While there are many positive factors associated with living in an older home, the plumbing system is not likely to be on that list. Instead, older homes often undergo multiple rounds of repairs and renovations that contribute to common problems, such as poor water pressure, noisy pipes, and water quality issues.
Because of this, those who own an older home often decide to eliminate as many future plumbing problems as possible by installing new water pipes throughout their home. While standard choices, such as copper and chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) are fine, cross-linked polyethylene, commonly referred to as PEX, may be a better option. Homeowners who are ready to replace their entire water supply line system can use this information to see if PEX is a good option for their needs.
1. PEX is flexible
One of the most important advantages of using PEX for plumbing lines in an older home is that doing so will greatly reduce the number of fittings involved in running each line from the water supply to where it will be used. When rigid pipes are used, plumbers must stop and add a joint with a specific fitting to change the direction and ensure that the pipe reaches its planned destination.
Since fittings and joints are often the locations most prone to developing leaks, finding a way to reduce their numbers is an important benefit for homeowners. Because of its flexible nature, PEX can easily form curves and be threaded around obstacles without using fittings and joints to create corners.
2. PEX can withstand temperature changes
Another important benefit homeowners can experience by selecting PEX piping is because it is better able to withstand temperature changes. This is especially important for homes located in areas where winter weather dips below the freezing mark, vacation homes that are unoccupied for long periods, and homes where insulation or structural issues frequently result in frozen water lines.
PEX's ability to flex allows it to withstand the pressure that occurs when water expands during the freezing and thawing process without splitting or developing leaks. Homeowners who are considering the use of PEX must understand, however, it is not designed for use in outdoor applications because it can degrade quickly when exposed to ultraviolet light.
3. PEX is resistant to corrosion
While copper pipes do have a longer lifespan than those made from steel or other types of metal, they will eventually be subject to corrosion. Because PEX does not corrode, homeowners can enjoy a more trouble-free plumbing system. When corrosion cannot occur inside the water lines, there will be fewer issues with taste or contaminants to deal with.
4. PEX is quiet
One of the most frequently-heard complaints about an older home's plumbing system is the noise factor. Older pipes that have undergone numerous repairs and changes are likely to have scores of joints and fittings, as well as areas where the pipes are comprised of different materials or diameters.
Since every joint and differing pipe size or type contributes to the amount of noise the water makes as it moves through the system, the level of sound can be very loud or unpleasant. Groaning, squealing, and clanking noises created by an aging plumbing system can be very loud and distracting.
The pliability of PEX, coupled with the need for far fewer joints and fittings will mean that the plumbing system can operate quietly, even when flushing a toilet or running water for the shower or tub.
Homeowners who would like to learn more about using PEX as part of their plan to install a new plumbing system in an older home can get more information by discussing their situation with a reputable plumbing contractor in their area.Share