How to Select
How to shop for pex tubing?
Pex tubing is a functional, flexible and environmentally friendly type of tubing that is widely used in domestic water systems and radiant heating systems. These tubing systems are ones of the most long lasting systems that is ensured by unique sturdiness and durability of the material. This tubing offers extra corrosion, chemical, heat and freeze resistance that guarantees purity of potable water. In addition, incomparable elasticity, flexibility and easy of installation makes these tubing suited and ideal for a great number of plumbing systems that are used for household and commercial applications.
Pex tubing differs by color, diameter and length, but its principal discrepancy is in external polymer coating types that are oxygen-barrier and non-barrier tubing.
Oxygen barrier that is called ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) and covers the first tubing type is an external polymer coating prone to diffusion of oxygen. This type of tubing is used only for hydronic heating systems and radiant heating applications that have cast iron or ferrous components present. The added barrier prevents oxygen that is always present in water from leaving the tubing and therefore, protects the metal parts from rust. All oxygen barrier tubing should meet requirements of DIN 4726 standard that is established by German Institute for Standardization. This standard along with the tubing type is commonly imprinted on the tubing itself. Color of tubing usually does not allow the customer to determine the type of the tubing that is considered. At the same time, there is a reliable method that makes possible to determine the type that is to analyze any of two tubes under a source of light. Oxygen barrier pex tubing will be the one with shiny surface.
Non-barrier tubing is used for plumbing household water systems that are designed for hot and cold water applications and are usually available in blue and red colors. In addition, it is an ideal solution for potable water supply, chlorinated hot water distribution and radiant heating systems that don’t contain any metal parts. Oxygen molecules will be present in water supply system, but in this case there is no need to detain them. Oxygen barrier and non-barrier tubing are usually produced from different compounds (raw materials) and have different properties that are essential for certain applications. Thus non-barrier tubing has better chemical and pressure resistance properties while oxygen-barrier systems are more flexible and have advanced heat and freeze resistance features.
Regardless of the application, pex tubing should be used because it will ensure significant savings due to its much lower production, shipping, handling and installation cost. Not only that, pex tubing will allow users to save on its maintenance, repair and energy consumption during its many decades of its operation.