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Different Types of PEX Pipe

Find out how PEX-A, -B and -C are similar and how they compare when it comes to their application uses, popularity and individual advantages.

The three types of PEX all share a fundamental similarity, but they aren't exactly the same. Discover the differences among PEX-A, -B and -C, including which applications each one works best in, how widely used they are and what their unique advantages are.

What is PEX?

PEX pipe is a flexible, UV resistant and inexpensive pipe material made from polyethylene and used worldwide for residential and commercial plumbing and radiant heating systems.

Types of PEX

PEX has three variations of pipe that each have a different cross-linking method during manufacturing, which gives them slightly different properties.

PEX-A

PEX-a is flexible and has essentially no coil memory, making it the most commonly used tubing type with expansion fittings. It can also be used with push, crimp, clamp and press style fitting; however it is normally the highest-priced PEX pipe type.

PEX-A can be used with:

  • Expansion fittings
  • Push-to-connect fittings
  • Crimp fittings
  • Clamp fittings
  • Press style fitting

PEX-B

PEX-b is the most commonly used PEX tubing in North America for over 40 years and typically carries a 25-year warranty. It’s slightly more rigid than PEX-a, giving it a higher burst pressure, and it has the highest chlorine resistance rating. PEX-b can also be used for push, crimp, clamp and press style fittings and is the most price-friendly PEX type available.

PEX-B can be used with:

  • Push-to-connect fittings
  • Crimp fittings
  • Clamp fittings
  • Press style fitting

PEX-C

PEX-c has less coil memory than PEX-b due to its manufacturing process. It’s commonly used for supply lines from the supply stop to the fixture but is the least commonly used product in behind the wall water distribution systems. It may also be used for closed loop heating systems like radiant floor heating and snow melt systems.

What kind of PEX do I need?

Each type of PEX offers its own set of advantages and uses, so understanding them and choosing the proper tubing for your project is critical. Contact our customer support team for more information on the best type of PEX for your next job or find a store to get SharkBite PEX on your truck.