Difference between PEX and PB (Polybutylene) pipes

06/21/2016 2 Comment(s)

Installing piping in homes requires ample knowledge, in order to avoid future plumbing problems. Today, copper pipes have been successfully replaced by piping solutions like PEX, due to its corrosion resistance and flexibility features. Generally there are two different types of plastic pipes –

  • PEX ( Cross-linked Polyethylene)
  • PB (Polybutylene)

Both of these pipes have many differences that make both of them, exceptional and one of their own kind. PB is basically made of a plastic resin material that was used for plumbing pipes because of its features, like flexibility, cost effectiveness, freeze resistance etc. Unfortunately, people have not accepted these pipes due to its weak features that cause them loss.

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PEX is a reliable pipe made from HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). PEX has been used successfully throughout the world for many years. It is the most preferred plumbing option for domestic purposes, though it is not meant for outdoors and could get damaged if it is kept outside under UV rays of the sun.


The main difference between the two is manufacturing. In PEX, the polymer chains are connected to each other and are called Cross linking, but it does not take place in PB pipes.

Due to the cross-linked of chains, it results in revised material distinctiveness that is quite favorable for PEX. One of the most important benefits that PEX over PB is it can tolerate more pressure. However, every manufacturer tries to prove the superiority of PB, but the fact is PEX will constantly have more pressure tolerance power than PB. PEX is always a better option than PB because of its amazing water resistant features.

Chlorine is a world-famous chemical that is used to purify water. Now the main problem is that chlorine will steadily rupture the PB pipes bonds. At some point of time, PB pipes can become weak and ultimately break due to the water pressure. However, PEX has the greater resistance to control the pressure of water, even with high amount of chlorine. Due to the inbuilt weakness in Polybutylene (PB), the pipe is not accepted in Canada and U.S. as people living in these countries do not use these pipes because of its fragile aspects. Though, PEX pipe are still acceptable in many countries, as it promises the long lasting features that help people save their money and time.

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