Why Is Pex Plumbing Bad?

Wondering why is Pex Plumbing Bad? Keep reading!

There are many alternatives to everything in housing, and plumbing pipes also have a lot of alternatives; some are good, some are bad, and some are cheap or expensive.

To reduce the costs, back in the time, people switched from metal pipes to different plumbing pipes, and one of those popular alternatives at the time was PEX plumbing, but they are not the best plumbing type when it comes to health concerns.


This article will explain what PEX plumbing is and what is it bad.

Key Takeaways

  • The core of Pex plumbing is polyethylene which does not mix well with chlorine & many household water system has chlorine.
  • PEX plumbing pipes create bacteria once they get in touch with moisture.
  • PEX plumbing can change the taste and color of the water.

What is Pex Plumbing?

What is Pex Plumbing

PEX plumbing is a polyethylene tube used for plumbing purposes in housing.

PEX plumbing, since its core is polyethylene, is way cheaper than metal or copper alternatives and many people choose to use PEX plumbing for this.

It is also flexible and easy to install when compared to other alternatives of plumbing pipes.

However, this type of plumbing has a lot of bad sides to it because it’s made out of polyethylene, and it is not healthy for humans. 

Why Is Pex Plumbing Bad?

Why Is Pex Plumbing Bad

Here are reasons why Pex plumbing is bad for your house:

1. Chlorine

One of the biggest disadvantages of PEX plumbing is that they do not mix well with chlorine which many household water system has chlorine.

Chlorine affects the lifespan of these pipes and results in a shorter lifespan for these pipes. It also creates leakages in the pipes.

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2. Bacteria

Even though this does not happen with all of the PEX pipes, if the pipes are near moisture under the ground, this moisture creates bacteria that contaminate the water.

It is extremely easy for PEX plumbing pipes to create bacteria once the pipes get in touch with moisture around it.

When it contaminates the water, this bacteria could be harmful to your health, no matter if you are drinking the water or just using it for other purposes like cooking.

3. Quality

With PEX plumbing, since it uses polyethylene, there could be changes in the taste and odor of the water, reducing the quality of the water altogether.

Sometimes, this change in the odor of the water affects the house so much that people change the entire plumbing pipe system in the house.

You need to be careful with this after you install PEX and do your own due diligence as to how to preserve the pipes so that the odor and the taste of the water do not change and affect your house or your health.

4. Light

PEX plumbing is sensitive to light and cannot be practiced outside of the house or even under a bulb. The UV from the sun can slowly disintegrate the synthetic material of the pipe.

5. Non-Recyclable 

Like most plastics, PEX plastics are also non-recyclable.

When new lines are installed, large pieces of PEX plastics are discarded, and because there is no way to use this plastic, it causes a lot of pollution and is not safe for the earth.

6. Rodents

A very serious problem that most people with PEX pipes face is rodents. Rodents can easily chew and damage these pipes and can end up creating leakage and contaminating the water.

Some local communities and buildings do not allow the use of PEX pipes even.

If you face or have faced problems with rodents in your house before then, you should not get this pipe installed.

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Alternatives of PEX

These alternatives are costlier than plastic but are much better in offering peace of mind:

  • Polyvinyl Chloride Piping (PVC): These are slightly affordable and are resistant to corrosion and rust, and can even sustain high pressure.
  • Copper: Copper pipes are less prone to damage as they are tough. They are also corrosion and heat-resistant and are even antimicrobial naturally.

PEX Vs. Copper for Plumbing

The Verdict

To conclude, plumbing pipes have a lot of alternatives, from copper, and metal, to plastic-like PEX plumbing pipes.

Even though copper and metal are one of the most reliable and healthy ones you can use, they are harder to install and more expensive compared to PEX plumbing.

However, this could be bad for your house and for your health in general as it uses polyethylene, and the chlorine in the water could affect the quality of the water and even change the odor and the taste of the water.

That is why you either need to be extremely careful when you install PEX plumbing or do not use it at all.

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How to save PEX plumbing from rodents?

If you have noticed chewed wood or paper or some other sign of rodents, then it is important for you to deal with them, as rodents can damage your pex plumbing line entirely.

You can set up a rat trap or place rat poison to get the situation under control. And if you see the rodent infestation getting out of hand, then it is best to call an exterminator.

Why is PEX plumbing not suitable for outdoor areas?

PEX pipes cannot withstand the harsh UV rays of the sun, and long exposure to them can deteriorate the pipe over time.

Hence, it is recommended not to use PEX plumbing outside.

How to protect your outdoor PEX piping from sunlight?

Here are some ways in which you can protect you PEX piping outdoors from the sun:

  • Cover the PEX piping with PVC piping.
  • Install the PEX piping underground.
  • Apply latex paint on the PEX piping.
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