Everything Fort Myers Property Owners Need to Know About the Plumbing Repiping Process
Plumbing repiping is the process of replacing all existing domestic water piping and installing a new system throughout your home or building. Repiping is a long-term solution to serious pipe corrosion problems that we have in the Fort Myers area due to the corrosive chemicals in the water supply.
If you’re faced with a repipe job your Lee County home because of a water leak or lower water pressure, you’ll be presented with two piping options: copper or PEX. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons for each type.
Copper tubing has been the longtime standard for plumbing in Southwest Florida and requires a certain skillset for sweating (soldering) pipes and fittings together. This is a job you can do yourself, but it does require patience and is best practiced on a vice and workbench before performing under a sink.
Copper has natural attributes that make it ideal for plumbing. It creates a biostatic atmosphere which makes it difficult for bacteria to grow inside of it. It also resists corrosion and is unaffected by ultraviolet rays, which allows you to use it outdoors.
Copper does have a few disadvantages, though. Copper has become expensive, whereas PEX plumbing is typically about a third of the cost. It can still corrode based on the pH levels of water and if you live in a cold climate, frozen water can cause copper pipes to burst.
The inflexibilty of copper can make for a difficult and messy intallation, whereas PEX pipes are bendable and easily maneuvered.
PEX (or crosslinked polyethylene) was introduced in the US around 1980 and is often seen in radiant heat flooring applications, but has now become commonplace in Fort Myers for plumbing repiping and plumbing repairs.
PEX popularity can be attributed to many factors, including cost, flexibility, resistance to scale and chlorine, and fast installation with fewer connections and fittings. PEX is also more efficient as it doesn’t lose heat like a copper pipe will. Although PEX is not suitable for use outside, it is much more resistant to freezing temperatures and bursting.
PEX is color coded based on water temperature (red is hot, blue is cold, white is any) which is a handy feature.
Installing PEX tubing can be done with cinch or crimp rings and a cinch clamp tool or compression or stab-in fittings, either technique is easier and less toxic than sweating copper.
Most Fort Myers plumbers will probably opt for PEX when doing their repairs and repiping jobs, but copper remains a viable option.
If you suspect plumbing issue such as low water pressure or leaky pipes, American Construction and Plumbing can offer a free inspection and estimate on a copper or PEX plumbing repipe installation.