When it comes to your shower, you want to make sure you have a quality valve that will last for years. There are two main types of valves on the market today, copper and PEX.
Copper valves are more expensive than PEX, but they’re also sturdier and have a longer life expectancy. They won’t break down over short periods, and they’re able to withstand high temperatures. PEX valves are more affordable than copper and easier to install. They’re also lightweight and resistant to freezing and thawing.
So, in the comparison of shower valve PEX vs copper, what should be your pick for overall value?
There are pros and cons to both, so here, we will weigh them for you so that you can decide on your own. We will also answer relevant questions about the topic at hand. So, read on to learn more.
Shower Valve Pex vs Copper: What You Need to Know
If you’re considering a new shower installation or simply updating your current shower, one of the decisions you’ll need to make is what type of valve to use. The comparison presented below will help you distinguish between the two valve types.
Shower valves are typically made from one of two materials: copper or PEX. Copper is a fairly easy material to work with. It is a durable metal that is resistant to corrosion and can withstand high temperatures.
PEX, on the other hand, is a type of plastic that is flexible and resistant to freezing. This makes it a good choice for areas where the water pressure is high or where the valves are susceptible to freezing.
Copper shower valves are typically more expensive than PEX valves. The reason for this is that copper is a more expensive material than PEX. Even so, the cost difference between the two types of valves is typically not significant. Also, copper valves tend to last longer than PEX valves, so that they may be a better investment in the long run.
Copper shower valves are more difficult to install than PEX valves. This is because copper valves and pipes need to be soldered in order to connect them, which requires special skills and tools.
If you’re looking for an easier option, PEX may be the way to go. PEX can be simply connected using compression fittings, so it’s less work for those who are less handy.
Copper shower valves require more maintenance than PEX valves. Since copper is susceptible to corrosion and needs to be regularly cleaned and polished in order to prevent tarnishing. PEX, on the other hand, does not corrode and does not require regular cleaning.
So, when it comes to a low-maintenance option, PEX makes sense. Conversely, if you prefer the vintage look of copper, you’ll just need to be prepared to put in a bit more work to keep it looking its best.
If durability is your top priority, then copper is the way to go. Copper is a stronger material than PEX and can withstand higher temperatures without breaking down.
Also, copper valves do not expand or contract as much as PEX valves when exposed to changes in temperature, which means they are less likely to leak over time. The downside is copper valves often cost more than PEX valves, so you’ll need to factor that into your decision.
PEX valves, on the other hand, are less expensive than copper valves and are easier to install. Also, PEX valves are less likely to freeze in cold weather and can be used with both hot and cold water. Conversely, PEX valves are not as durable as copper valves and may need to be replaced more frequently.
6. Temperature Regulation:
Copper shower valves provide better temperature regulation than PEX valves. This is because copper conducts heat better than PEX, which means that it can more quickly transfer heat from the water heater to the shower head.
Therefore, copper shower valves provide a steadier stream of hot water than PEX valves. This is an important consideration if you live in a region with extreme temperatures, as it can help to prevent scalding.
7. Water Pressure:
When it comes to water pressure, copper provides a stronger stream of water than PEX. This is because copper valves have a higher resistance to water flow than PEX valves, which means that they can deliver a more powerful stream of water from the shower head.
Also, copper is less likely to corrode over time, which means that it will maintain its strength and durability for an extended period of time.
Is it safe to use copper valves in showers?
The simple answer is yes, copper valves are perfectly safe to use in shower pipes. In fact, copper is one of the most commonly used materials for plumbing fixtures and fittings. There are several reasons for this.
Copper is naturally resistant to bacteria and other microbial growth. Also, it is relatively easy to work with, making it a preferred choice for plumbing applications. While there are some benefits to using other materials, such as brass or stainless steel, copper remains the preferred choice for many plumbers due to its proven track record.
What lasts longer, Copper or PEX?
Copper and PEX are two widely used materials for shower valves. Both have their pros and cons, but which one lasts longer? Copper is a durable material that can withstand high temperatures.
In contrast, PEX is a plastic-like material that is a highly flexible material with a lower likelihood of leaking and resistance to corrosion. Despite this, it is not as heat resistant as copper and can discolor over time.
So, which one should you choose? If you’re trying to find a valve that will last long-term, copper is your best bet. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a valve that is less likely to rust, PEX may be a better choice.
Do PEX valves have less flow than Copper valves?
PEX valves have been shown to be less flow-efficient than copper valves in several studies. This is due to the fact that PEX is a more flexible material and, thus, has a larger inside diameter than copper.
The larger inside diameter of PEX leads to a smaller cross-sectional area, which results in less flow. Also, PEX is less stiff than copper and is liable to collapse under pressure.
This can further reduce the flow of water through the valve. While PEX valves may be less fluid than copper valves, they are still an effective way to control the flow of water in a plumbing system.
What size PEX valve should I use for the shower?
When it comes to choosing the right size PEX valve for your shower, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. To begin with, the valve should be strong enough to handle the water pressure in your shower.
Also, it needs to be the right size for the PEX tubing you’re using. Also, it must be able to open and close properly. So how do you know what size PEX valve to use for your shower? Here are a few tips:
If you have a high-pressure shower, you’ll need a higher-rated PEX valve. The same is true if you’re using a larger diameter PEX tubing. A 1/2″ valve will work for most applications, but if you have higher water pressure, you may need a 3/4″ valve.
For your convenience, we already reviewed the best shower valve for PEX. In our review, we looked at several factors such as pressure rating, compatibility and more. Make sure to check out the list before you buy a PEX valve for your shower.
Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific PEX tubing. Some manufacturers require a specific valve size for their tubing. When in doubt, choose a larger valve. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to plumbing.
Can PEX be used for both hot and cold water shower valves?
PEX is an excellent option for use in both hot and cold water shower valves due to its flexibility, durability, and resistance to corrosion. PEX tubing and fittings are available specifically designed for hot and cold water applications, making PEX a versatile and widely used choice for shower valve installations.
But, it is crucial to choose the appropriate PEX tubing and fittings that conform to the installation’s temperature and pressure requirements.
What are the installation requirements for PEX shower valves?
To begin with, it is crucial to use PEX tubing and fittings that are compatible with the specific shower valve system and comply with all relevant plumbing codes and regulations.
And it is important to carefully support and secure the PEX tubing to prevent any movement or damage during and after installation. The appropriate PEX tools, such as crimping or clamp, should secure fittings onto the PEX tubing and ensure a tight seal.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the shower valve, including depth and orientation requirements, is also essential. Finally, a thorough pressure test should confirm the leak-free PEX system before proceeding with any fixtures or finishing touches.
A safe and reliable PEX shower valve installation can be achieved by adhering to these requirements.
What size Copper valve should I use for the shower?
There are a few factors to consider when deciding what size copper valve to use for a shower. First, find out the flow rate of the shower. This is usually measured in gallons per minute (GPM).
Second, it is important to know the pressure of the water coming into the shower. This is typically measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). Also, you need to know the type of copper pipe that will be used for the shower. The most common types are Type L and Type M.
Type L is thicker and can handle higher pressures, while Type M is thinner and is typically used for lower-pressure applications. With all of this information, you can then select the appropriate size copper valve for your shower.
For example, if you have a low-flow shower that comes in at 40 PSI, you would likely use a 1/2-inch Type M copper valve. But if you have a high-flow shower with an incoming water pressure of 60 PSI, then you should use a 3/4-inch Type L copper valve. Selecting the right size copper valve is essential for ensuring that your shower works properly.
So, Should You Use Copper or PEX as Shower Valves?
So, what’s the verdict? There’s no clear winner when it comes to PEX vs copper as your shower valve. It really depends on your budget and needs. If you want a durable option that will last for many years, the copper valve is an option you should consider.
However, if you’re working with a tight budget or want an easier installation process, PEX may be the better option. In the end, it’s your call.