Blogs > Matt Power > May 2010

PEX Plumbing: Flexible Retrofit

With the ability to bend without special tools or heat, PEX tubing makes an ideal plumbing solution when it's time to repair or remodel. It can also connect easily to existing copper.
A couple of copper pipes developed a leak under my sink this week. To be fair, it wasn’t the copper that gave way, it was the old solder, put in 30 years or so ago. And it wasn’t a fast leak. I had time to react before much damage had occurred.
The plumber, instead of putting a complete copper assembly back in, added a hybrid plumbing loop that includes flexible crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing. I’ve been intrigued lately with the idea of “design for disassembly.”  PEX isn’t exactly designed to come apart, but it’s easy to bend, redirect, or cut and add on a section. I’ve always struggled with solder joints, but PEX plumbing requires fewer joints, and it’s easy to create a leak-free bond.
For example, I found a several couplers that allow you just stick the PEX into the ends of to seal. Some brands such as AquaPEX from Uponor, are suitable for fire sprinkler systems.

Image: Monroe Plumbing (showing AquaPEX)

Posted: 5/28/2010 12:36:44 PM by Matt Power | with 0 comments

About Me

As a veteran reporter, Matt Power has covered virtually every aspect of design and construction. His award-winning articles often tackle tough environmental challenges in a way that makes them relevant to both professionals and end users. An expert on both building science and green building, he has a long history of asking hard questions--and adding depth and context as he unfolds complex issues.




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