Image of a shiny T-shaped copper fixture

With innovations in the last few decades, and the unveiling of PEX pipes, plumbers are beginning to install PEX piping as often as copper piping.  This begs the question, do I use PEX or copper piping?  Let’s look at the pros and cons of copper and PEX pipes…

Copper is Good

Here are some of the pros of utilizing copper pipes.  Copper comes with notable durability, can be exposed to sun, and can be buried in the ground.  Copper is the obvious choice for outdoor applications, and underground installations.

PEX is Also Good

On the other hand, PEX is extremely durable, eliminates water hammer sounds, and this plastic pipe is more thermally efficient than copper.  That means less heat loss from the water heater to your tap.

Sometimes Copper is Not So Good

Now, let’s look at the cons of copper pipes. Copper can be noisy, and if it’s not properly installed, it can rattle.  Soft copper is notoriously weak, and if it is bent multiple times, it’ll break, pinch, or turn very weak.  There are different grades of straight copper pipes, depending on pipe wall thickness.  These grades are M, L, and K.  M is thin, and fails similarly to soft copper.  L is sufficient for most projects.  K is for installations with extreme conditions, like extra weight on the pipe, or extra pressure.  Now, take caution when considering your copper pipes.  Foreign made pipes aren’t as ideal as American pipes – simply because requirements for American-produced pipes are more rigorous.  Pipe thickness is much more likely to be completely uniform.

PEX has Issues

Now, PEX has some issues too.  PEX should not be buried, or installed in direct sunlight.  However, indoors PEX is an excellent solution.

Either way you lean, if you’re thinking about copper or PEX repiping in Orange County or the Anaheim area, feel free to call our specialists!