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Start Specifying Uponor PEX Piping on ATS Spec Tool

For the longest time, copper has been the industry standard for piping. We believe you should strongly consider Uponor’s PEX-a piping.

But what is PEX?

PEX is a crosslinked polyethylene piping material that is durable, noncorrosive and flexible. Due to its flexibility, it has the potential to provide freeze-damage protection. We can see the clear advantages with PEX, and through our ATS Spec Tool, we can offer specifications that will give copper a run for its money.

With the increased use of PEX piping, such as the superior Pex A piping by Uponor, the battle between PEX and copper has really ramped up. In this guide, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each piping material to explain why we believe PEX-a is the best option.

Since the 1960s, copper piping has been the gold standard in the plumbing industry. It has always been readily available and known for its longevity. However, PEX has become the new piping of choice over the past two decades, due to its durability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

Advantages of PEX VS copper:


One of the leading factors that contribute to the rise of PEX piping’s popularity is the significant cost savings it offers. Most PEX piping options are one-third the cost of copper. Even with the equipment required to install the fittings, PEX piping is still more cost-effective in a medium-sized job. An added benefit is the speed of connections compared to soldering copper.


PEX-a piping is the most flexible of all PEX piping types. PEX-a allows for the tightest bend radius, just 3½ inches for ½-inch pipe. This flexibility offers many advantages, such as fewer connections with each change in direction. The reduced number of fittings result in increased reliability as well as reduced water pressure drops.

Withstands Freezing

Unlike rigid copper pipes which burst when they expand in freezing conditions, flexible PEX-a can expand without bursting. This makes PEX-a more resistant to changing water temperatures. Along those same lines, you can also easily repair kinks from PEX-a pipes by using a heat gun. However, with copper pipes, you have to replace the piping.

Easier to work with

ASTM F1960 PEX expansion fittings are much faster to install than copper sweat. Additionally, soldering copper pipes can be quite toxic. With an ASTM F1960 PEX expansion fitting, the installer uses one simple tool to expand the pipe and an expansion ring to allow enough room to insert a fitting. As the pipe and ring shrink back down to their original size, it creates a solid, strong connection that only continues to get stronger over time. And because the fitting is the same internal diameter (ID) as the pipe, it’s impossible to dry fit. Also, the larger diameter fittings reduce the possibilities of water pressure drops.

Pex vs Copper
PEX-a pipe expands to allow the insertion of a larger-diameter ASTM F1960 fitting without any additional clamps, creating the only PEX connection system that actually continues to get stronger over time.

Best of all, PEX piping is available with a red or blue colour coating to make it easy to differentiate between hot and cold water lines.

Reduced Calcium Build Up

PEX-a won’t corrode like copper. If you live in an area with acidic water, copper can corrode over time. PEX-a resists the damaging effect of harsh/acidic water and is therefore a better choice in these areas.


Last but not least, PEX piping requires less energy to produce and has a lower carbon footprint. It is also tested and listed to NSF/ANSL for safe drinking water.

Book a demo to learn more about Uponor’s PEX A piping, or to specify it on the ATS Spec Tool.

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