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PEX plumbing pipe is a flexible, durable, and cost-effective alternative to copper or galvanized steel. In many homes, it can save $2,000 – $5,000 to repipe with PEX compared to copper.

Unlike copper, which can experience corrosion and degradation that may leach into drinking water, PEX is 100% resistant to chemical leaching (except for traces of chlorine that could be absorbed by the water through the pipes).

For new installations, you can install PEX with a traditional copper system using a manifold behind an access panel and short runs of one-half inch pipe to each fixture. Or, you can install a more efficient “homerun” plumbing system that utilizes a three-quarter inch hot and cold line from a manifold to each fixture, eliminating the need for multiple connections.

To make a PEX connection, slide an ASTM F2098 fitting over the end of the pipe and then compress a stainless-steel ring around the inserted pipe with a clamp tool. Pros: fast and easy to learn, quick and simple installation, relatively inexpensive tools and products available at a variety of retailers, no special tools required; Cons: crimping works against the shape-memory properties of PEX by forcing it into a tighter and narrower internal diameter than its natural state; use a go/no-go gauge to confirm a proper connection; tool calibration is critical for consistent results. For long runs, consider leaving a loop to allow for contraction. Also, drill oversize holes through studs and joists to give the pipe space to move. pex plumbing pipe

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