What is PEX Tubing?

>> Friday, March 23, 2012

Cross-linked polyethylene or PEX piping is an ideal product used when it comes to installation of radiant heat systems and recently, for hot and cold plumbing applications. The is derived from the formed links between polyethylene molecules during the manufacturing process. This was developed in 1960s and was mainly popular in Europe until the 80s. The use of PEX plumbing has become Presently, PEX tubing is not for outdoor use or installation as it has to be kept away from direct exposure to sunlight. However, due to the advancement of technology, the use of PEX tubing in the outdoors may become possible soon.may become possible soon.

Types of PEX Tubing:

  1. Oxygen Barrier PEX Tubing. This is intended to be used for closed loop heating applications like radiant heating, hydronic heating, outdoor wood boilers and other.
  2. Non-Barrier PEX Tubing. Primarily used for hot and cold water plumbing applications and used in open loop type radiant heating applications.
  3. PEX-AL-PEX Tubing. Intended for both in plumbing and heating applications. It has all the advantages of regular PEX plus the memory feature that allows it to keep it's shape when bent.

Advantages of Using PEX Tubing for Plumbing and Radiant Heat Systems:

  • It is durable and able to withstand extreme temperatures.
  • PEX is highly resistant to chemicals which exist in the plumbing environment.
  • Installation of PEX tubing can be easily done and relatively affordable. Even non-professional plumbers can do it.
  • During operation, PEX tubing is quieter compared to traditional piping materials.
  • PEX tubing is ideal for hot and cold water systems.
  • PEX piping connect easily, is easy to work with and flexible enough to follow corners.
  • It is easier and faster to install PEX tubing because it requires minimal directional fittings.
  • The use of PEX tubing is approved by almost all local building codes.


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