How Long Can PEX Piping Be Exposed to Sunlight?

When it comes to plumbing, PEX piping has several qualities that give it an edge over other materials. Unlike most metals, PEX doesn’t corrode. It has a high resistance to chlorine and scale.

PEX installations also require fewer fittings than other piping materials. The downside of PEX is that it isn’t suitable for aboveground outdoor plumbing installations. This is because it easily gets damaged by UV rays.

Effect of Sunlight on PEX Piping

PEX piping is highly susceptible to damage by sunlight. If exposed to sunlight, the molecular structure disintegrates. This causes the piping to become brittle and rupture. Indoor PEX installations require a covered environment. This helps to prevent exposure to direct sunlight.

However, during construction, short exposure to sunlight is sometimes unavoidable. Such exposure should not exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations. It is best to maintain the original packaging when you install the tubing. If the packaging is unavailable, you need to provide some shield to prevent damage from UV exposure. Cover the tubing with some opaque material.

Black polyethylene bags can be used. Most manufacturers put UV stabilizers in PEX tubing to provide at least 30 to 60 days UV protection. This helps to protect the PEX in case of project delays.