Are you a California resident wondering why PEX piping is banned in the state? PEX, or crosslinked polyethylene, is a popular material used in plumbing systems due to its flexibility and durability.
However, recent studies have raised concerns about the safety of PEX and its potential impact on drinking water. Join us as we explore the reasons behind the ban and the alternatives available for plumbing in California.
The use of PEX in radiant heating and cooling systems, domestic water piping, and electrical cable insulation is, without a doubt, among the best choices available.
During the early 1980s, PEX became widely used in the USA. It has been tested for safety and durability by several national testing laboratories since then.
All major plumbing codes, including those used by the CSA, BOCA, ICBO, IAPMO, IPC, SBCCI, and NSPC, include the code.
We’ve indeed been receiving our drinking water from galvanized metal pipes for a long time, but PEX pipes are fast making their way into the American heart.
This plastic wonder is unfortunately not appreciated by all states. Even if you are eager to try those red and blue pipes, you will be barred from doing so if your state does not allow it.
There is no widespread ban on it in any of the states as of now. However, there are still some areas where plastics are not allowed to be used for local plumbing. Whether or not you’re ready for some PEX connection will depend on your health.
Is PEX Banned In California?
A ban on it was in place in California before 2010. However, it has been allowed in California since then to use PEX for plumbing.
The main reason for this was because several chemicals may leak into the water from PEX pipes, so California’s Building Standards Commission banned them.
The Californian government banned PEX as they thought it could expose people to unnecessary chemicals or carcinogens.
So, PEX Was Banned From California ’01 Code?
A review of PEX’s environmental impact by California’s Building Standards Commission is required; local jurisdictions can approve the use of PEX themselves.
In a ruling issued in November, the California Court of Appeals in Los Angeles ruled that PEX pipe used in the construction, plumbing, and fire codes will now require environmental review by the California Building Standards Commission.
As a result of the November decision being reissued by the appeals court on Dec. 15, 2004, it will serve as a precedent in the state from now on.
PEX can, however, be used in counties and cities under the approval of local jurisdictions.
Understanding the Timeline Of The Ban
Despite the fact that PEX and California have been at odds for years now, it has been particularly raging in recent months. In order to ensure that PEX products were safe, the industry conducted an environmental impact review.
A California Environmental Impact Report was conducted, mandating that PEX be incorporated into the state’s plumbing code in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. After a lawsuit was filed claiming that the EIR was incomplete, the judge rescinded PEX’s approval.
Back Again and Then Gone
After the judge’s orders were repealed, the PEX industry won a stay, allowing them to add PEX to the list of approved building materials. Shortly after that, however, a second lawsuit was filed.
PEX has been approved and then removed multiple times in a round of back-and-forth legal battles. The material PEX is not on the list of approved building materials in residential projects as of today.
At Present: PEX Is Not Banned In California
There is no longer a ban on the use of PEX in California; it was banned because the California Plumbers Union complained that there was not enough evidence that it was safe.
Essentially, it installs faster, easier, more reliably, and with less skill than copper, so plumbers’ fiefdoms and incomes were impacted. They have held California captive for decades, but now we have access to the best plumbing system ever developed.
The PEX plastic is a thermoset plastic that has been “kneaded” so much that it no longer behaves like a thermoplastic.
Hence, once processed, it cannot be remelted. Rather, it becomes “set” in whatever form it was created. There is no substitute for crosslinking for reliable, durable water pipe use, especially when it comes to hot water.
As a result of its strong molecular bonds, polyethylene (PE) is highly stable, and its molecules do not readily break apart.
Polyethylene molecules are made up of very long chains that are not connected, so non-PEX materials aren’t as strong in all directions as PEX materials.
This issue can be addressed through crosslinking by molecularly linking the molecules. Despite being less strong, pure polyethylene (milk jugs) is inert, completely safe, recyclable, and inexpensive.
Ideally, all water bottles should be made of this material, but marketing experts discovered that people wouldn’t buy water in non-clear bottles. It wouldn’t affect the taste of water if you stored it for years in a PE bottle.
Why Contractors Want PEX
Plumbers and builders generally prefer PEX for these projects since it is much faster and easier to handle than copper. The use of PEX in housing has even been confirmed to be completely safe by third-party testing.
Remodeling with PEX also provides greater flexibility. Moving copper piping can be an expensive endeavor. It takes a considerable amount of time to change copper piping. As a result of the material’s flexibility, PEX allows for easier movement.
In light of this, contractors, builders, and plumbers should have access to PEX for all their projects.
PEX in Other States
The reasons mentioned above contribute to the use of PEX in other states, in spite of the issues mentioned above in California. Despite claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that they pose health risks.
When using PEX for a project, builders, contractors, and plumbers should adhere to a few simple rules.
Is PEX Legal In California?
The use of PEX in California is now legal. According to the California plumbing code, it is acceptable.
How Long Has PEX Been Legal In California?
It has been legal in California since 2010 to use PEX.
Where Is PEX Not Allowed?
PEX can be used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications throughout the United States.
Is PEX OK For Drinking Water?
Using PEX water lines for drinking is completely safe.
There is a change in PEX’s legal status every few years in California. How come? It seems that there are concerns about its impact on water. Although California is known for banning things, there are a lot of other things it allows. With legislators, it’s like a hobby.
In California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) regulations, crosslinked polyethylene, or PEX, tubing was unanimously approved for water distribution by the commission. The regulations also approved PEX water distribution systems to be used in California Plumbing Code.
As the PEX California plumbing code guidelines are all but guaranteeing that this new system will be able to replace copper piping and even CPVC in residential plumbing, they are a huge step forward for PEX.