Not everyone is familiar with the facts and elements of pex-al-pex fittings. There are different styles of PEX tubing, such as non-barrier PEX, oxygen barrier PEX, and pex-al-pex to choose from. While each one is bonded with some added layers and coatings, they do have major differences, which professionals need to understand to make the best choice.
Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) is a kind of flexible plastic tubing, which is currently replacing traditional copper and galvanised steel for water supply chains in new construction and renovation projects. You might have seen blue and red PEX pipe in the plumbing area, but may not be aware of the difference between types of PEX tubing that can control your water lines like a pro.
Read on to learn more about PEX tubing, where it can be used and pex-al-pex vs pex to make a wise selection.
PEX is available in various lengths, mainly used for small repairs or to install the entire home’s water supply system. Although there are four types of PEX in different colourings, they didn’t bring distinctions, in fact, they make the process simpler in order to identify which lines carry hot or cold water supply.
- RED PEX pipe – hot water
- Blue PEX pipe – cold water
- White PEX pipe – either hot or cold water
- Gray PEX pipe – like white, either for hot or cold water
- When installing PEX, it doesn’t need soldering as galvanized steel and copper do.
- PEX expands, which makes it immune to freeze-cracking as compared to copper or steel.
- PEX doesn’t corrode, which usually occurs with both copper and steel pipes.
- Water can flow silently and without any interruption through PEX tubing, eradicating water hammer noise linked with metal piping.
- Colour coding makes it easy to differentiate between hot and cold water supply lines.
- PEX can be easily connected to existing metal supply lines with correct fittings.
Overview of PEX-AL-PEX
Pex-al-pex piping is a high-temperature resistance flexible plastic pressure pipe, designed with rigorous testing for durability and material performance. It is widely used in plumbing, hydronic heating, and cooling, and even in snow and ice melting systems. These pipes are approved in all model plumbing and mechanical standards.
- Ensures safety of portable water, which results in long-term reliability and support
- Resistant to corrosion, deposits, and tuberculation
- Flexible and stiff enough to retain its shape
- Minimal linear longitudinal thermal expansion than standard PEX
- The aluminium layer prevents oxygen from infusing into a pipe
- No flame is required for joining fitting and pipes
- Durable and tough to sustain jobsite installation
Differences between types of PEX Tubing
It is flexible and easy to install, considered a great alternative to copper and CPVC rigid piping for portable and non-portable water plumbing applications.
The external coating of oxygen barrier PEX tubing can help avoid the diffusion of oxygen particles into the water via the walls of the pipe. This can prevent corrosion of cast iron elements in the system and make it helpful for hot water hydronic heating applications, such as radiator heating, fan coils, radiator floor heating, and snow melting system.
The most distinctive feature of pex-al-pex is the internal layer of aluminum, which is sandwiched between two layers of pex. This layer offers an oxygen diffuser barrier with no additional coatings.