Can I Use PEX For a Shower head?(Guide)

Can I Use PEX For a Shower head?

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Can I Use PEX For a Shower head?

PEX represents “cross-linked polyethylene”; it’s a flexible plastic piping that you can use in plumbing installations. Commonly found in North America, Europe, and parts of Asia and Australia.

Using potable water supply lines at low pressures, you can use PEX in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. This typically includes supplies for sinks, lavatories, bathtubs/showers, dishwashers, and clothes washers.

Yes, You can use PEX for a showerhead. PEX is a type of plastic pipe that boasts usage for various things. It’s an excellent alternative to metal pipes and has many advantages, including needing no reducers, not needing to worry about freezing or breaking, and it’s easy to work with.

PEX works great for the bathroom and any plumbing situation requiring something durable yet flexible. It also comes in a wide range of colors, making it easy to match your bathroom decor.

You want to ensure that the PEX you buy is specifically made for plumbing and not just general use. You can find it at any hardware store or home improvement center.

Look for brands like Guardian PE-X or IPEX. This is because the pipes are thicker, stronger, and more durable than the others, so they won’t kink or melt like other types of PEX.

I recommend attaching it to the showerhead with a compression fitting. Call a professional plumber for this one, but this type of fitting works well because it’s very strong and forms perfectly around the fittings to create a water-tight connection.

Let a professional do it if you feel uncomfortable working with the PEX pipes and fittings.

What size PEX should I use for my shower?

PEX pipes are made of flexible plastic tubing that can be used in place of copper and steel pipe.

They have become common in new custom-built homes because they don’t corrode like other types of piping do, and they are relatively inexpensive compared to other high-end plumbing products.

Can I Use PEX For a Shower head?

PEX comes in different sizes, often referred to as “lengths” or “diameters” at the end of the pipe. The most common PEX size is Schedule 40, which is 1/2″ in diameter.

For smaller garden showers, you can use a much smaller diameter, but for larger sizes, it’s best to use a larger diameter, such as Schedule 80.

1/8-inch Pex PipeBest for supply lines supplying water to a single appliance.
½ inch Pex PipeBest for supplying water to a dishwasher and bathrooms sinks and toilets.
¾ inch Pex PipeBest for supplying hot and cold water to appliances requiring more water pressure and volume, e.g., showers, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers.

What Size Water Line Goes to A Shower?

A Half-inch diameter line will suffice for most showers and standard tubs. If you have a bathtub or a very large shower, you will need an inch waterline instead.

If you plan on adding hot water to your shower (or tub), consider matching that with a larger diameter pipe to decrease pressure loss.

A good rule of thumb is to make the diameter of the water pipe running to your house about the same size or larger than the diameter of the service line coming from your water main into your home.

If you have a typical water system with a large 3/4″ water service, I recommend using that size for all your hot and cold (mixing) lines to/within each fixture. This ensure you have adequate pressure for all fixtures concerning each other.

For example, suppose you had a single sink with a one-half-inch cold water line and a one-half-inch hot water line with about 20 feet of pipe running between the wall/faucet and the water service (aka “breaker box”).

In that case, turn on both taps at full blast to get adequate pressure at the sink. You can cause this by using only 1/2″ of pipe.

Can I Use PEX For a Shower head?

It’s not uncommon to see people with 15-20-foot water lines running to their shower with only two taps (one hot and one cold), sometimes making things difficult in the winter when the water gets very cold.

What Are the Different Types Of PEX?

If you’re looking to replace your plumbing with PEX, it cannot be easy to understand which type best suits your needs. That’s why I have created this list of the most common types of PEX and what they’re used for.

PEX AMade using Peroxide or Engel method
PEX BFormed using Silane or Moisture Cure method.  

This is the most common PEX pipe.

PEX CMade using the Electronic irradiation or cold method of cross-linking.

PEX Pipe Vs. Copper for Shower Head

Can last 30 to 50 years since it’s life expectancy can be shortened by using extremely hot water.Can last, on average, 50 to 70 years. However, it’s life can be shortened by highly acidic water.
Costs around $4000 to $6000 to replace.Costs around $8000 to $10000 for a plumber to replace old copper pipes with new ones on average.
Needs Fewer connectionsNeeds more connections compared to PEX.
Has a central shutoffHas only individual shutoffs
More resistant to freeze breakageMore likely to freeze and break

Is PEX A or B better? – Comparison Table

Costs Roughly $250Costs Roughly $150
Uses an expansion-style fitting. Therefore, PEX A joining method eliminates the flow risk restriction.Uses an insert-style fitting. Therefore, it doesn’t need an expansion tool.  

The joining method is faster and simpler than the PEX A process.

It’s very flexible, allowing one to make closer radial bends than PEX B.Comprise of the same expansive material as PEX A. Thus its flexibility is limited.
You don’t need to worry about upsizing your system because it uses an expansion-style fitting.PEX B’s inser-styling fitting can result in a bottleneck in your plumbing system.
PEX A is more resistant to burst pressure because its expansive material can accommodate up to 500 PSI.  

Therefore, it’s reliable in extremely cold temperatures.

PEX B is more rigid, thus holding up well in the same situations.

How Do I Increase the GPM On My Shower Head?

  1. Adjust the Shower Head

You can adjust Higher-quality shower heads. They come with directions on how to do so, but it’s not difficult, and they often have 2 or 3 different setting levels. You only need a screwdriver and a few minutes of your time.

Adjustments should include turning the shower head in different directions until you find one that provides pressure you’re happy with or switching between settings on multiple-function shower heads.

  1. Turn Off Another Shower Valve

Is there another valve on your house that provides water for a separate shower? If so, make sure to turn it off. You can accomplish this by turning a knob.

You’ll need to switch back and forth between several settings to find the one you want, but getting a higher pressure is well worth the effort.

  1. Adjust the Thermostat

If your shower head pressure is too low, it’s not getting enough water from the water heater; this is particularly true if you have a low-flow shower head.

Can I Use PEX For a Showerhead?

To fix this problem, turn your thermostat to a higher temperature. It should increase your water heaters output and, in turn, increase the pressure in your shower head.

  1. Adjust Your Water Heater Valve

Homes are built with varying levels of efficiency, some are well-insulated, and others are not. If your shower pressure is low, you may need to increase the efficiency of your water heater.

To do this, you’ll want to increase the temperature at which it’s set. You can do this by turning on the master valve or adding a temperature sensor such as a thermopile or a thermistor.

Whether you do or don’t increase the temperature with a thermostat is up to you and your budget.

How To Connect the PEX Pipe to The Shower?

To connect the PEX pipe to the shower, do the following:

  1. Use a pipe cutter to cut the PEX pipe near a fitting and remove the end cap. Use a tube cutter to cut through any copper pipe that needs it.
  2. Slip one of the PEX pipes over that end and secure it with an end cap if you desire. Repeat for other pipes as needed, ensuring they are not too tight or loose.
  3. With a wrench, tighten the fittings. Use a lock washer and nut over the pipe end fitting.
  4. If the pipe ends are capped, you may want to cover them with tape or some other protective material to help prevent corrosion, especially if they are not necessarily under eye level (or in a high-traffic area).
  5. If you want to connect multiple lengths of PEX to the shower, use a tee fitting with a 90-degree elbow at each end.
  6. Cover the PEX pipe with drain wrap or something similar, using Gorilla Tape or another similar product (the tape will allow water to run under it).
  7. Use an electric shower head to test for leaks and ensure the connections are tight enough and that water does not leak out of any fittings.
  8. Turn on the water and use a pressure gauge to ensure the water pressure is normal and that there are no large leaks.
  9. If you use a whole house filter, attach it to the shower head before connecting it.

If you have any problems with your PEX pipe (e.g., it’s too small for your liking), you can easily replace any part of it with another piece of PEX pipe of a larger diameter (you need to cut some pipe ends off first).

Why do PEX fittings fail? – 4 Reasons

The reasons why PEX fittings fail is because of the following reasons:

  1. The Cold-Water Environment

The mild temperature of the PEX water can greatly promote degradation. It’s not exactly the kind of place you’d want your pipe to be. The water can take just a few weeks to break down your PEX fittings.

Fortunately, you can do something about it by storing your PEX pipe in a heated environment. This will go a long way toward protecting your pipes from degradation and premature failure.

  1. Lack of Corrosion Inhibitors

I’ve heard this one a lot, but it’s true. PEX pipe tends to work best in marine applications. This means that you will expose the PEX pipes to salt spray, algae, and other “icky things” that can cause corrosion to occur.

Regarding these applications, we recommend using galvanized fittings or stainless steel because they contain corrosion inhibitors that keep the pipe operating well into the long term.

  1. The Hard Water Environment

We’ll admit that hard water is the most common factor for PEX pipe failure. This is because it can cause several problems for the pipe, including premature deterioration and corrosion.

Even though it’s a minor problem, it’s not exactly something you want in your house. We recommend using a softening system to target the hard water sources within your home to prevent this problem.

  1. The Improper Installation Procedures

This is one thing that most people never check before installing their PEX pipe. And believe it or not, this oversight can make a huge difference in the performance of your pipe.

That’s why hiring an expert is always suitable to help you with any installations you may have.

Can PEX Freeze Without Breaking?

Yes! PEX can freeze without breaking, but only under certain circumstances, and there are some other factors to consider. PEX tubing freezes at a fairly high temperature like any other pipe material.

For it to freeze and break, the water in the PEX tubing must freeze, or the temperature must drop below 32 F for some time.

Opening a faucet will allow the ice to melt, but this does not solve the problem. Water will pool in that area which will refreeze until you drain it.

If you have water pooling around your faucets, then drain it out and run your faucets until you remove all the water. That will get rid of the problem until the next time.

Can I Use PEX For a Showerhead?

Consider turning off your water supply at night. This is not a practical solution but just something to consider.

A better approach is to install a freeze alarm that sounds when the temperature dips below 32 F.PEX freezes at different temperatures depending on the diameter of the pipe and its length.

The size of the pipe is not a problem because the water in the PEX tubing won’t freeze until it’s below 32 F. while the water in the PEX tubing will freeze at 32 F on its own, it can also go below 32 F without freezing unless there is something in the way.

Why Do Plumbers Not Like Sharkbite Fittings?

Plumbers do not like SharkBite fittings because:

1: You Can’t Solder Them

SharkBite fittings are made of PVC plastic which is not the same as PVC piping. You cannot solder onto SharkBite fittings.

Anyone who knows anything about plumbing will tell you that it’s always better to solder copper pipe and to use copper pipe because copper pipe lasts much longer and has less potential for leaks.

2: It’s Hard To Thread

SharkBite fittings have a large diameter, and it isn’t easy to thread the copper pipe metal sleeve into the plastic fitting.

3: SharkBite fittings are not easy to remove from copper piping

SharkBite fittings are so strong that they are difficult to remove from copper piping. The plastic case around the SharkBite fitting does not offer any leverage for pulling out the Shark-biting fitting.

4: They Can Become Stuck

SharkBite fittings often get stuck when trying to remove them from a joint. To make matters worse, if you damage the fitting while attempting to remove it, you are left with both sides of the connection leaking.

5: It Splits Open

The more force you put on a SharkBite fitting, the more likely it’s to split open and leak.

6: Sharkbite Fittings Bend Easily

SharkBite fittings are made from PVC plastic and are very flexible. A SharkBite fitting with pressure will flex and not withstand water pressure.

7: You can’t use them in most applications.

SharkBite fittings are intended for potable water supplies only. You cannot use SharkBite fittings on gas, oil, or wastewater lines because they have no flame or corrosion resistance.


A PEX pipe can last for decades when properly installing and maintaining it. That’s why we always recommend professional assistance when installing your PEX pipe.

There are many factors based on the longevity of a PEX pipe. That’s why choosing the right fittings is important if you want your PEX pipes to live a long life.


Hi! I I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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