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PEX Vs Copper Pipes: A Plumber Discusses The Pros And Cons | New Orleans, LA

PEX Vs Copper Pipes: A Plumber Discusses The Pros And Cons | New Orleans, LA

Are you planning a bathroom remodel and not sure what kind of pipes you should use? Maybe you plan to repipe your home and want to know which pipes are better. Or you want to save money by fixing all those leaky pipes. A leak that drips one drop per second will waste more than 3,000 gallons of water a year.

Copper pipes have been around for a very long time and used to be very popular. Many plumbers and homeowners prefer PEX pipes because of their advantages. This does not mean that copper has gone out of style. Continue reading to understand the pros and cons of each material.


Homeowners often just look at the price to decide which pipes they will choose. And if you are looking at several feet of piping, then the difference between PEX and copper can be tremendous. Copper pipes can cost twice as much as PEX pipes or more. Depending on the size of the project, the difference could be several thousand dollars.

However, price should not always be the first thing you should consider when it comes to plumbing. A good plumber will tell you that cheaper can quickly become very expensive.

Useful Life

When it comes to life expectancy, copper pipes are the winner. These pipes can last more than 50 years. PEX pipes, on the other hand, will last around 30 years.

The quality of your water will affect how long these pipes will last. Extremely hot water harms PEX pipes, as are high amounts of chlorine and UV rays. PEX pipes are usually not used for outside plumbing.

Copper pipes will deteriorate in acidic water. Before deciding on which pipes to use, you should get the water in your home tested. A plumber in New Orleans, LA might also recommend a water filtration system to deal with hard or acidic water.

Installation Method

When installing a PEX pipe, a plumber must only connect it at the water distribution panel and the water point. The flexibility of the pipes allows them to run easily along walls and corners.

Copper pipes need to be cut to size and soldered together at each bend or turn. A professional must also cut through the drywall to make the connections. All of this takes much more time and will increase labor costs.


While copper pipes are usually used in new constructions, PEX pipes are a common choice for home remodels. They are also popular with DIYers. However, it would help if you avoided DIYing your home’s plumbing.

Not only can things go wrong, but you will also need a permit to do many plumbing jobs. Always call your trusted plumber in New Orleans, LA. It will be cheaper in the long run.

Types of Shutoff

Apart from the main shutoff valve at the water entry point, each fixture must have its shutoff valve. Usually, these are located in the cabinet below a sink. As for tubs and showers, the shutoff valves may be placed behind panels.

PEX pipes are usually controlled by one main shutoff located near the water main. This can make it easier to shut off the water in a certain part of the house, but it can be confusing if you have a lot of fixtures.

And running to the other end of the house to shut off that broken faucet can be inconvenient. Be sure to discuss shutoff valves with your plumber when planning a retrofit.

Pipe Freezing

During cold winters, copper pipes tend to crack when the water inside expands when it freezes. Frozen pipes can burst and flood your home causing extensive water damage. The Insurance Information Institute states that water damage and freezing are the second leading cause of home insurance claims.

Pipe freezing is usually not a problem with PEX pipes as their flexibility allows them to expand. Though under extreme conditions, which are not common in New Orleans, LA, PEX pipes can still freeze and need an extra layer of insulation.

If you live in an older home, chances are that the pipes are not properly insulated and are at risk of freezing. PEX piping might be a better option here.


Yes, rats and mice can chew through PEX pipes just as much as other plastics. It might not be a problem in your area, but it is best to confirm with your local authorities.

Leaky pipes will cause great damage to the structure of your house. If rats have been a problem in your home, you might need a pest control service to deal with the rodents and maybe install copper pipes.

In Closing

In the PEX vs. copper question, PEX often wins. It is cheaper and easier to install and maintain. On the other hand, copper will last much longer. The good thing is that the two types of pipes can be easily connected.

So if your home contains copper pipes but wants to use PEX in your new bathroom, you do not need to repipe your entire home. A professional plumber can help you decide what is best for you. Keep in mind that if you decide on PEX, the plumber must be certified by the manufacturing company.

bluefrog Home Services of New Orleans Will Answer All Your Plumbing Questions

The world of plumbing is broad and exciting. Each day there are new things that a homeowner needs to know, fix, and comply with. That is why here at bluefrog Home Services of New Orleans, we are dedicated to making your life easier by taking care of your home’s plumbing.

We will do plumbing repairs, leak detection, water heater installations, gas leak repairs, inspections, and drain cleaning. Our team of trained, licensed, and experienced plumbers will promptly come to your aid in times of emergency. No matter what your problem is, however small, don’t hesitate to give us a call at bluefrog Home Services of New Orleans today.

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