From their invention through their popularization and their common use today, home plumbing pipes have gone through a lot of innovative changes. First made of clay by the Egyptians, they are today made of various materials more or less indestructible. In our article, we will look at one of the best types of plumbing tubes used nowadays in construction and plumbing repairs – PEX tubes. However, before we dive into the subjects, let’s have a look at how plumbing tubes have evolved over time.
Evolution Of Plumbing Pipes:
Egyptian Pipes: We can say that the Egyptians are the true first inventors of pipes. Their pipes were made of clay, straws, and sometimes copper pipes.
The Roman And Greek Plumbing systems: The next great civilizations to innovate plumbing pipes are the Greeks and the Romans. The Greeks were the first to come up with a cold and warm running water system. A huge advancement for those times. Then the Romans came with lead pipes that they used to make water flow from the mountains to the cities. The lead pipes were the next great improvement in plumbing pipes.
Industrial Revolution – Pipe Evolution: The industrial revolution brought about great changes in technology. This huge progress affected the plumbing industry too. It is from this period that stronger and stronger piping systems start appearing. In the 18th century were the wooden pipes, and from the 19th century, the steel and cast-iron pipes.
Modern Era Pipes: Today, plumbing pipes are made of various materials, ranging from the good old steel pipes to the more flexible PEX pipes. The PEX pipe is the most recent type and also the most reliable of all pipes. It has made plumbing systems more reliable and simplified the process of plumbing pipe installation. With the continual invention of more efficient and reliable pipes, life in our homes is made more comfortable and worry-free.
PEX – The Best Of All Plumbing Tubes.
The PEX tube that stands for Cross-linked Polyethylene is a flexible but robust type of plumbing tube. It is a better type of pipe compared to copper and galvanized steel pipes. PEX tubes are made of plastic polyethylene cross-linked through radiation. This process results in strong but flexible material. So PEX tubes are robust plastic pipes that you can use on all your plumbing installations in your home.
Characteristics Of PEX Tubes
Pex tubes come in various sizes. They have a length that runs from 10 feet to about 500 feet. The shortest pipes are often used to perform repairs on plumbing systems, while the largest ones are mostly used for plumbing installations during construction. Their diameter also varies from ⅜ to 1 inch. Whatever work you are planning to do on your plumbing system, you will find a PEX pipe able to satisfy your needs.
Apart from their sizes, PEX tubes also come with a color-coding system. There are four types of colors that cover PEX tubes – Red, Blue, White, and Gray. Red PEX Tubes are pipes made to run hot water. Blue Pex tubes run cold water, while gray and white tubes run both cold and hot water. However, gray PEX tubes are a little more difficult to find.
Benefits of PEX Tubes.
Does not require welding
Unlike galvanized steel and metal, PEX tubes do not require any welding or soldering to put tubes together. Fitting or connections and the right tools are enough to put PEX pipes together.
Has High Expanding Capacities
Once the winter comes, regular pipes often break because of ice formation. PEX tube flexibility enables them to expand, preventing them from breaking in extremely low temperatures.
Has No Corrosion Issues
Since it is made of robust plastic, your PEX tube will never face any corrosion or any other damage that often occurs in steel or metal pipes.
Another advantage of being made of plastic is that PEX tubes are completely silent when water flows through them.
It’s Different Colors
With PEX tubes, identifying where hot and cold water flows are easy. The blue and red color coding is a clear and simple indication that you can’t miss.
Disadvantages of PEX Tubes.
Difficulty Used Outdoors
Pex tubes are highly sensitive to ultraviolet rays. They cause the tubes to deteriorate quickly.
The biggest disadvantage of the PEX tube is that it is impossible to melt it. Thus, you can’t recycle it.
Require Special Equipment
Although PEX tubes are easy to obtain and install, they, however, require special equipment to work with them.
Types Of PEX Pipes
There are three different types of Pex tubes: PEX-A, PEX-B, and PEX-C. Their difference comes from the way manufacturers produce them. Depending on the material manufacturers use to produce them, PEX tubes will have specific characteristics. They will not have the same flexibility and resistance. That is why you always have to know what type of PEX tube you will need for your home project before buying it.
PEX-A tubes are made of peroxide. They are the strongest and most flexible of all PEX tubes. They have the best expansion capacities thus are the most resistant to cold temperatures. Finally, they are the easiest to use of all types of PEX tubes.
PEX-B tubes are produced using the silane or moisture-cure cross-linking method. This results in a tube a little stiffer than the PEX-A. It keeps much flexibility and gains a coil memory. When bent, it can get back to its original coiled form. It also keeps its ability to expand like the PEX-A, even though not to the same extent.
PEX-C pipes are the stiffest of all pipes. They are made using the electronic irradiation method of cross-linking. Which makes them not very resistant to cold and thus more prone to cracking. They are ideal for small repairs.
PEX tubes are the future of plumbing tubes. It is true that there is still much to do to make it the ideal plumbing equipment for our homes. By making it recyclable and easy to use with usual plumbing tools, plus reinforcing it for outdoor use, manufacturers might succeed in making PEX pipes the best and only types of pipes recommended for all home plumbing systems.
Hire Licensed And Experienced Plumbing Experts For Professional PEX Tube Installation.
Are you planning to install, replace or repair your plumbing system? Plumbing is best done by a qualified specialist. At The Five Star Plumbing, we offer you professional and affordable plumbing services. Our expert plumbers are the most knowledgeable and experienced professionals in the city. They have the tools and the right solutions for your plumbing issues. They are at your service 24/7 and are just waiting for your call to drive to your home. If you need to replace or repair your plumbing, do not hesitate to contact us. You can schedule an appointment now by calling us at (888) 909-0120 or by leaving a message.