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PEX Tubing and SharkBite Fittings: The New Alternative to Copper Pipe


PEX tubing is new generation of plumbing pipe with many advantages. Unlike previous flexible tubing products such as polybutylene (PB) tubing which was problematic in plumbing installations, PEX tubing is a cross linked polyethylene tubing which is a much strong and longer lasting product than (PB) tubing.

PEX tubing has been used in Europe for over 30 years with great success, it first appeared in North America in the early 80’s and has been used for radiant floor heating systems, and more recently in residential water systems.

Modern manufacturing techniques and chemical engineering has made PEX tubing a superior product in performance and durability. Currently PEX tubing is approved for use in all 50 states.


Advantages of PEX Tubing


1. Ease of installation, PEX tubing is a boon for DIYERS because now you can do plumbing repairs with a safe and easy to use product which requires no tubing benders, soldering, torches or glue. PEX tubing uses slip together mechanical connections.


2. No Corrosion, PEX tubing will not rust or corrode and its smooth interior walls minimize scale buildup.


3. Lower Installation cost, PEX tubing is less labor intensive then copper pipe and easier to install as the tubing is flexible and can be snaked around obstructions minimizing damage to structural members.


4. Energy Efficient, PEX is energy efficient with less heat loss than copper pipe and it will not burst if exposed to freezing conditions.


5. Quieter operation, PEX tubing is flexible and eliminates plumbing noises such as water hammering and hissing.


6. Meets building code requirements; PEX tubing is approved for use in all 50 states.

Where Can PEX tubing Be Used?


PEX Tubing Has Numerous Applications Including:


1. Radiant floor heating, under wood flooring or in concrete slabs.


2. Snow or ice melt systems in driveways and sidewalks.


3. Residential fire sprinkler installations


4. Sports field sprinkler applications.


5. Residential potable water systems, including municipal water service applications.


PEX tubing comes in numerous sizes from ¼ inch up to 2 inches in diameter and can be used throughout the house. PEX may also be used to repair existing plumbing systems.


Types of PEX Tubing:

   Blue PEX used for Cold Water applications

Red PEX used for Hot Water applications

Orange PEX for Radiant Heating applications


PEX tubing is available in the three types or styles.


Type A: Type A PEX tubing is the most flexible and the most expensive; most manufactures of this type have developed proprietary fittings requiring special tools to install it.


Type B: Type B is the most commonly used style of PEX tubing and is sold by the Home Depot in our stores and on line at  Type B is what most DIYERS and contractors use for residential plumbing applications.

Type C: Type C PEX is a new product designed to allow a lower price point for PEX tubing in the market place, however type C is inferior to the other types in performance and should only be used in non-potable water systems, such as landscape and drainage applications.


SharkBite Plumbing Connectors:


The SharkBite connection system makes any plumbing project fast and easy. The SharkBite system includes hundreds of products from dozens of different fittings, a wide range of push-fit valves, and adapters for connection to PEX, CPVC and Copper pipe. SharkBite is a tested, proven and certified connection system for plumbing projects.


How to Install PEX Tubing with SharkBite fittings:


PEX tubing may be used with SharkBite fittings the ideal product for DIY repairs in your home.

Simply cut the PEX tubing to length, and slide it into the shark bite fitting, it’s that simple. Now any homeowner can do inside the wall plumbing repairs such new shower valves, copper pipe repairs to a complete repiping themselves.

A few years ago I had a hot water line rerouted due to a slab leak, the repair performed by a plumber using copper pipe cost over $1000.00 dollars. Now the same rerouting with PEX and SharkBite fittings would cost less than $200.00!

Fittings are available for all applications including right angles, unions, and PEX to CPVC and PEX to copper adapters.

The next time you visit your local Home Depot, stop by the plumbing department and check out the PEX tubing and SharkBite fittings, they have revolutionized plumbing repairs.



Mike, The Home Depot Answer Man

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Posted 2015-07-13T21:35:27+0000  by Mike_HD_OC Mike_HD_OC