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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, with essentially no coil memory, and a heat gun can be used to repair kinks. It is most commonly used with expansion fittings due to its flexibility and elastic memory. However, it is normally the highest-priced PEX pipe.

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 found throughout North America. PEX-B has been used for over 40 years and typically carries a 25-year warranty. PEX-B is slightly more rigid than PEX-A, giving it a higher burst pressure and it has the highest chlorine resistance rating. 

PEX-B can be used with:

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

PEX-C

And there's the most price-friendly PEX type available. PEX-C has less coil memory than PEX-B, due to its manufacturing process. PEX-C is commonly used for supply lines, from the supply stop to the fixture, but it is the least commonly used product in behind-the-wall water distribution systems. Additional applications include 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.

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