Plumbing for Hot Water Systems: Common Questions on PEX

How much comfort does a hot water system bring to your home? Well, it is certainly invaluable. Hot water has moved from being a luxury to a necessity in a majority of modern homes. Occupants feel more at peace knowing that they can run into the shower and take a quick one without having to wait for water to boil on a cooker or using a small electric kettle. Hot water systems are elemental in cold weather when no one would dare use cold water for showering, doing dishes and even drinking. Certainly, you need a mechanism of moving the hot water from one point to another throughout the house. PEX is a good option for such purposes. Here are some frequently asked questions on PEX:

What Is the Ideal Location for Using PEX?

PEX refers to cross-linked polyethylene material that can be used for plumbing applications including hot water systems. Currently, the best place to install to use PEX piping is indoors. The material does not work well outdoors because it cannot stand up to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation. It is best used indoors or in shades where sunlight cannot reach, although that does not mean that it can't carry water or fluids at high temperature.

What Are the Top Benefits of Using PEX?

Even though PEX is not meant for outdoor applications, it has numerous advantages over other plumbing materials such as copper pipes. First, the polyethylene material is flexible and allows you to install the plumbing over great lengths with few fittings. This reduces the chances of leakages. To add on that, the material does not corrode neither does it need an extra coating to stand up to rusting.

Specifically, polyethylene is a poor conductor of heat. It is thus suitable for hot water systems because there is negligible loss of heat from the water to the surrounding. You will save on the energy needed to get the water back to the desired temperature. Lastly, PEX expands nearly three times its diameter. The periodic changes in temperature caused by hot water and extreme cold weather in winter will not make the pipes to crack. In short, there is no need to winterise your PEX pipes.

What Precautions Should You Take When Laying PEX in Concrete?

PEX should not be installed through concrete like any other ordinary plumbing pipes. First make sure that the PEX doesn't come into contact with concrete. Install them below the slab through the soil. When connecting the tubing to a room through the concrete, use foam insulation to protect the surface of the PEX.