Written by Plumbers of Perth

on 11 December 2023

In the world of plumbing, selecting the right pipe material is akin to choosing the foundation of a house. It’s a decision that can have a long-lasting impact on the integrity of your plumbing system. Two contenders that often find themselves in the spotlight are PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) and copper. As your trusted plumbing partner, we’ve decided to shed light on the ongoing PEX vs. Copper debate. In this comprehensive article, we’ll explore the characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of each to help you make an informed choice for your plumbing needs.

PEX Pipes. The Versatile Contender.

Flexibility and Ease of Installation

PEX pipes are incredibly flexible, bending easily around corners, reducing the need for numerous fittings, and minimizing potential leak points. Their flexibility simplifies installation, making PEX an attractive option for both DIY enthusiasts and plumbing professionals.

Resistance to Corrosion and Scaling

PEX boasts impressive resistance to corrosion and scaling, ensuring clean water and an extended pipe lifespan. Unlike metal pipes, PEX doesn’t rust or accumulate mineral deposits over time.


PEX is often more budget-friendly than copper, not only in terms of material costs but also due to its ease of installation, reducing labor expenses.

Copper Pipes. The Time-Tested Classic.


Copper pipes are renowned for their longevity, potentially lasting over a century, making them ideal for homeowners planning to stay long-term. Their durability has stood the test of time, earning trust among plumbers and homeowners.

Proven Track Record

Copper’s rich history in plumbing and its reputation for reliability make it a trusted choice. Plumbers and homeowners alike rely on copper for its time-tested performance.


Copper is highly recyclable and can be repurposed with minimal energy consumption, enhancing its eco-friendly appeal.

Comparing PEX and Copper, Key Factors to Consider.

Cost Considerations

PEX typically wins the affordability contest when it comes to initial material costs. Copper, while more expensive, may offset the investment with long-term durability.

Ease of Installation

PEX takes the lead in ease of installation, thanks to its flexibility and reduced need for fittings. Copper requires soldering or brazing, which can be labor-intensive.


Copper boasts a longstanding reputation for durability, while PEX has also proven to be highly durable, with a lifespan of 40-50 years.

Resistance to Corrosion

Both materials exhibit excellent resistance to corrosion, with PEX not corroding at all and copper being corrosion-resistant.

Water Quality

Copper has a slight edge in terms of water quality, as it doesn’t introduce plastic-related compounds into the water supply. PEX has been extensively tested and approved for potable water use.

Environmental Impact

Copper’s recyclability enhances its sustainability, but PEX’s lighter weight and lower energy consumption during manufacturing also contribute to its eco-friendly appeal.

Making an Informed Decision.


If cost is a significant concern, PEX is typically the more economical option.

Longevity: Copper may be the choice if you plan to stay in your home for decades and value long-term durability.

Local Regulations: Always check local building codes and regulations, as some areas may have restrictions or preferences for specific materials.

Water Quality

If pristine water quality is a top priority, consider copper for its established reputation.

Installation: Evaluate the complexity of your project and whether you’re hiring a professional or going the DIY route, as ease of installation can be a pivotal factor.

Future Plans

Think about your long-term property plans. If you’re planning to sell soon, the upfront cost may outweigh long-term durability.

Plumbing Science Meets Art.

The PEX vs. copper debate continues, and there’s no definitive winner. Both materials possess distinct advantages and disadvantages. Your final choice should reflect your unique circumstances and priorities. Whether you opt for the flexibility of PEX or the time-tested reliability of copper, proper installation and maintenance remain key to a long-lasting and efficient plumbing system. Plumbing may be a science, but the decision is an art, and the ultimate victor depends on your specific needs and preferences.

With this comprehensive understanding of PEX and copper, you’re better equipped to make an informed decision for your plumbing needs. Remember, your plumbing system is the lifeblood of your home, and choosing the right pipes is a crucial step towards a reliable and efficient system that will serve you well for years to come.