From risers to mains to in-suite piping, PEX is gaining popularity in multifamily construction as contractors are seeing the benefits to their crews’ productivity and their businesses’ bottom line.
With sizes up to 3″, PEX is the flexible, durable, cost-effective solution for both domestic water and hydronic heating and cooling systems. It does not pit, scale, or corrode, it offers more stable pricing for greater confidence when bidding a project, and it has no scrap value like copper, so there’s no concern about theft on the job site.
PEX is lighter in weight, which makes it easier for installers to move and adds to job-site safety. It also eliminates the need for heavy-lifting machinery or equipment, which can be costly and cumbersome.
The product is available in long, continuous coils, so installers can complete jobs faster and easier by just bending the pipe instead of stopping to make a connection with each change in direction. And for tight bends, there are bend supports available that simply snap onto the pipe to hold it firmly in place.
The flexible nature of PEX also makes it ideal for renovation, remodel, or re-pipe applications because it’s much easier to squeeze into tight areas and minimizes the need to alter the existing structure.
For connections, there are several options available. However, most professionals use the ASTM F1960 expansion method. This is because it provides a larger-ID fitting that does not restrict flow, and it can never be dry fit, adding peace of mind to installs.
PEX is a great alternative to traditional metallic systems for horizontal main piping. Using a steel support channel along with clamps and fixed points can help reduce linear expansion and contraction and can extend support hangers to be similar to that of metal piping.
PEX is also ideal for running below grade or in a slab. (Always follow local code as some jurisdictions require additional sleeving and protection.) For those types of applications, pre-sleeved PEX is available with color-coded red or blue HDPE sleeving for domestic-water systems.
Learn more about how PEX can benefit your multifamily installs with greater productivity and profitability potential.
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