PEX tubing has become one of the most popular building materials out there, widely used in plumbing, we particular like PEX tubing use it to great effect. But as with anything that becomes popular there is going to be some hubbub about the potential negatives, and to be clear, that’s totally reasonable! Every material out there has pros and likely some cons. It’s why we know there’s an argument to be made about when to use PEX or when to go for copper. You may have heard that you should avoid PEX but without must behind it, leaving you wondering ‘Why is PEX plumbing bad?’ Let’s clear the air, address where those concerns are likely coming from and help you understand what the situation really is.
PEX has been around for decades as a cost-effective alternative to traditional copper piping, it’s resistant to acids, it’s easy to use and install, and it’s flexible by nature making it incredibly simple to run through a home without potentially leaky fittings. So what’s the problem?
Some folks worry there might be a safety issue. To be clear, there isn’t but read on to understand where that’s coming from.
PEX Safety Concerns
The concern over PEX safety is rooted in two things: plastics and a taste.
The Plastic Issue
BPA is a chemical compound found in many plastics that we are more and more understanding has the potential to leak into water. There is a worry that perhaps PEX being some sort of plastic has the same problem. Here is the thing: PEX is free of BPA. Period. That particular chemical compound is not in PEX. Past that there is a bit more to discuss. Plastic as a material is more permeable than copper for instance, and if used improperly could fail, that’s totally possible. But when it comes to the BPA safety issue as being the reason why PEX plumbing is bad, the argument just isn’t there.
The Taste Issue
Some homeowners with PEX tubing have said that their water seemed to taste funny. This is possible with certain kinds of PEX tubing (not what we use mind you) and if the water sits too long in the pipe. That potentially off-taste is not a safety hazard though, and will dissipate after a few uses or if you let the water run for a bit before filling your glass.
We spent a whole blog on the stuff and we talked about it a ton elsewhere. Put briefly we find it to be an amazingly flexible, durable, adaptable, an all-around great pipe to work with. But there are pros for using copper in certain instances too! Where you’d rather have a rigid pipe connection for instance.
But as for those concerns, they’re mostly unfounded. PEX does not contain BPA, and there is no conclusive evidence that PEX leaches any sort of harmful chemicals into the water. Any concerns about the taste of the water can usually be rectified by simply letting the water run for a bit. But if you’re still concerned the best way to ease your mind is through communication and education. You can find out more about PEX piping safety from this Norwegian study performed in 2011, and if you want to speak with an expert give your local plumber a call.
Here at Economy Plumbing Services, we stand by our PEX as a quality and safe material for installations and repiping jobs. If you want to know more about our process and materials, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help ease any concerns. And if you decided that you’d rather go with traditional copper pipes, we got you covered.