PEX Tubing For Home Usage; Basic Questions On ?

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Hello,
Re PEX plastic piping for home usage.
Looked at several sites on, but still have a few basic questions, please:
a. Just how "popular" is this stuff ? When used, or specified ?
b. Compared to Copper piping for home usage, is it generally more expensive or cheaper ? If more, why is it used (at all) ?
c. Good for hot as well as cold service ?
d. Would you use it in your home, or still prefer Copper ? Why ?
Pros and cons, etc. ?
BTW: what's most common in new homes these days that do use Copper; type k, l, or m ? On "older" (e.g. 25-30 yr)homes ?
Much thanks, Bob
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Bob wrote:

Very popular, particularly now that copper prices are very high and contractors have figured out how to crimp the fittings properly. Being flexible and in long rolls, PEX reduces the number of joints to potentially leak, is faster and easier to install, and is cheaper.

It was more when it first came out, but contractors were starting to adopt it due to the speed and ease of installation. With copper prices today it is cheaper and you'll find few if any homebuilders using copper unless it's some high end house and the owners insist on copper for some unknown reason.

Yes. Also used in radiant floor heating systems.

I would use it for new construction or any significant remodel. If I'm just doing a repair or slight change to existing copper I'd stay with copper.

Not many cons these days. In the early days the cons were expensive crimping tools, and general lack of familiarity with PEX. Now there are fairly cheap crimp tools available and PEX has been around long enough for people to be familiar with it.

New today, if you can find anything new done in copper will probably be M since it's the cheapest. Older installations will likely be L since it's more durable, particularly in hard water areas. I doubt you'll find K anywhere but commercial installations.
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Bob wrote:

I'm replacing my galvanized pipe with "L" copper. I bought a lot of the fittings by the pound at a metal recycler.
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On Thu, 18 Feb 2010 07:31:04 -0500, Bob wrote:

Don't know

Don't know

Absolutely
I did when we built our house. Why? one joint on each end and easy to run. Just make sure you don't scratch it as you pull it. It will not bust as easily as copper if it freezes.

See above.

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For me, it is the cat's meow.

Less expensive: easy install, easy repair (I extended my tub lines when I remodeled the bathroom).

Yes. I'm in the desert and it is now being used in landscape irrigation.

access. 12 years old and not a single leak, so far!

I haven't really determined any "cons". Use the newer expanding connectors (no crimp rings).
Check with local permit office, some localities were slow to adopt PEX.

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For those who can't figure out the cons:
Rodents love to chew PEX.
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On Thu, 18 Feb 2010 13:28:29 -0800 (PST), mike

State your experience please. I know rodents like to chew electrical wires. I have no experience with them eating my PEX.
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Don't settle for one data point:
http://tinyurl.com/yk5fdxf
Google it. Then you can decide if it's worth the risk.
At least with wiring you have various forms of circuit protection (breakers, arc fault, etc). That usually doesn't happen in plumbing.
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On Thu, 18 Feb 2010 15:56:59 -0800 (PST), mike

Truth is, I don't have rodents. PEX and circuits are just fine.
I have seen woodpeckers and squirrels dull their beak / teeth on metal.
Makes a heck of noise.
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Rodent's love to chew. That's not a con of PEX, it's a con of having rodents.
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Yes it is a con for PEX, since rodents tend not to chew through copper pipe, by comparison.
Softness in the face of rodent teeth is a problem.
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Yes it is a con for PEX, since rodents tend not to chew through copper pipe, by comparison.
Have owned two homes, over TEN years of PEX and NO RODENT CHEWING
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wrote:

I've also owned two houses, over TWENTY FIVE years of copper (third has PEX) and NO RODENT CHEWING. Of course, I don't put up with rodents in the house and neither do the cats. ;-)
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Yes it is a con for PEX, since rodents tend not to chew through copper pipe, by comparison.
Softness in the face of rodent teeth is a problem.
but you don't avoid pex because you have rodents... you get rid of the friggin rodents... the key here is prioritization.
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-snip-

Good thing about your rodents [apparently] is-- They show up at your house one day and announce themselves. "I'm about to destroy whatever you have that will make my presence most unwelcome. Kill me now- or I'll start eating your PEX."
Mine just show up and eat something. Then I kill them.
Jim
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Very. New construction, mostly.

Evidently it's a lot cheaper. Otherwise it wouldn't be used.

Yes.
Personally, I hate the stuff. I'd rather sweat copper than mess with it. I have it in this house and hate the stuff.

Small jobs are a PITA, compared to copper.

My bet is 'k', only because of cost. I'd use 'l', but only because the cost of materials isn't my primary motivator. Labor is a far bigger issue and the labor is the same. I'm using 'l' for air in the garage and shop.
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krw wrote:

'k' is not common. 'm' is the light stuff most commonly used, IIRC.
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wrote:

Now you got me thinking... I just checked the stuff I'm using. It's marked "Type 1/2" L" in blue. IIRC the cheaper red stuff is type K. The box stores sell a *lot* of it because it is somewhat cheaper. Do I have that backwards?
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krw wrote:

The cheap stuff is type M. "K" is thicker than "L".
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wrote:

Yes, I did get that backwards. Thank you.
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