contamination.

6. Water Taste and Odor

One of the most noticeable downsides of PEX plumbing is its potential to affect the taste and odor of water. Some homeowners have reported unpleasant smells or tastes from water flowing through PEX pipes. It may be necessary to replace pipes to resolve the taste and odor issues.

Better Alternatives to PEX Plumbing

The following alternatives may have a higher upfront cost, but provide long-lasting reliability:

Copper Pipes

Copper is renowned for its toughness and durability. This material is resistant to corrosion, can handle high temperatures, and has natural antimicrobial properties.

What are the negatives of PEX plumbing?
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Polyvinyl Chloride Piping (PVC)

PVC pipes offer a more budget-friendly alternative to copper. They are resistant to rust and corrosion, making them ideal for carrying high-pressure water. PVC pipes are durable and commonly used in various plumbing applications.

Choosing copper or PVC pipes over PEX plumbing can offer enhanced longevity and performance, ensuring a reliable water supply system for your home.

People Also Ask

1. Is PEX plumbing safe to use in homes?

PEX plumbing can be safe if installed and maintained correctly. However, homeowners should be aware of potential health and safety risks associated with this material.

2. How long does PEX plumbing last?

The longevity of PEX plumbing can vary depending on installation conditions and usage patterns. It’s essential to monitor for signs of degradation over time.

3. Can PEX plumbing affect water taste?

Yes, PEX pipes may impact water taste due to chemical leaching and potential bacterial growth within the pipes.

4. Are there alternatives to PEX plumbing?

Yes, alternatives such as copper, PVC, and CPVC pipes are available, each with its own set of pros and cons.


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