Angie Hicks, Angie’s List founder: “Consumers have many choices when it comes to pipes for their house these days whether they use copper or PEX. The important thing when considering your options is to talk to a licensed plumber so they can give you all the pros and cons.”
Lance Smith, LD Smith Plumbing: “Average cost per foot for three quarter sized copper is between $2.50 and $3.00. Where PEX is more between .50 and $1.50 for the same size piping, so it’s almost half as much less for the material. Your labor is more between a quarter and a half as well. PEX has less heat loss. It’s kind of an insulated piping so yes PEX would be more energy efficient. It’s very easy to transition from copper to PEX. It’s as simple as one fitting that has the copper on one end, the welded fitting, and the crimp fitting to join the PEX to it. I’ve had a few people say that after a PEX installation there is kind of a plastic or chemical taste but that is very rare. I think that may have had something to do with that particular brand of piping. We do know that copper has an average life of about 50 years before the wall starts to thin out and needs replaced. PEX is projected to have that type of a life span, but we can’t prove that. We know it’s been in installation for almost 10 years and so far so good. So for long term performance we are being told that PEX will definitely surpass the 50 year shelf life of copper.”
Angie’s List Tips:
- Check local code for approved pipe types
Time to replace pipes?
- Loss of water pressure
- Corrosion around fittings
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