0 Helpful?

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 Oct 2, 2013 1:44 PM ET

Tags:

3 Answers

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

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 Oct 2, 2013 2:31 PM ET
Edited Oct 2, 2013 2:33 PM ET.

2.
Answered by Malcolm Taylor
Posted Oct 2, 2013 6:56 PM ET

3.

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 Oct 3, 2013 9:11 AM ET

Other Questions in Green products and materials

Effects of 2" to 3" PVC dry drain pipes through crawl space

In Mechanicals | Asked by Andy Nels | Feb 11, 16

Does anybody know of a window manufacturer who makes/sells double hung windows that are very energy efficient?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked by william dempsey | Mar 10, 15

Are holes in exterior plywood sheathing necessary?

In Building Code Questions | Asked by Frances Bucinel | Feb 10, 16

Venting in open-face cladding

In General questions | Asked by Lucyna de Barbaro | Feb 10, 16
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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