Wm. Henderson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. Blog : Posts Tagged ‘PEX Piping’

The Different Types of Plastic Pipes Plumbers Use

Monday, August 27th, 2018


Indoor plumbing has been around for a long time, and the materials used for the pipes have gone through many changes. For decades, metal and ceramic were the most common pipe materials. Many homes today still have galvanized steel, clay, or even cast iron piping. Starting in the 1970s, copper replaced galvanized steel and is today the most common metal used in plumbing systems.

Plastic pipes, however, have an important part in plumbing. Plastic is easier to work with in general than copper. The first use of plastic pipes was in the 1930s, and with the 1960s they rose in popularity among plumbers thanks to advances in plastic manufacturing that made these pipes more useful in general.

There’s no single type of plastic used to manufacture pipes. For years, a gray plastic called polybutylene was common for plumbing systems, but it’s no longer used because it splits and creates leaks. If you have old polybutylene pipes in your house, we strongly recommend you arrange to have it replaced with a newer type of plastic. Here are the three types of plastic pipes that modern plumbers most commonly used today:

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Reasons PEX Piping Is Popular for Home Plumbing

Friday, February 7th, 2014

For many decades, galvanized steel was the principle material used for plumbing. However, because of steel’s weight and tendency to corrode over time, copper eventually replaced it. Copper remains prevalent today, but plastics are now equally common. One type of plastic pipe that has become particularly popular with plumbers is cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), which is used for industrial, commercial, and residential buildings.

There are a number of good reasons that PEX pipes are now favored in home plumbing. Our plumbers at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. are familiar with installing and replacing these pipes, and they can explain the advantages of PEX pipes over older metals and plastics. For your plumbing in Springfield, PA, look to us for the most up-to-date materials and technology, as well as the experience that comes from 37 years in business.

The advantages of PEX piping

The creation of PEX pipes was a major revolution in plumbing that made installation of new plumbing systems easier and less expensive than ever before. PEX is different from PVC pipes, the other leading kind of plastic for plumbing, in that it doesn’t require glue at its joints and is less likely to burst because of freezing.

PEX piping is extremely durable yet also flexible. Although copper is also a durable material, it is rigid and lacks the adaptability of PEX. The rigidity of copper means it is more prone to break when put under outside pressure.

PEX pipes are also highly cost-effective compared to metal pipes. For one thing, the material for these pipes is far less expensive than copper. It’s also less labor-intensive to install (lightweight, easy to fit into most spaces), which saves on labor costs. Another way PEX pipes save money is they have less resistance to water flow than metal pipes, and that will reduce utility bills.

Although this advantage doesn’t have an effect on the homeowner, plumbers particularly like the different colors that PEX piping comes in: it makes it simpler to keep track of cold water lines (blue pipes) and hot water lines (red pipes).

It’s not “all-or-nothing” however!

Although PEX pipes are a top choice for plumbing installation, your home’s plumbing doesn’t need to have only one type of pipe. Copper pipes combine easily with PEX pipes, so plumbers can use copper in places where they might work better than plastic, and then switch over to PEX when they need the flexibility.

If you call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to take care of your pipe repairs, replacements, or other plumbing in Springfield, PA, you can trust to our experienced technicians to know the right pipes to use for the job. We’re here when you need us!

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