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Can PEX pipe be installed outside?
Saturday, June 30, 2018
PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) pipe should not be installed outside for two reasons: 1) it is not rated by manufacturers for exterior exposure, and 2) the pipe degrades with sunlight exposure. The installation manual for Zurn® PEX pipe states that it “should not be stored or installed where it will be exposed to direct or indirect ultraviolet light (i.e. sunlight).”
Sunlight deteriorates the molecular structure of PEX, making it brittle and prone to rupture. It should be in a covered location when installed, and even storing the pipe in indirect sunlight until installation is not recommended. The PEX pipe shown above is at an exterior wall of an older home that has been re-piped. The spray-paint coating of the pipe provides some UV-protection, as long as it remains intact, but exterior installation is not approved.
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