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What Is Pex Piping?

Dan Chruscinski
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Plumbers are faced with a decision when installing piping for a location. Several different materials are available for use, one of which is PEX piping. Developed for use in Europe during the 1970s, PEX piping was first introduced to the United States in 1980.

What Is Pex Piping?

PEX stands for crosslinked polyethylene, meaning the tubing is resistant to the adverse effects of hot and cold temperatures. The crosslinking occurs through a chemical reaction between the polyethylene within the piping, the result of which is a flexible, resistant tubing.


The main use of PEX piping is in a water system. This is due to the temperature resistance as well as chemical resistance. The piping can be used in residential or business properties.

Indoor Use Only

PEX piping is designed for indoor and underground use. Exposure to direct sunlight will cause damage to the pipes, rendering the system unusable outdoors.

Shelf Life

Resistant to rust build up associated with copper piping and less likely to corrode from acidic water, PEX piping has a longer life before the need for replacement.

Temperature Changes

Changes in temperature such as freezing can damage traditional piping. PEX piping is flexible enough to withstand breaking from harsh conditions.


Installation of PEX plumbing does not require heat to bond the pipes. A ring is crimped over the piping using a hand tool instead of a blowtorch. The tubes can be installed in any direction without special equipment.

Quiet Ride

Flexibility and a smooth internal surface make PEX piping a quieter method of water transportation. The clanging of normal copper piping is eliminated.