Helpful? 0

What is the least toxic pipe to use for a home water system?

We are considering changing out our copper system to something that doesn't freeze in winter and is non toxic. We were looking at PEX but toxicity is an issue.

Asked by Michelle Holman
Posted Wed, 10/02/2013 - 14:44

Tags:

3 Answers

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
1.
Helpful? 0

Michelle,
Neither copper water tubing nor PEX tubing has been shown to be toxic to humans. On the other hand, if ingested in sufficient doses, lead has been shown to be toxic. Lead is present is some older solders, and is a component of many types of brass used for water faucets and some PEX fittings. The levels of lead in brass fixtures has been dropping in recent years, and plumbing solder no longer contains lead.

If you are worried about lead used in older solder or brass fittings, the greatest concern is from water drawn for drinking or cooking, first thing in the morning (because the water has been sitting in the pipes overnight). If you have that concern, run your water for a few minutes for the first draw in the morning.

There is no reason to worry about toxicity from PEX or copper.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Wed, 10/02/2013 - 15:31
Edited Wed, 10/02/2013 - 15:33.

2.
Answered by Malcolm Taylor
Posted Wed, 10/02/2013 - 19:56

3.
Helpful? 0

Pex fittings and other parts of a plumbing system may be damaged upon a freeze up. The PEX should be OK but may be damaged if freeze expanded numerous times.

Answered by aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a
Posted Thu, 10/03/2013 - 10:11

Other Questions in Green products and materials

Insulating and air-sealing room-in-truss over garage.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked by Ben Helmreich | Sep 15, 14

The differences between mass and insulation

In Green products and materials | Asked by Nathaniel G | Sep 15, 14

Spray foam & wood roof deck

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked by Sheila Sullivan | Sep 12, 14

Retrofit heating system

In Mechanicals | Asked by Carole Florman | Sep 15, 14

Options for air sealing T&G ceiling with no air barrier installed

In General questions | Asked by Rob Leonard | Sep 14, 14
Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!