If you want to re-pipe your old house or are considering piping options for a new home, you have 3 major options. You either go with PEX pipes, copper pipes, or galvanized steel pipes. To make your decision easier, let’s compare the pros and cons of each option below:
Galvanized Steel Pipes
Most homes built in the early 20th century were fitted with galvanized pipes. Due to their overwhelming disadvantages, they are no longer in use and are gradually being phased out of home piping systems.
- They are built to withstand rust, corrosion, and mineral buildup.
- Top quality galvanized pipes are long-lasting.
- Galvanized pipes are very heavy and difficult to install/repair.
- They are prone to chipping and cracking.
- They get clogged over time, leading to reduced water pressure.
- When galvanized pipes corrode, dangerous levels of lead is released into the water system.
Copper replaced galvanized steel as the primary home plumbing option in the 1960s. These days, it faces stiff competition from plastics as the preferred piping material.
- Strong, sturdy, and pollution-proof.
- Heat tolerant and very long-lasting.
- Copper pipes are environmentally friendly and easy to recycle.
- More expensive than PEX pipes.
- There have been reports of water acidity when copper pipes were used in wells.
Cross-linked polyethylene pipes came to the fore in the 1950s as conduits in radiant floor heating systems. Over the past 20 years, however, PEX pipes have been repurposed for water distribution systems.
- They are very flexible and can be bent around corners. A piece of PEX pipe can be extended throughout a house without elbow joints.
- They are very heat resistant and work effectively for both hot and cold water supplies.
- PEX pipes are a good choice for re-piping and home renovations.
- There are concerns that the production process of the pipes may lead to water contamination.
- PEX pipes are susceptible to UV lights and chlorine.
- PEX pipes cannot be recycled