PEX tubing, or cross-linked polyethylene, has been used for some time in various types of commercial capacity for its cost effective and easy installation properties. The ability to withstand natural elements and, significantly, abuse also has aided in PEX tubing being used for pollutants.
PEX piping is used to transport oil, natural gas, hazardous chemicals, and sewage or slurry for waste treatment. PEX tubing is also used for water proofing of electrical wires and protection of underground power cables.
Transportation of water in radiant heating systems has become the number one usage of PEX pipe. Often color-coded pipes designate the difference between hot (red) and cold (blue) water. PEX pipes are 75 percent cheaper and often provide less intensive installation resulting in lower labor costs.
PEX tubing has grown rapidly due to the ability to make sharp turns as long as space permits. With PVC or copper piping, elbow joints are necessary and often can create complicated piping systems. PEX tubing can also be routed from the point to source without splicing or cutting, making the use easier and less messy than other methods. The single piece advantage also allows for higher pressure, as splicing and joints often cause weaker points and pressure drops.