Many older homes in New Jersey have copper plumbing pipes. Like most metals, copper is prone to pinhole leaks, corrosion, and other problems as it ages. If you’re interested in water pipe replacements for copper, PEX pipe is the most popular choice. Most modern plumbing systems use PEX piping, which is made from polyethylene. These hard, durable plastic pipes have been the default standard since the 1980s, and they’re known for their flexibility.
PEX water pipe replacements for copper are surprisingly simple for plumbing contractors to install– much easier than galvanized steel. They’re also less likely to freeze during the winter, making PEX a good piping choice for many New Jersey homeowners looking for water pipe replacements for copper piping.
However, many homeowners also choose to use copper again when the times comes for water pipe replacements for copper plumbing. For many applications, copper can actually be superior to PEX. Your local plumbing contractor can further advise you on which material is best.
When Will You Need Water Pipe Replacements for Copper?
Because plumbing pipes made from copper will eventually corrode and decay over decades of use, they’ll eventually need to be replaced to prevent leaks, water damage, and other serious problems. So when do you need to replace your copper piping?
Plumbing pipe replacement is often a matter of age. Copper plumbing pipes are known to last for 70-80 years, so they have a long lifespan. However, if you have an older, historic home, water pipe replacements for copper might be a serious concern that you’ll need to consider. When the time comes to replace the pipes, you’ll have two main choices: copper or PEX.
Benefits of PEX Repiping
PEX is popular for many good reasons, and homeowners with aging, worn-out copper pipes often go with PEX instead. Some of the benefits of PEX– as an option for water pipe replacements for copper– include:
- Flexibility. PEX pipes are much more flexible than copper or other metals, which helps make them easier for plumbing companies in New Jersey to install.
- Durability. Unlike copper and galvanized steel, PEX pipes aren’t damaged by exposure to chlorine– which is often present in small amounts in tap water, as a sterilizing agent. PEX repiping is also highly resistant to scale, a phenomenon that happens when water impurities cause mineral buildups inside your pipes.
- Fast installation. PEX pipes don’t need as many fittings and connections to install as copper pipes. This makes it easier for plumbing contractors, and less expensive for homeowners.
- Freeze resistance. Frozen pipes are a common problem during the frigid New Jersey winters.
- PEX pipes are quite freeze-resistant, diminishing the chances of a burst pipe in the winter.
- Insulating properties. PEX is more insulating than copper, and won’t lose heat as quickly. This keeps your hot water at a suitable temperature.
When it’s time for water pipe replacements for copper plumbing pipes, PEX is a great choice for homeowners. It’s flexible, easy to install, and suited for most indoor plumbing applications.
Pipe Replacement with New Copper Pipes
Although PEX has gained a considerable amount of popularity in recent years, some homeowners and plumbers still prefer copper piping. Although copper can be considerably more expensive than PEX, it does have some key advantages:
- Suitability for outdoor use. PEX isn’t very useful as a water pipe replacements for copper in outdoor applications. Unlike copper, PEX piping can degrade from exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight. It’s also far less weather-resistant than copper.
- Durability and flexibility. Copper piping has a long, proven history of durability for residential plumbing applications. It’s also surprisingly flexible, and relatively easy for plumbing contractors to install.
- Resistance to water contamination. Copper pipes are quite impermeable, whereas PEX is not. This means that PEX pipes can be more susceptible to water contamination.
- Fire safety. In the event of a house fire, PEX can emit dangerously toxic fumes. This is not true of copper pipes.
- Environmental friendliness. Copper can be recycled, while PEX generally cannot. Combined with environmental concerns surrounding the manufacture of PEX plastics, copper is a more eco-friendly material.
To find out more about water pipe replacements for copper, including alternative options like PEX piping, call us today at Degrace Plumbing, at 201-786-2538.