Professional Pex Pipe Installation in Houston
If your Houston area home was built after the 1990s, the chances are strong that your home uses PEX pipe for all indoor water supply lines. The trade name PEX is an acronym for crosslinked, where “X” represents the crosslinking, and PE refers to the chemical compound polyethylene. The product of this scientific creation is PEX pipe, a flexible plastic tube that has become the standard for new home construction and plumbing renovations.
Nick’s Plumbing has been performing PEX pipe installations since the early 2000s and has witnessed this revolutionary innovation go from a fledgling idea to an industry standard.
Let’s find out what makes PEX pipes a solid, reliable water delivery product that’s right for every home.
What Is PEX Plumbing?
PEX pipes are flexible water supply lines made from high-density polyethylene polymer. In simpler terms, they’re bendy plastic tubes. With its flexibility, PEX pipe is used in place of copper, iron, or rigid plastic (PVC) pipes, making installation much faster. PEX plumbing is more freeze-damage resistant than metal pipes, as the flexibility of PEX allows it to expand, whereas metal pipes would burst.
How Long Will PEX Pipes Last?
PEX pipe installations 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 used in the US since the 1990s, first as a material used in heated floors, then as a water delivery system in the early 2000s. PEX has yet to have 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.
Do Plumbers Recommend PEX Pipes?
Not only do plumbers recommend PEX piping as a suitable replacement for old, rusty galvanized steel pipes. The flexibility of PEX pipes makes installation much easier for your plumbing technician, and less labor equals a lower installation cost!
PEX pipe has been used in the US for over three decades, and continues to be reliable, as PEX isn’t susceptible to freezing and bursting like steel or copper water lines, has a long lifespan, and is accessible to service when needed. The water delivery system can be easily expanded should the homeowner add rooms to the house, a slop sink in a utility room, a dishwasher, or any kitchen appliance, just by adding lines to open ports on your PEX manifold.
How Long Will it Take to Convert My House to PEX Pipes?
Although PEX pipes are straightforward to install, thanks to their flexibility, and don’t require saws and blow torches to cut and solder each pipe. Depending on the size of the home, accessibility to all plumbing fixtures, and whether you choose to remove your galvanized pipes, the average whole-house PEX re-pipe should be completed in 2 – 5 days.
What if I Live in an Older Home?
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 plumbing pipes were galvanized steel or copper for water supply, with steel or clay pipes used 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 left untreated will eventually become 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 consider a whole house re-pipe.
In the past, the only option for re-piping a house was to use steel or copper lines, which are 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.
Are Plastic Pipes Safe for Drinking Water Delivery?
Throughout several studies performed during the development and 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 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 negligible.
Is PEX Plumbing a Cheaper Alternative?
PEX plumbing installation is much cheaper than copper or galvanized steel installation. The raw materials required for constructing steel or copper pipes are precious metals, requiring mining and refinement, as opposed to the primarily 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. In contrast, 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 pipes, give Nick’s Plumbing a call. In business in Houston since 1979, Nick’s operates a fleet of 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 advise you on your PEX pipe installation and get your job started immediately.
Call Nick’s Today. We’re on the Way!