PEX tubing an alternative to copper plumbing

Copper plumbing lines are great and have been used for dozens of years to supply our homes with the water we desperately need. One of the biggest drawbacks to copper is the time it takes to install it, the ever-rising cost of copper itself and also the difficulty factor in making repairs.

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a different product available. It’s called PEX tubing. PEX tubing has been in use since the ’60s in Europe and since the ’80s here in the states. It continues to grow in popularity in new homes and existing homes alike.

PEX tubing is not only a snap to install, but there are many advantages this material has over conventional copper plumbing.

• It is flexible, making it easy to install and service.

• It’s highly resistant to chemicals found in the plumbing environment.

• Flexible systems are quieter than rigid piping.

• The smooth interior resists scale buildup and corrosion that can affect the amount of water that travels through the pipes.

• Labor to install this plumbing is about half as much as it would be for copper plumbing.

Instead of having to solder joints together using a blow torch and a prayer, PEX tubing clamps together with a special tool and uses aluminum bands that keep it leakproof for many years to come.

No messy glue, no blow torches, just a sharp pair of cutters and some crimped or compression fittings and your plumbing professional can turn a whole day’s job into just a few-hour masterpiece.

Joel Wensley is a licensed mechanical contractor in the state of Michigan, a member of the Comfort Institute, and is also the president of Mechanical Heating & Cooling in Dearborn Heights.