The Pex pipe has some significant benefits over traditional copper.
- Most significantly, as a plastic, it will expand more than copper providing some freeze protection.
- Since it's flexible, it can be snaked through walls easier than copper. It also needs less bends, meaning less work for the plumber soldering connections.
- Finally, it shouldn't rust or corrode like our existing copper pipes have.
You can see the manifold in the picture. It works just like your electrical panel. Water lines are run from each faucet, toilet, tub, etc directly to the manifold. They are color coded too, obviously red for hot and blue for cold. The manifold has little switches that allow individual water lines to be turned off, so that water to that particular faucet can be turned off without turning off the water to the whole house. Traditionally and in this house in particular, the water runs from the utility room (where it enters the house) to the downstairs bathroom, then to the kitchen, then to the other bathrooms. The master bath was at the end of the line, meaning it took forever for the hot water to get up there. With this new manifold system, the water travels a shorter distance to get there, so we should theoretically have faster hot water.
The two white pipes are larger diameter to bring hot and cold water to the shower in the master bath. Our Master bath has a shower head and a wand and both will receive full flow now.