Plastic Water Pipes

I am starting to see plastic water pipes in newer homes but don’t have much to say about them. Are they considered better or worse than copper? Any problems, etc…

What is the differance between the new plastic pipes and polyb?


Are they PEX, CPVC or something else?

I think pex

PEX is a superior system when installed correctly.

Isn’t that what they said when Polybutylene first came out?:slight_smile:

Pex has been “out” for about 30 years or better.


Are you a practicing home inspector? Identification and knowledge of PEX vs. PB should be elementary to anyone doing home inspections professionally. If you don’t have an basic understanding of plumbing I question your competence to be doing home inspections. I hate to be harsh—when I began my career I didn’t know anything about anything. But I learned quickly.

IN NC and SC, we are required to identify the types of plumbing systems in the home (supply and waste). Even if not required, it’s a good idea.

Thanks for your help. You sound like a great guy. Let’s see, you didin’t know anything when you started but somehow you learned. As far as I know, asking questions is one of the best ways to learn.

No offense was intended. I may have oversimplified my background. Most home inspectors begin with limited knowledge about certain phases or all areas of home construction. Speaking for myself, I had an industrial construction background with very little knowledge of home construction. I was an “inspector” by vocation prior to this career. In preparation for home inspections, I attended a course at a technical college, bought home inspection videos, lurked online for a long time absorbing all I could from sites like NACHI, and did about 5 mock inspections before I went plunged into the jungle.

Looking back, it’s scary how much I didn’t know! I feel sorry for all the clients I had the first year or so. Your clients will recognize an inspector’s lack of knowledge. Use whatever time you have learning about inspections when you’re not doing them.

Lacking a better way to say it, if you’re so green that you don’t know what PEX is, you better spend a lot of time getting educated quickly if you are presently doing inspections. You’re not doing your clients a service and you should recognize that you are carrying a great deal of professional and financial liability.

Yes, ask questions. But do some ‘due diligence’ on your part also. Visit homes under construction. Visit hardware stores and look at materials. Do a lot of internet research. And yes, ask questions. I certainly don’t mean to scare you away from this board.

You know, for just a split second I thought I was at the ASHI message board.

There, you dare not ask a “stupid” question and even an “intelligent” question can bring on an attack if you ask it with a spelling error. (This month, a two page article in the ASHI Reporter addresses the proper way of spelling “subpanel”)

No one should ever be afraid…or made to feel afraid…to ask a technical question and I think that those of us who have been around for more than a month or two need to remind ourselves of that, frequently.

Bill…you did good to ask and I hope this experience does not discourage you from asking more. There isn’t any of us who know it all. Thanks for reminding us of that.

It won’t.