When it comes to plumbing, PEX piping has several qualities that give it an edge over other materials. Unlike most metals, PEX doesn’t corrode. It has a high resistance to chlorine and scale.
PEX installations also require fewer fittings than other piping materials. The downside of PEX is that it isn’t suitable for aboveground outdoor plumbing installations. This is because it easily gets damaged by UV rays.
Effect of Sunlight on PEX Piping
PEX piping is highly susceptible to damage by sunlight. If exposed to sunlight, the molecular structure disintegrates. This causes the piping to become brittle and rupture. Indoor PEX installations require a covered environment. This helps to prevent exposure to direct sunlight.
However, during construction, short exposure to sunlight is sometimes unavoidable. Such exposure should not exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations. It is best to maintain the original packaging when you install the tubing. If the packaging is unavailable, you need to provide some shield to prevent damage from UV exposure. Cover the tubing with some opaque material.
Black polyethylene bags can be used. Most manufacturers put UV stabilizers in PEX tubing to provide at least 30 to 60 days UV protection. This helps to protect the PEX in case of project delays.
PEX Piping FAQ
How long will PEX pipe last outside?
PEX pipe will last an average of 25 to 40 years, though this lifespan can be extended if pipes are well-maintained. However, this lifespan can also be shortened if pipes are not well maintained or exposed to extreme conditions.
How do I protect my PEX pipe outside?
PEX is strong material that resists leaks and it works well for indoor water lines. However, PEX is not at all designed for use outside.
To protect PEX from UV rays, you should cover it. You can achieve this by running PEX inside another type of pipe, such as PVC, or by covering it with insulation or another material.
What is the best pipe for outdoor water line?
Many different types of pipe are used for outside and underground water and drainage lines. Copper and plastic pipes, such as polyethylene and PVC, are among the most popular choices.
What pipe is best for sun exposure?
Plastic pipes are resistant to sun exposure and the damage caused by UV rays. CPVC plastic pipes are often used outdoors because they are highly resistant to sun damage.
How do I protect my pipes from the sun?
The sun can cause wear and tear over time, breaking down objects and causing damage all by itself. To prevent the sun from damaging your pipes, try painting them with UV-resistant paint or covering them with insulation.
This will help protect the pipes from heat and weather changes as well.