What type of PEX is best for underground: A Comprehensive Guide

By: Justin | Date Posted: July 24, 2023

“What type of PEX is best for underground?” is a common question among homeowners and contractors alike. FocusKP: PEX, or Cross-linked Polyethylene, is a popular choice for plumbing due to its flexibility and durability. Attn;HookStats: However, when it comes to underground applications, the choice of PEX type becomes crucial. Qstns: So, which type of PEX is best suited for underground use? What factors should you consider? Stories;SetExpct: In this comprehensive guide, we will explore these questions and more, providing you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. Prblms&Solutns;ReadablIntr: From understanding what PEX is, to choosing the right type for your specific needs, and even tips on installation and maintenance, we’ve got you covered. VarStrtStrat;ReaderEngag,SEO,Relevance: So, let’s dive in and unravel the mystery of using PEX underground.

Unraveling the Mystery: What is PEX?

If you’ve ever found yourself knee-deep in a home renovation project, chances are you’ve come across the term PEX. But what exactly is it?

PEX, or Cross-linked Polyethylene, is a type of plastic that’s used extensively in plumbing systems. It’s a favorite among both DIY enthusiasts and professional plumbers, and for good reason.

The ABCs of PEX

PEX comes in three different types: PEX-A, PEX-B, and PEX-C. Each type has its own unique characteristics and uses.

PEX-A is the most flexible of the bunch. It’s easy to work with and can withstand the most extreme temperatures. This makes it a great choice for hot water applications.

PEX-B, on the other hand, is a bit stiffer but offers excellent resistance to chlorine, making it a popular choice for municipal water supplies.

Finally, PEX-C is the most eco-friendly option. It’s made using an electron beam process that results in fewer chemical byproducts.

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the world of plumbing, check out our comprehensive guide on plumbing and HVAC. It’s packed with useful tips and tricks to help you navigate your next home improvement project.

PEX in Action

But what makes PEX so special? Why is it such a popular choice for plumbing systems?

Well, for starters, PEX is incredibly durable. It can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from freezing cold to scorching hot. Plus, it’s resistant to both scale and chlorine, which are common in water supplies.

PEX is also flexible, which means it can be bent around corners without the need for elbow fittings. This makes installation a breeze, even for beginners.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Bob Vila, a renowned home improvement expert, also sings the praises of PEX for its versatility and ease of use.

Digging Deeper: Why Use PEX for Underground Applications?

Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is PEX?“, let’s delve into why it’s often the go-to choice for underground applications.

The Advantages of Using PEX Underground

PEX shines when it comes to underground applications. Its flexibility allows it to be installed in long, continuous runs, reducing the need for fittings and the potential for leaks.

Moreover, PEX is resistant to the corrosive effects of soil, unlike materials like copper or iron. This means it can last for decades underground with minimal maintenance.

PEX vs. Other Materials

When compared to other materials like copper or PVC, PEX often comes out on top. Copper, while durable, is expensive and can be difficult to work with. PVC, on the other hand, can become brittle over time, especially in cold climates.

In contrast, PEX is affordable, easy to install, and can withstand a wide range of temperatures. This makes it a versatile and cost-effective solution for your underground plumbing needs.

Digging Deeper: Factors to Consider When Choosing PEX for Underground

Choosing the right type of PEX for underground use isn’t just a matter of picking the first one you see on the shelf. There are several factors you need to consider to ensure you’re making the right choice.

Underground PEX Pipes in Dark Tunnel

Soil Type, Climate, and Water Quality

Firstly, you need to consider the soil type. Some soils are more corrosive than others, which can affect the longevity of your PEX pipes.

Next, consider the climate. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, you’ll need a type of PEX that can withstand these conditions.

Finally, consider the water quality. If your water supply has a high chlorine content, you’ll need a type of PEX that’s resistant to chlorine degradation.

For more information on these considerations, check out this helpful guide on burying PEX pipe in the ground.

The Installation Process

Another important factor to consider is the installation process. PEX is flexible and easy to install, but you’ll still need the right tools and knowledge to do the job correctly.

Factors Considerations
Soil Type Corrosive soils may require more resistant PEX (e.g., PEX-B).
Climate Extreme temperatures may necessitate PEX with higher tolerance.
Water Quality High chlorine content may require PEX-B for enhanced resistance.
Installation Process Choose PEX type based on ease of handling and installation.

The Best Types of PEX for Underground Use

Now that we’ve covered the factors to consider, let’s dive into the best types of PEX for underground use.

PEX Type Flexibility Resistance to Chlorine Eco-Friendly
PEX-A Most flexible, bends easily around corners Good resistance Less eco-friendly due to manufacturing process
PEX-B Stiffer but offers excellent chlorine resistance Excellent resistance More eco-friendly with fewer chemical byproducts
PEX-C Moderately flexible, may require fittings for bends Good resistance Most eco-friendly option with electron beam manufacturing

Choosing the right type of PEX for your underground plumbing needs can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and tools, it doesn’t have to be. Check out our guide on tools for woodworking for tips on the best tools to use for your PEX installation project.

Remember, the question isn’t just “What type of PEX is best for underground?” but rather, “What type of PEX is best for my underground needs?” By considering factors like soil type, climate, water quality, and the installation process, you can make an informed decision that’s tailored to your specific needs.

Laying the Groundwork: How to Install PEX Underground

So, you’ve decided that PEX is the way to go for your underground plumbing needs. Great choice! Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: how to install PEX underground.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Installing PEX Underground

  1. Plan Your Route: Before you start digging, plan out the route your PEX pipe will take. This will help you avoid any potential obstacles in your yard.
  2. Dig the Trench: Next, it’s time to start digging. The trench should be deep enough to protect the PEX pipe from potential damage.
  3. Lay the PEX Pipe: Once the trench is ready, you can lay your PEX pipe. Remember, one of the advantages of PEX is its flexibility, so don’t be afraid to bend it around corners.
  4. Backfill the Trench: After the PEX pipe is in place, backfill the trench, being careful not to damage the pipe.
  5. Test the System: Finally, turn on the water and check for any leaks. If everything is working correctly, congratulations! You’ve successfully installed PEX underground.

Rustic Basement with Exposed PEX B Pipes

For a more detailed guide, check out this article on PEX plumbing. It’s a treasure trove of information for any DIY enthusiast.

Keeping Things Flowing: Maintaining Your Underground PEX

Installing your PEX pipe is only half the battle. To ensure your underground plumbing system stays in top shape, you’ll need to know how to maintain it.

Tips and Best Practices for Maintaining Underground PEX

  1. Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect your PEX pipe for any signs of damage. Early detection can save you a lot of trouble down the line.
  2. Proper Insulation: If you live in a cold climate, insulate your PEX pipe to protect it from freezing temperatures.
  3. Avoid Chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage your PEX pipe. Instead, opt for natural cleaning solutions.

For more tips on maintaining your home, check out our guide on household cleaning. It’s packed with practical advice to keep your home in tip-top shape.

Maintenance Tips Best Practices
Regular Inspections Check for damage or leaks periodically.
Proper Insulation Protect PEX from freezing in cold climates.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals Use mild cleaning solutions for longevity.

And if you’re looking for more specific advice on maintaining your outdoor PEX pipe, this article on PEX pipe for outdoor use is a must-read.

Futuristic Urban Cityscape with PEX A Pipes

Remember, when it comes to “What type of PEX is best for underground?“, the answer isn’t just about choosing the right type of PEX. It’s also about knowing how to install and maintain it properly. With the right knowledge and tools, you can ensure your underground PEX plumbing system stands the test of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is PEX suitable for underground installation?

  • Yes, PEX is a suitable material for underground installations due to its flexibility and resistance to corrosion.

What are the benefits of using PEX underground?

  • High flexibility helps with easy installation in tight spaces.
  • Resists corrosion, ensuring long-lasting performance.
  • Withstands freezing temperatures without bursting.
  • PEX-B is the best choice for underground installations due to its superior resistance to chlorine and other chemicals.

How does PEX-B perform in harsh soil conditions?

  • PEX-B is highly resistant to acidic or alkaline soils, ensuring its durability and longevity underground.

Can I use PEX-B for both hot and cold water underground?

  • Yes, PEX-B is suitable for both hot and cold water applications, making it versatile for various underground needs.

What considerations are essential during PEX-B installation underground?

  • Proper insulation to protect against extreme temperatures.
  • Use of approved fittings and connectors for leak prevention.
  • Compliance with local building codes and regulations.

How deep should PEX-B be buried underground?

  • Burial depth should be at least 12-18 inches to protect it from potential damage.

Can PEX-B be used for outdoor radiant heating systems?

  • Yes, PEX-B is ideal for outdoor radiant heating applications, providing efficient heat distribution.

Does using PEX-B underground affect its warranty?

  • In most cases, using PEX-B underground does not void the warranty, but it’s crucial to check with the manufacturer.

Is PEX-B an eco-friendly choice for underground applications?

  • Yes, PEX-B is considered eco-friendly because it requires fewer resources to manufacture and has a smaller carbon footprint.

Thank you for reading!


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