Does PEX Piping Affect Drinking Water Quality


People generally consider plastic pipes to be the most appropriate for plumbing; for they are cheaper, lighter and easier to install than metal plumbing. Although this may be so, homeowners need to know that PEX plumbing will require one to filter or flush their piping; as researchers studying cross-linked polyethylene piping explain.

PEX pipe continues to grow in popularity as it’s cheap and easy to use. Although more consumers are turning to PEX pipes; preliminary research shows that PEX tubing can have a negative effect on water quality. According to the research team; contaminates such as: benzene, gasoline, oil and pesticides have a greater chance of penetrating through the PEX piping as compared to other types of piping, which include copper. In addition contaminants from the pipes can also leach into the water.

Potential PEX Pipe Problems.

By testing various brands of plastic pipes, researchers are able to determine the extent of PEX pipe’s on the quality of water. Initial findings indicate that, PEX brands affects water quality at different levels, pipes that have passed safety tests may contain contaminants enough to affect water’s taste and smell.

PEX pipes are not created equal, thus it is important for home owners to know the type of pipes used in their home. For instance, toluene which is a solvent that is used for plastic resin synthesis is present in PEX pipes. The toluene dissolves in pipe water which causes gasoline-like odor; this can result to health effects if it exceeds health standards.

Does Water Safety Go Far Enough?

PEX Piping

Contractors can be able to benefit from information that shows which PEX piping affects water quality.

Advocates of PEX like the Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association; affirm that PEX passes all safety tests. For instance, the nonprofit National Sanitation Foundation examines plumbing materials to determine; whether or not it leaches certain chemicals within 21-day period.

Contaminants such as methanol and methyl tertiary ether; which is a gasoline additive which reduces carbon monoxide emissions are checked by the NSF. Thus PEX meets the NSF standards, says the Plastic Pipe and Fittings association. PEX having passed the safety test it still contains contaminant’s that affects water taste and odor.

It’s vital that the manufacturers and builders are educated; on the importance of making plastics pipes with the best quality in mind.

How to Prevent PEX Water Quality Issues.

PEX pipe is less expensive costing 43 cents per foot while metal like copper pipe costs $ 2.55 per foot; according to the comparison made in 2012. This is due to fact that it requires less energy to produce it. Due to its impact on water, home owners are required to flush their piping system on a regular basis. This is because contamination builds up as the water remains stagnant in the pipes.

Contractors are to flush the PEX piping as part of the new construction for at least 10 minutes. The system is not to be allowed to stand for a week or more. While flushing the system, flush long enough to empty the contained water volume.

A number of contractors hesitate to use the PEX pipes, as they are not aware of the long term effects of PEX pipes. It’s reliability to the homeowners.