CROSSLINKED POLYETHYLENE (PEX)
 

PEX tubing comes in nominal sizes ranging from 1/4 to 3 in. copper tube size (CTS), and pipe sizes in both inch and metric sizes. PEX tubing is SDR9 with standard hydrostatic pressure ratings of 160 psi at 73°F (1105 kPa at 23°C) and 100 psi at 180°F (690 kPa at 82°C). Consult the specific PEX manufacturer's literature and listings for appropriate pressure ratings. PEX tubing and pipe are sold in coils and straight lengths.

Definition

PEX is a polyethylene material which has undergone a change in molecular structure using a chemical or a physical process whereby the polymer chains are chemically linked. Crosslinking of polyethylene into PEX for pipes results in improved properties such as elevated temperature strength and performance, chemical resistance and resistance to slow crack growth.

Overview

PEX is a high-temperature flexible plastic pressure pipe with over 40 years of successful use in the European market, including extensive testing for durability and material performance. It was first introduced in North America in the early 1980s and is widely used for plumbing, water service, fire protection, hydronic heating and cooling, snow and ice melting and ground source geothermal piping systems. PEX is approved in all model plumbing and mechanical codes across the United States and Canada, and some PEX pipe is listed for use in fire sprinkler systems as defined in NFPA standard 13D.

PEX Advantages

  • Safety of potable water and long-term reliability
  • Resistance to corrosion, tuberculation, deposits
  • Chlorine and chloramine resistance
  • Flexibility to speed installations
  • Freeze-break resistance
  • Lightweight, easy to transport
  • Noise and water hammer resistance
  • No scrap value, avoiding job-site theft
  • Durability and toughness to survive job-site installations
  • No flame used for joining, with many fitting and joining options

PEX Applications

  • Water service lines, sizes ½ to 3 inch
  • Hot and cold water plumbing distribution, residential and commercial
  • Residential fire protection (NFPA 13D)
  • Reclaimed water piping (purple pipe)
  • Radiant heating and cooling systems (floors, walls, ceilings)
  • Hydronic piping and distribution (radiators, fan coils, etc.)
  • Chilled water piping
  • Pre-insulated transmission piping, typically for buried applications
  • Outdoor snow and ice melting
  • Turf conditioning/pitch heating
  • Geothermal ground loops (vertical boreholes, horizontal layouts)