Quick question that came to my mind earlier today:

When installing a water system (concealed installation), why does one use pipes. It seems to me that hoses would be easier to install, more flexible and might reduce effects like rushing sounds.


If you look at the picture below you will see pex tubing. This has become the industry norm in some areas of the US - I know some countries have adopted similar things and some haven't. The compression fittings are supposedly made to last longer than than a soldered copper joints - jury is still out on that. Let's see what complaints there are in 10-20 years.

My problem with these is the drinking water. Copper does a great job of not letting bacteria grow in it and it has been used for years with no issues. All of the plumbing going to sinks in my house is copper. I use pex for toilets, showers, and things like that.

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Some good links on coppers anti-bacterial qualities:

On the other side of the argument is the idea that PEX has issues in biofilm formation and passing on toxins/bacteria - California study here. This side, I don't really buy that much because you can read counters for most things. I just know that copper has a lot of good qualities and installing it isn't that big of a deal so will leave that for the main and drinking water.

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  • That bacteria argument is most probably the one I was looking for. Thanks! – André Stannek Jul 9 '14 at 18:19
  • @Brad we generally avoid really minor edits but I made it in this case since it has a big impact on the intended meaning. Good eye! – Steven Jul 9 '14 at 18:45
  • I wouldn't be too concerned about the bacteria issue, unless you're distributing filtered water. In most areas, the water contains so much free chlorine (or other equivalent disinfectant) that the chances of anything growing are minimal. – Jules Jul 9 '14 at 22:21
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    @Jules - I understand that and maybe I am going overboard but would like to error on the side of safety when my whole family is drinking from the tap. – DMoore Jul 10 '14 at 3:00
  • @Jules poison (chlorine) is not always added to water supplies. Where I am in New Zealand we don't have these additives in our water and plastic tubing may well grow bacteria... good to know DMoore - thanks – Robbie Averill Jul 10 '14 at 3:08

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