Residential Application of Cross-Linked Polyethylene (PEX) Water System
Posted on: December 12, 2019
As a leading MEP engineering and consulting company, it has been our mission to provide the most efficient mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems to real estate developers and homeowners throughout Texas and Alabama. This is why we continue to improve our knowledge with the best options for every situation. Here, we highlight PEX water system and what it has to offer to residential properties.
What is PEX Water System?
Cross-linked polyethylene or PEX is a polymer water supply system that holds many advantages over other plumbing and piping systems. PEX’s flexibility and durability allow it to have a wide variety of applications. For over 30 years, it has been primarily used for radiant floor heating and water distribution system. More recently, it has made its way into residential facilities in the form of potable water distribution, and fire suppression systems. It is accepted by all major plumbing and mechanical codes in Texas, Alabama, and the rest of the United States.
PEX piping has superior durability and safety compared to metal and PVC pipes. If set side by side with metal piping, it is more affordable and has better resistance to corrosion. It also offers better resistance to freeze damage and has the easiest installation among all three. It can easily be installed for new home constructions, as well as retrofit or remodeling projects. Residential applications include:
- Hot and Cold Water Supply System;
- Hot and Cold Potable Water Distribution System;
- Residential Fire Suppression (Sprinkler) System;
- Hydronic Heating and Cooling System;
- Heat Transfer (Snow or Ice Melting) System; and
- Water Recycling System
Advantages of PEX Water System
1. DURABILITY AND RELIABILITY
The manufacturing and distribution of PEX are strictly regulated to ensure absolute quality. PEX is composed of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) molecules, which through the process of crosslinking, have become permanently fused with each other. This makes it extra durable surpassing traditional metal piping in almost every way. It also holds better resistance to corrosion and its smooth interior walls eliminate the possibility of mineral buildup, making it resistant to occlusion—the reduction in the interior space of a tube common to metal pipes.
Heat and Freeze Resistance
The production of PEX is strictly mandated to reach a quality that could endure aggressive drinking water conditions reaching 200ºF. It is also manufactured to withstand the pressure when the water inside freezes up and thaws away, a situation that can easily make other piping systems crack or burst.
PEX water system’s design and superior characteristics allow it to have better conservation of water, energy and even installation labor compared to other piping systems.
- A well planned PEX water system can significantly reduce the wait time for water to reach fixtures such as showerheads or faucets. This helps in conserving both water and energy, especially when delivering hot water.
- Metal, generally being a good conductor, is prone to heat transmission when hot water passes through its inner walls. PEX, on the other hand, minimizes heat transfer due to its better thermal characteristics which minimizes energy usage.
- PEX holds the quickest and easiest installation amongst other piping systems used for plumbing or water supply. By using mechanical connections, the need for solder, flame, or other bonding chemicals are eliminated. It also has fewer connections and fittings which minimizes the possibility of having leaks.
PEX piping does not contain harmful chemicals such as VOCs or lead. The production and transportation of PEX also consume less energy compared to the creation and transportation of heavy metallic pipes of the same length.
These are just a few benefits that PEX piping has to offer. Many are still hesitant in using this system because of the unfamiliarity with its design and installation process. But, there are also some MEP Engineering Firms that are well-versed with PEX water system just like Source2load Engineering and Consulting who has a big presence in Houston, TX and other areas all over Texas and Alabama. With extensive technical proficiency and years of experience in the industry, you are guaranteed timely and cost-effective completion on all your MEP engineering needs including PEX water system for residential application.