PEX tubing

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Making the Best PEX Connections

Is a crimped connection with Uponor PEX A guaranteed to leak, or have plumbers learned differently?

Posted on Jun 20 2016 by Scott Gibson

Building his “forever house,” Dean Sandbo is mulling what type of tubing to use for his plumbing supply lines. He has narrowed the choice to one of two types of cross-linked polyethylene (PEXCross-linked polyethylene. Specialized type of polyethylene plastic that is strengthened by chemical bonds formed in addition to the usual bonds in the polymerization process. PEX is used primarily as tubing for hot- and cold-water distribution and radiant-floor heating.): PEX-A or PEX-B.

Key issues, Sandbo notes in his Q&A post at GBA, are how long the tubing will last, and whether there are safety concerns — that is, will the PEX tubing leach chemicals into his drinking water?

"I am on a well," he writes. "Any input as to the longevity and safety of these two different types of pipes?"

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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1: Zurn Industries
  2. Images #2 and #3: Uponor
  3. Image #4: Peter Yost

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Lingering Questions About PEX

Researchers still aren't sure how it affects water, and certification standards may be failing to test for compounds that affect water quality

Posted on Jun 8 2016 by Emily Sohn

The calls and emails arrive as often as several times a week from people with concerns about drinking water. Some of the callers — who include homeowners, architects, and builders — want to know why their water smells like gasoline. Others want to know which kinds of pipes to install to minimize risks of exposure to hazardous chemicals.

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Image Credits:

  1. Ron / CC BY-ND 2.0 / Flickr

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Testing the Effect of Plastic Pipes on Potable Water

A government grant is enabling researchers to study how plastic pipe affects drinking water odor and chemical quality

Posted on Oct 5 2012 by Richard Defendorf

Plastic building products are no strangers to controversy. But at least one of the concerns dogging the use of plastic pipes in green buildings is now being addressed by scientific research.

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Image Credits:

  1. National Institute of Standards and Technology

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Q&A Spotlight: Will One Radiant Floor Heat Two Stories?

A radiant-floor heating system in the basement of a tight house may work for both floors of a ranch, but the devil will be in the details

Posted on Oct 18 2010 by Scott Gibson

Michael Schonlau is building a house in Omaha, Nebraska, where he can expect 6,000+ heating degree days a year. He's planning on putting a radiant-floor system in the basement slab of the ranch-style home with a footprint of about 1,600 sq. ft.

In a recent posting on GBA's page, Schonlau asked whether he'll have to install radiant loops under the subfloor of the first floor as well as the basement — or will the heat generated in the basement migrate upstairs and keep the house comfortable?

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Image Credits:

  1. David Glasser

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