If you are looking for a pipe that you can use underground in any weather, then you should consider the insulated PEX pipe. These kinds of pipes come wrapped in an insulating material that prevents cold from entering into the pipe, and freezing or cooling the water that travels through it. PEX pipe is traditionally used to transport water for underground heating systems, and this can sometimes mean that it is exposed to ground frosts and similar bad weather. In the summer, the PEX pipe can also be found to overheat if the inside of the pipe is not properly protected.
Advantages of the Insulated PEX Pipe
There are many reasons why you should consider using an insulated PEX pipe when making your buried heating systems. Firstly, As you will be using the heating in cold weather, the pipes will be most at use when the temperature is at its worst. This can include snow, ice, and frost, as well as freezing rains, all of which can affect the water travelling through the pipe, either by cooling it before it can warm up the room, or freezing the water in the pipes. An insulated PEX pipe means that the water will keep much of its temperature, and not be exposed to problems such as freezing.
Insulated PEX pipe is also flexible, meaning that it can be used like any other kind of PEX pipe, including being fitted around bends. The insulated pipe is very easy to install, and so long as you have had previous experience installing pipes, there is no reason why you should not be able to use this in your home.
Disadvantages of the Insulated PEX Pipe
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of these kinds of pipes is that they need to have a deep trench dug, in order to allow for all of the pipe and the insulation surrounding it to be installed underground. In order to get the most from this insulation, you need to have a fairly deep trench, which can mean a lot of work digging out ground. Some pipes require that a vertical trench be laid at the beginning, so that you end up with a V shaped trench, rather than the more traditional horizontal laying. This can seem unnecessarily difficult for the beginner, and you may not want to dig this large trench, and instead opt for an ordinary PEX pipe surrounded by a layer of home insulation.
Another disadvantage is the cost. Although insulated PEX pipe is cheap compared to its contemporaries, it is not really cheap enough when you compare it to the cost of an ordinary plastic pipe. In order to keep costs down, it is necessary to lay the pipe in short stretches, which may not suit if you are planning to use the pipe for underwater heating. The cost of the pipe may be prohibitive to some homeowners.