How Long Does PEX Pipe Last?

Have you ever wondered how long PEX piping lasts? The answer is impressive: up to 50 years or more.

In the plumbing world, this lifespan is a game-changer. PEX piping, short for cross-linked polyethylene, has become a favorite in recent years. Its popularity has surged because it’s cheaper and easier to install than traditional copper piping. But is it really better?

This article aims to answer that question and more. We’ll explore what PEX piping is, when it’s used, its lifespan, how it stacks up against other types of pipes, and the pros and cons. Let’s dive in!

What is PEX Piping?PEX pipe

PEX piping is a type of plastic pipe made from cross-linked polyethylene. It’s known for its resilience, durability, and flexibility. You’ll often find it in both residential and commercial settings.

What sets PEX apart is its flexibility; it can bend around corners, reducing the need for joints and fittings. Installing PEX is a breeze compared to copper. There’s no need for soldering; instead, fittings are used to connect pieces.

It comes in various sizes and colors—red for hot water, blue for cold, and white for either. You can buy it in stick form or coils, making it adaptable for different plumbing projects.

When is PEX Piping Used?

PEX piping is commonly used for hot and cold water lines and radiant heating systems. In-floor radiant heat systems are a popular application, as are under-slab heating systems and floor warming systems.

You’ll also see PEX in drain water heat recovery systems. Its versatility makes it suitable for a range of applications, both in new constructions and retrofits.

How Long Do PEX Pipe Last?

PEX pipes are known for their impressive lifespan, which can extend up to 50 years or more. However, the actual longevity of PEX piping depends on several factors.

The quality of the pipe material plays a significant role—higher quality materials tend to last longer.

Additionally, the quality of installation is crucial. Properly installed PEX piping can withstand the test of time, while poor installation can lead to premature failure.

Pipes (Copper, PEX, PVC, and Cast Iron)

Copper Pipes

Copper pipes have been a staple in plumbing for many years. There are two main types: M-type and L-type. M-type copper pipes are thinner and typically last around 20 years.

They are more prone to corrosion. L-type copper pipes, on the other hand, are thicker and can last between 50 to 100 years. They are more durable and resistant to corrosion.

PEX Pipes

PEX pipes boast a lifespan of at least 50 years. Their flexibility and durability make them a popular choice for modern plumbing systems. Unlike copper, PEX is resistant to corrosion and can handle extreme temperatures well.

PVC / CPVC Pipes

PVC pipes, primarily used for drainage, can last up to 100 years. CPVC pipes, used for hot water lines due to their heat resistance, also have a lifespan of up to 100 years. Both types are durable and reliable options for various plumbing applications.

Cast Iron Pipes

Cast iron pipes are another traditional choice, with a lifespan of 75 to 100 years. They are known for their durability and are often found in older homes and commercial buildings.

The Pros and Cons of PEX Piping



PEX piping is cheaper than copper. It also has lower initial installation costs. This cost savings makes it an attractive option for many homeowners and contractors.

Easy Installation

One of the biggest advantages of PEX is its ease of installation. The pipes are flexible and easy to bend, requiring fewer fittings and joints. There’s no need for soldering or special tools, making the installation process quicker and more straightforward.

Ease of Cutting

PEX pipes are easy to cut without creating sharp edges or burrs, which can simplify the installation process and reduce the risk of injury.

Corrosion and Freeze Resistance

PEX piping is suitable for interior plumbing systems as it resists corrosion and is less affected by water quality issues that can plague copper pipes. It is also resistant to freezing, which can prevent costly damage during cold weather.

Safe for Drinking Water

PEX is less likely to crack or leach toxic substances into drinking water. This makes it a safe choice for water supply lines.

Reduced Plumbing Joints

Because PEX is flexible, it requires fewer joints and connections. This reduces the risk of leaks and minimizes exposure to toxic chemicals.


UV Sensitivity

PEX pipes are sensitive to UV light. This means they cannot be used outdoors as exposure to UV rays can degrade the material over time.

Susceptibility to Rodent Damage

Rodents can chew through PEX pipes, potentially causing leaks and extensive damage. This vulnerability can be a concern in areas with high rodent activity.

House Repiping Everett WAApollo Plumbing Are Ready to Update Your Plumbing

If you’re considering updating your plumbing, Apollo Plumbing offers house repiping services. Our team of ready-right-now plumbers is experienced in PEX installation and can help you upgrade your plumbing system efficiently and effectively.


PEX piping is a versatile, cost-effective, and durable option for modern plumbing systems. With a lifespan of up to 50 years, it’s an excellent choice for homeowners looking to invest in long-lasting plumbing.

While it has some limitations, such as UV sensitivity and susceptibility to rodent damage, its benefits often outweigh these drawbacks. For those considering a switch, Apollo Plumbing’s ready-right-now plumbers can assist with expert installation and service.


How long do PEX pipes last?

PEX pipes can last up to 50 years or more, depending on the quality of the material and installation.

Are PEX pipes better than copper pipes?

PEX pipes are more flexible, easier to install, and resistant to corrosion. Copper pipes are more durable but can be prone to corrosion and are more expensive.

Can PEX pipes be used outdoors?

No, PEX pipes are sensitive to UV rays and should not be used outdoors.

Are PEX pipes safe for drinking water?

Yes, PEX pipes are safe for drinking water and are less likely to crack or leach harmful substances.

What are the common uses of PEX piping?

PEX piping is commonly used for hot and cold water lines, radiant heating systems, and in-floor heating systems.

How does PEX compare to PVC pipes?

PEX is more flexible and easier to install than PVC. PVC pipes are primarily used for drainage, while PEX is used for water supply lines.

Can rodents damage PEX pipes?

Yes, rodents can chew through PEX pipes, causing potential leaks and damage.

What is the difference between red, blue, and white PEX pipes?

Red PEX pipes are used for hot water, blue for cold water, and white can be used for either. This color coding helps identify the purpose of each pipe.