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Pipe Repair – What are Your Choices

Pipe Repair – What are Your Choices

plumbing replacement service

PEX Pipes: The Many Differences Between Pipes

The word pipe can mean so many things to many people. An, if you’re a plumber you know there is also a lot of different types of pipes.
Here are a few of the types of pipes that are used in pipe repair in a home or business:

Galvanized (zinc-coated steel) pipingcopper pipe

Many years ago galvanized (zinc-coated steel) piping took over as the more common choice for indoor plumbing after growing lead poisoning concerns. Galvanized pipes can last about 70 years but eventually, give way to rust from the inside out. This can happen quicker or slower depending on the minerals and other elements in the water.
Back in the ’60s, the use of galvanized pipe began to decline. Other types of metal pipes began to find favor because they were easier to work with.

Copper Pipe for Your Home’s Pipe Repair

Copper piping, which is the #1 material used for plumbing work in today’s world, is the same material that the Egyptians used to lay their own pipe – some 3000 years ago! Archaeologists have recovered a portion of a water plumbing system from the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. The evidence of indoor plumbing in palaces has dating back to 2500 B.C.

Today we still use copper piping because of its durability and ease of use.

Today’s Pipe Repair

That brings us today’s metal of choice for plumbing – copper pipe. Copper pipe has several advantages and benefits over the older metals used.

  • Copper pipe is light and rigid needing fewer fittings and supports and sagging less over time than heavier metals.
  • Copper’s ability to handle high temps makes it easy to adjoin copper pipe therefore there’s no need for harmful chemicals or adhesives when installed.
  • Being easier to install and needing less material can make a fully-copper installation much cheaper than pipes made of cheaper material.
  • Copper pipe is a natural metal that actually inhibits bacteria growth and is naturally corrosive resistant. This helps lessen concerns about mold or disease growing behind your walls or underneath your sink.
  • Copper pipe can handle extreme heat or cold conditions. It can also withstand more than 1000 pounds of pressure per square inch.

PEX Pipes for Pipe Repair

Then there’s PEX pipe. PEX is the newest technology in plumbing. PEX stands for PolyEthylene with cross-links (X). Cross-linking is the bonding of one polymer (plastic) chain to another. All PEX pipes come with specifications and classifications. Prior to PEX, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) was the most used plastic piping. Yet, PEX pipe holds several advantages over its older cousin and even over copper pipe.
  • Easiest to install: PEX pipe requires even fewer fittings than copper pipe. It also requires no soldering or welding of metals.
  • Most Flexible: Both PVC and Copper require elbows to maneuver around beams and corners. PEX tubing can bend, contort, and run along walls and edges with greater ease.
  • Cost: Since PEX pipe needs less space, material, and equipment it can cost considerably less than both Copper pipe and PVC.
  • Life Expectancy: While the Copper pipe is highly resistant to extreme cold and heat, the PEX pipe is even more so. PEX pipe is the most resistant to freezing, cracking, or bursting from extreme conditions and pressure.
Now while PEX pipe seems to have more benefits than its alternatives it does have some drawbacks that one would need to take into consideration.
First, it is plastic. So that means there is often an aftertaste and smell that accompanies using PEX pipe. It can and usually does go away after some time but the initial odor and taste can be an issue.
Secondly, as with any synthetic polymer, there can be chemical concerns. Recent reports and studies have shown no conclusive evidence of PEX piping causing any health issues yet some builders and environmental groups are still hesitant to embrace PEX as an alternative.
Lastly, some insects find it tasty! Certain insects can in fact puncture PEX piping if left to chew at it long enough. Most notably the Western Conifer Seed bug of the Rocky Mountains.

So we’ve gone over quite a number of different things that may help you determine the best type of pipe for your home or business. Whatever your piping needs may be, Trusty Plumbers can help you determine what suits your budget, environment, and daily needs best.

What would I recommend?

If it were my house, I would probably install PEX. It’s quieter, and, as a plumber, the sound of running water can wake me up if someone uses the toilet in the middle of the night. So I prefer quiet piping. Also, as a plumber, if my PEX system fails, I can quickly fix it. PEX is undoubtedly a good choice. But usually, I recommend copper repiping for my customers’ houses.

Because we know the reliability of a properly installed copper pipe system, if you also have a water softener system installed at the same time as your repipe, the copper pipe system could last over 50 years (depending on other factors). Wow!
Here’s a link to info about installing a soft water system.

So, there you have it. I hope this helps you make your decision on what to use. If you have further questions, you can send me an email at
OR call us for an appointment: (562) 242-3218

Mitch Clemmons
Founder, Trusty Plumbers / Mitch Clemmons Plumbing

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