Pex Pipe Standards

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PEX piping is highly regulated. The manufacturers of PEX piping are required to produce the piping to specific standards and a set of requirements that have been developed over the past decade. PEX piping is approved for use in the plumbing systems of potable hot and cold water systems.

PEX Pipe Thickness

  • Compared to PB pipes, which were the standard pipe used for plumbing prior to the mid-1990s, PEX pipes are considerably thicker. To meet the standard thickness requirements, PEX pipes must be at least 22 percent thicker in the pipe wall than the older PB pipes. This extra thickness is associated with the PEX pipes' ability to withstand pressure and temperature without being compromised structurally. Standard PEX pipe wall thickness is one-ninth of the outside tube diameter.

Chlorine Resistant

  • PEX pipes must be resistant to chlorine that is used for disinfecting purposes in potable water. The PEX pipes are tested for oxidization when the chlorine is present. The chlorine tests were created based on the three most common types of PEX pipe manufactured.

Fittings

  • A PEX plumbing system cannot use polyacetyl fittings. The fittings that are acceptable for use with PEX pipes must be made of brass, copper or a high-temperature polymer that is also designed to be chlorine resistant the same as PEX piping. The fittings have to be tested the same way as the PEX pipe, and approved by an outside testing agency.

Temperature Rating

  • The older PB pipes were tested for a performance temperature of 180 degrees. PEX piping has a standard temperature rating requirement of 200 degrees. This requirement must be met for the long term while under continuous temperature and pressure.

Cross Linked Material

  • PEX pipes must be made from material that has been permanently linked by a process called cross linking. This process qualifies PEX pipes as a thermoset polymer. As a thermoset polymer, a PEX pipe is able to withstand longer internal pressure and reduce the amount of creeping, or seepage, under the compressions at the fittings where the pipes are joined, by the potable water flowing through the pipes or any other material that is in the PEX pipes.

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