Plumbing Materials and Installation
Cross Linked Polyethylene (PEX) Piping
Since we started building houses 87 years ago, we've seen a complete evolution of plumbing materials. We've used everything from galvanized to CPVC to copper. But we've now chosen to go with Grade A PEX or cross-linked polyethylene pipe. We've done that for several reasons. The main reason is PEX is a lot more malleable. It will bend in places that copper and PVC will not, so you greatly reduce the number of joints. In fact, you have a fraction of the joints in a house that has PEX piping versus one that has copper or CPVC. Having fewer joints is good because every joint is an opportunity for failure down the road. The only type of plumbing that will be in the slab at all will be the main that comes in from the outside, whether you're on a water well or city water. The main pipe that comes into your home will be a three-quarter inch PEX. It will come up through the slab and go to the attic to distribute throughout the rest of the home.
Another advantage of PEX property is the propensity for it to freeze and be able to expand a little bit. PEX piping will not fail in the event it freezes. Copper or CPVC will crack as the water expands into ice. If that happens in your attic or in your slab, you'll have water damages and expensive repairs. By using PEX piping throughout the home, we minimize this risk.
PEX piping is also a great choice because of its durability on a job site. It can be bent around without tearing. If it gets stepped on or run over on the job site, the PEX is a far more durable product than the copper or CPVC. It can withstand some of the mishaps that happen on a job site that could lead to a failure in your home.
When you do need a joint in PEX piping, it's easier to get a good seal than with other materials. A tool that expands the end of the pipe out and it expands it just a little bit. A fitting is inserted to put two pieces together, a sleeve slides over it, and if those sleeves are touching the fitting, you know you've got a good fit.
Finally, PEX is the best choice for our customers who are on water wells with hard water. With copper piping, mineral deposits will stick to the metal in the copper leading to failure and leaks down the road. PEX piping resists these mineral build-ups.
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