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Questions Regarding the Use of PEX Pipe in Household Plumbing

Can I use Pex in Swimming Pool Applications?

Answer: PEX breaks down in the presence of sunlight, so no it is not suitable for use in a swimming pool application.

Can Pex be used with copper pipe?

Answer:  Yes PEX can be used with copper and fitting are available in a variety of styles that connect copper to PEX.  I have used the Shark fittings and the Gator with great success, however for permanent installations I opt for solder  to the copper pipe and a crimp to PEX.  I tried using the threaded brass fitting to a PEX Crimp and on a high pressure application we are encountering some leakage from the threaded connection. The PEX crimp side shows no leaks.

Does Pex Pipe handle freezing temperatures better than copper or PVC?

Answer: Yes due to its flexibility

Can PEX be used underground?

Answer: My understanding is that PEX can be used where it does not come into contact in sunlight for potable water.  Also PEX pipe should be stored inside. Exposure to the Sun for a limited amount of time is acceptable during installation.

Can I use PEX for heating?

Answer: Yes PEX can handle up to 200 degrees in heating applications

We use PEX in our vacation home, and the line is frozen, how do I thaw it out?

Answer:  Several ways work, but here is the issue. PEX can melt, so don’t use that torch. If you have power, then a hairdryer is a perfect tool to thaw the frozen line.  Hot towels can also be used to thaw frozen PEX pipe. I see this in unheated basements, but I would rather deal with a frozen PEX pipe than a ruptured copper or PVC line.

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