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What is PEX and Why is it Slowly Taking Over Commercial Plumbing?

New Pipes Inc What is PEX and Why is it Taking Over Commercial Plumbing

Have you ever noticed colorful plastic tubes in other residences’ plumbing system? If yes, this is the cross-linked polyethylene, also known as PEX. It has been a trend in the residential plumbing system and is currently becoming a popular alternative to the copper and galvanized steel for the commercial plumbing system.

If you’re exploring other materials for your commercial property, here’s what you need to know about PEX.

What is a PEX pipe?

The PEX pipe has been in the plumbing industry since the early 1980s. It has been popularly used in the residential plumbing system originally for radiant floor heating. In a decade of usage, both the residential and the commercial markets saw how easy it is to use and how fast it is installed.

From heating floors, the product leveled up into a flexible and durable pipe that replaced copper and CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) in the residential’s plumbing system.

The advantages of using PEX

PEX is a flexible pipe that can be shifted and bent into different directions. Since they can be fitted and connected easily, fewer pipes are needed for a plumbing system to work. The fewer pipes, the fewer number of leak points; therefore, reducing the possibility of any leak problems. Moreover, it can also accommodate frozen water in its system because its flexibility allows the material to expand. Due to its resilient material, PEX is highly resistant to breakage.

The commercial market’s stand

PEX is predominantly used in building the services pipework systems. They are also used in the heating and cooling systems, the insulation for high voltage electrical cables, and the domestic water piping. However, they are mainly used in residential markets because commercial plumbing has reservations about the use of PEX. They question its durability, given the complexity of a commercial building’s plumbing system.

The change started in the early 2000s when the first commercial PEX plumbing was installed. Its coverage started from a small function, specifically limiting its usage to in-suite applications only. Then, the manufacturers started introducing larger sizes of PEX, allowing the installation to expand and include the risers and the mains.

Nowadays, both engineers and installers are working to come up with a PEX that meets the value engineering standards for wide usage, and slowly, the commercial industry is moving to PEX.

Why the conversion happened

There are three reasons the commercial industry started to welcome PEX to its plumbing setup.

  1. Speed

The PEX is a highly flexible material. Because of its flexibility, it is also easier to install. It can be curved or bent around depending on the structural framing.

Recently, complex designs and structures are observed in modern commercial spaces. The flexibility of PEX allows the plumbing industry to also adapt to these modern design developments. It helps the installers move quickly according to the changes needed.

PEX is also a helpful material to use when re-pipe applications are needed for places that are required to be preserved like historic buildings. The flexibility of the material meets the need for a minimal invasion during the renovation process.

  1. Cost

PEX is more affordable compared to the traditional copper and CPVC pipe. Since it is an easy and flexible material, less pipe and fewer connections are necessary for the plumbing system to work. This fact helps cut down the labor cost and the total material cost for your commercial space.

  1. Reliability

PEX is a flexible and resilient material. These qualities make it a reliable plumbing material that reduces the possibility of any leak damage in the future.


PEX might be a beginner in the commercial plumbing industry, but this material has a lot of potential. Now that you have an idea about PEX, you need to know if it is a good fit for your current plumbing system. For this matter, seeking advice from plumbing professionals is the best way to find out.

Are you considering switching to PEX for your plumbing system? We offer plumbing services from Santa Clara to San Luis Obispo County, including a 24-hour plumbing service.

New Pipes Inc.
New Pipes Inc.
We are a dedicated company that works with commercial property owners, HOA's, and apartment managers. We specialize in commercial plumbing and HVAC services. Our company services the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

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