Exploring PEX Tubing: Understanding the Different Types of PEX

PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) tubing is a popular choice for plumbing systems due to its flexibility, durability, and resistance to corrosion. Here are some common types of PEX tubing:

1. PEX-A:

PEX-A is the most flexible type of PEX tubing. It is manufactured using the Engel method, which involves cross-linking the polyethylene molecules using high-pressure and high-temperature conditions. PEX-A tubing has excellent shape memory, allowing it to return to its original shape even after being stretched or bent.

2. PEX-B:

PEX-B tubing is manufactured using the Silane method, which involves cross-linking the polyethylene molecules using a chemical process. PEX-B tubing is slightly less flexible than PEX-A but still offers good durability and resistance to cracking or bursting.

3. PEX-C:

PEX-C tubing is also manufactured using the Silane method. However, it undergoes an additional process called post-extrusion electron beam cross-linking, which enhances its strength and durability. PEX-C tubing is slightly stiffer than PEX-A and PEX-B but is still more flexible than traditional rigid plumbing materials.

4. PEX-AL-PEX:

PEX-AL-PEX tubing, also known as multilayer or composite PEX, consists of multiple layers of PEX and aluminum. The aluminum layer provides enhanced strength and resistance to temperature and pressure fluctuations. PEX-AL-PEX tubing is commonly used for applications that require higher strength or for installations in areas with specific code requirements.

It’s important to note that the availability and specific characteristics of PEX tubing may vary depending on the manufacturer and local building codes. When selecting PEX tubing, consider factors such as the application, installation requirements, and compatibility with fittings and other components. Consulting with a professional plumber or adhering to local plumbing codes can help ensure the appropriate type of PEX tubing is selected for your specific needs.