Copper or PEX Piping? Which Is Better?

By June 15, 2016DIY Plumbing Tips

pexvscopperIf you’re dealing with a renovation or other project requiring pipe replacement or installation, you’ll need to decide whether to use copper or PEX piping. Many older St. Louis homes contain copper piping, while newer homes are often built with PEX piping. If you own an older home, you may be wondering if you should upgrade to PEX. What are the differences between the two types of plumbing pipes? Is one type better than the other? What are the pros and cons of each? In this post, we will address all of these questions to help you decide which type is right for you.

What’s the Difference Between PEX and Copper?

Copper piping is obviously made of copper. It has been the longtime standard for plumbing and is found in many older homes throughout St. Louis. PEX piping is a newer plumbing material made of cross-linked polyethylene. In residential applications, PEX piping is commonly used in new construction or as a replacement to copper plumbing pipes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better than copper…

Which is Better: Copper or PEX Piping?

When considering whether to install copper or PEX piping, it’s important to think about the size and scale of your project, your budget, your priorities, and the local climate. Review the advantages and disadvantages of each type to decide what’s best for your particular project.

Pros and Cons of PEX Piping

  • Pro: Flexible
  • Pro: Fewer joints and fittings (when used in “down-to-the-studs” projects)
  • Pro: Easily installed by plumbers
  • Pro: Resistant to bursting in winter weather
  • Pro: Less likely to develop leaks
  • Pro: Less expensive
  • Con: Shorter lifespan
  • Con: Cannot be recycled
  • Con: Cannot be used outside

Pros and Cons of Copper Piping

  • Pro: Time tested (been around for decades)
  • Pro: Durable and flexible
  • Pro: Easily installed by skilled plumbers
  • Pro: Bacteria-resistant (an important health consideration)
  • Pro: Weather-resistant and corrosion-resistant
  • Pro: Safer in natural disasters
  • Pro: Can be used outside
  • Pro: Can be recycled (more environmentally-friendly)
  • Con: Expensive (and therefore less than ideal for larger projects)
  • Con: Can corrode in some cases, causing metallic-tasting water
  • Con: Prone to freezing in the winter

At Tony LaMartina Plumbing Company, we have been installing and repairing residential piping in St. Louis for over 30 years. Our plumbers have extensive experience in the installation and maintenance of both PEX and copper piping. Whether you’re planning your next home renovation project or you’re in need of repairs, you can count on us for quality piping installation services!

Not sure whether copper or PEX piping is the better choice for your project? Need help with a bathroom renovation or residential plumbing repairs? Contact us! Call our office at (314) 965-9377 or email info@tonylamartinaplumbing.com.