Professional Pex Pipe Installation in Houston
Many historic homes here in Houston were built in the 1920s and 1930s, and most of those homes still have their original plumbing. When these homes were built, most pipes were galvanized steel or copper for water supply, and either steel or clay pipes for drainage and sewer lines. After almost one hundred years of constant water pressure, the natural settling of soil, and the corrosive effects of water and raw sewage, many of these older pipe structures need to be retired.
Corrosion works its way into the threads of old pipe fittings, breaking down the metal and causing leaks. Leaks that are left untreated will eventually turn into more significant leaks that turn into broken pipes. Noisy pipes that creak and bang are a sign of loosening fittings, caused by this slow breakdown of your plumbing system. Reduced pressure and lack of adequate hot water also indicate that it may be time to think about a whole house re-pipe.
In the past, the only option for re-piping a house was to use steel or copper lines, which is costly and challenging to install in existing homes. Around the turn of the 21st century, a new technology was developed to deliver pressurized water through the house. Instead of rigid, metallic pipes, PEX plumbing uses easy to install flexible plastic lines to do the same job.
What Is PEX Plumbing?
PEX pipes are flexible water supply lines that are made from a high-density polyethylene polymer. In simpler terms, they’re bendy plastic tubes. Today, PEX pipe is used in place of copper, iron, or rigid plastic (PVC) pipes, with its flexibility making installation a much faster process. PEX plumbing is more freeze-damage resistant than metal pipes, as the flexibility of PEX allows it to expand in freezing temperatures, where metal pipes would burst.
How Reliable are PEX Pipes?
PEX pipes are not prone to corrosion or breakdown from water exposure, and there are many in Europe in use since the 1970s that are still leak-free. PEX as a plumbing product has only been in use in the US since the 1990s, first as a material used in heated floor, then as a water delivery system in the early 2000s. PEX has not had the chance to prove its long-term reliability on this side of the Atlantic, but the manufacturers estimate that a PEX pipe installation can last over fifty years.
Are Plastic PEX Pipes Safe for Drinking Water Delivery?
Throughout several studies performed during the development and of throughout the installation of existing PEX systems, the overwhelming takeaway has been that “there are no health risks associated with drinking water from PEX pipes.” In these studies, it was found that water left standing in these pipes for extended periods can develop an unpleasant taste or “plastic-y” smell. This is easily remedied by simply allowing the faucet to run for a few seconds before drinking. It was also found that the leaching of any volatile organic compounds from the plastic lines was at a negligible level.
Is PEX Pipe Plumbing a Cheaper Alternative?
PEX plumbing installation is a much cheaper alternative to either a copper or galvanized steel installation. The raw materials required for the construction of steel or copper pipes are precious metals, requiring mining and refinement, as opposed to the mostly human-made PEX formulation. Additionally, thanks to the flexibility of PEX tubing, installing the lines is much easier than it would be for metal or rigid plastic pipes. PEX can bend around corners, eliminating the need for the 45- and 90-degree pipe fittings required for metallic pipes.
PEX piping can also save you money on energy bills, as copper can waste up to 15% or more energy than plastic pipes. Copper conducts heat, drawing it away from the water and dissipating it en route to the faucet, where PEX is non-conductive and has insulative properties to keep your hot water hotter.
I’ve Got Some PEX Questions. Who Can I Call?
For any questions you may have about the advantages of PEX, give Nick’s Plumbing Service a call. In business in the Houston Heights since 1979, Nick’s operates more than fifteen trucks, all fully stocked with the parts and tools needed to get the job done right. Our technicians are fully licensed, trained, and experienced, ready to provide you with a cost evaluation or second opinion to install piping in your home.