Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between PEX and PB Piping

PEX vs PB Piping

When it comes to piping for homes, copper has been replaced by plastics because of a number of advantages like their flexibility and corrosion resistance. There are two common types of plastic piping which are known as PB (Polybutylene) and PEX (Cross-linked Polyethylene). The main difference between PB and PEX is in how the material is created. The polymer chains in PEX are bonded to each other; this is called cross-linking and does not happen in PB pipes.

Cross-linking results in altered physical characteristics that prove to be very beneficial for PEX. One advantage that PEX has over PB is its greater tolerance to high pressures. Different manufacturers may have different numbers, but PEX will always have greater pressure limits than PB. So if you will be pumping water, or the pipes will be exposed to the cold, PEX is a better option than PB. The second advantage of PEX over PB is its higher tolerance to temperatures. This may not be much of an issue to many who do not have hot water heaters, but for those who do, PEX is better because the water temperature can vary in hot water systems, and a higher ceiling will always be better.

Lastly, there is the issue of corrosion brought about by the use of chlorine. Chlorine is used to treat and purify water all over the world, and the water piped to our homes contains some amount of chlorine. The problem is, prolonged exposure to chlorine will gradually break the bonds in PB pipes. Over time, the PB pipes will become weak and brittle and eventually break due to pressure. The greater resistance of PEX to corrosion caused by chlorine makes it last much longer even with high concentrations of chlorine.

Because of the inherent weaknesses in PB, it is no longer accepted by the building code of both the U.S. and Canada. You can no longer use PB pipes in your homes if you live in these countries. PEX pipes are still acceptable in these countries for both homes and other building installations.


1.PEX is cross-linked while PB is not.
2.PEX is able to tolerate much higher pressures than PB.
3.PEX is able to tolerate much higher and lower temperatures than PB.
4.PEX is more resistant to chlorine than PB.
5.PB is no longer acceptable in the US and Canada while PEX still is.

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