Copper vs PEX Water Pipes
It was time for installation of both the sewer and water lines in the slab. John Podolak, our plumber, laid the sewer lines (4″ PVC pipe) into the foundation before the pour is done. On the water lines we had to make some choices. The big choice was copper vs PEX water pipes. Which one would be best for us?
Water Lines in Wall or Slab
In most cases builders put the water lines into the slab along with the sewer lines. However, our plumber suggested a wall installation. This will give better access to the lines if a leak should develop. It is never easy to get into the slab. You don’t ever want to have to do that.
Water Lines in Copper or PEX
Questions about PEX
Another decision that had to be made was whether we would go with copper or PEX for the water lines. Today most new homes have PEX lines. This is a polyethylene material that was controversial when it was first introduced. PEX is made from petroleum products. There has been some question about whether chemicals will leach into the water. We don’t know if this is true. PEX is approved in all states. California was last to approve in 2009.
Copper is more expensive than PEX tubing. However, PEX should be sleeved when installed in a slab, which increases cost. PEX will be damaged by sunlight, so there concerns about how the pipe has been handled prior to installation. There are questions about the effect of chlorinated water on the PEX. This is not a decision for a whole subdivision, where cost will make a big difference. This is just one house. And, our plumber prefers to use copper. He likes to do things the old-fashioned way.
And, we are personally averse to plastic water bottles. We don’t use plastic storage containers. So copper is a better fit for us.
Thanks for visiting our Copper vs PEX water pipes post. We are just diy remodelers, and do projects as a hobby. But, we enjoy sharing ideas with our clients. If you need somebody, and not just anybody, to help you find a home or get your home sold, we’d love to hear from you! We’re full time Realtors with over 30 years experience in Austin real estate.