Pipe Materials | Plumbing Houston

Although pipe materials will last a long time, eventually every home will require repiping. When the time comes for your home to be repiped, you will need to choose from the pipe materials available. Some homeowners have a preference and consider no others. Other homeowners may want a budget-friendly choice, and savvy homeowners know the factors involved in selecting a material is the budget, water chemistry, the design characteristics of the home, such as the level of insulation and the environment. Two popular options include copper and PEX pipe. Comparing the pros and cons can assist you in the decision of which is right for your home’s plumbing in Houston.

The Advantages of Copper

Copper pipe has been a top choice in American homes for more than 70 years. More than 80% of new homes are built with copper water supplies. Copper production is regulated and stamped with an identifier, and is available in a variety of grades. Due to this, contractors always know the grade of pipe received and the company of manufacture. Ben Franklin uses first quality copper pipe, ensuring you receive the best available plumbing in Houston. In addition, copper offers the following advantages:

  • Copper is a bacteriostatic material, which means it inhibits bacterial growth.
  • Copper pipe is resistant to corrosion, and as UV light doesn’t affect it, it won’t degrade in an outdoor environment.
  • Copper 100% recyclable.
  • Copper offers slight flexibility, yet is rigid enough to need little if any pipe supports in long runs.
  • Copper is more tolerant of natural disasters than other pipe materials, meaning it’s popular in regions prone to earthquakes.
  • Copper resists freezing below the frost line.
  • Under normal conditions, copper has an expected lifespan of 50 to 75 years for long-lasting, reliable copper plumbing in Houston.

PEX Pipe Advantages

  • PEX pipe resists the buildup of hard water minerals.
  • PEX doesn’t require soldering or glue. A specialized crimping tool attaches fittings.
  • PEX tolerates up to 90 degree turns without the need for fittings, saving on cost and facilitating the installation.
  • PEX reduces heat transfer saving energy and delivering hot water with less cooling, this is especially beneficial where long pipe runs exist.
  • The PEX water system provides a shutoff valve for each segment. This convenience means you can shut the water off in one part of the home when necessary while maintaining supply in other areas of your home’s plumbing in Houston.
  • While water can freeze inside flexible PEX,  the pipe is less likely to burst than other pipe materials. However, you will still need to insulate PEX located in vulnerable areas, such as non-insulated exterior walls, and  in unheated basements or attics. Use foam tube insulation to prevent freezing in vulnerable locations.
  • With an adapter, PEX can be used with PVC or copper pipe. This enables you to replace pipes overtime if necessary. In addition, for those with pedestal sinks and exposed pipes, an adapter allows you to have copper pipe beneath the sink, and connect it to PEX out of sight.
  • PEX is NSF International certified for water purity.
  • For those with a budget, PEX provides a cost-effective solution for repiping your home’s plumbing in Houston.

Copper Disadvantages

  • Copper can corrode faster in the presence of water with an acidic pH.
  • Copper cost more than other pipe materials.
  • Copper requires insulation to prevent freezing in vulnerable locations, but so does any other pipe material.
  • While copper is only slightly flexible.
  • Thieves often target homes with copper pipe.

PEX Disadvantages

  • PEX isn’t a recyclable material.
  • PEX can’t be used outdoors. It’s subject to freezing, and the sun’s UV rays will cause deterioration and premature failure.
  • PEX can’t be directly connected to the water heater and requires a connection with an 18-inch copper or PVC pipe.

Hiring a plumber with expertise ensures the repiping of your home meets, and/or exceeds the industry standards while providing long-lasting service. Contact a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Houston for a first quality installation of your choice of pipe materials for your home’s plumbing in Houston. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing serves Houston, Sugar Land, Katy and the surrounding areas. We are a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.