Previously homeowners used copper for their water supply line for different faucets and taps at their homes, including the shower. These days, however, PEX (Cross-linked polyethylene), with its flexibility, long-lasting lifespan, and affordability, has largely replaced copper-made pipelines.
Henceforth, you might consider PEX for your shower. But for this, you need to know what size PEX for the shower should you install. It includes close consideration of your required water flow and pressure, the inner diameter of the shower for the supply line, and your home design.
We will discuss these relatable facts to choose the right PEX size for the shower and show you different PEX shower plumbing diagrams for quick and easy DIY installation of the system. Thus, you could quickly take your decision by choosing from ½-inch, 3/8-inch, ¾-inch, and 1-inch PEX diameters.
So, let’s jump into the discussion without further delay.
Why is PEX So Popular?
Honestly speaking, homeowners have chosen a copper-made water pipeline to supply water across various taps, faucets, and showers in different parts of their homes. People choose copper pipelines because of their rust resistance and durability. However, a copper pipeline is not a cheap material by any means, so using the copper pipeline for water supply might be costly.
The introduction of PEX material has freed homeowners from the limitations of copper. Firstly, PEX is affordable, so it seriously reduces your plumbing cost. Secondly, PEX is highly flexible and easy to install even with a DIY project.
Also, PEX will lessen the chance of leaks and damages if you combine it with the manifold system for your shower in the bathroom. On top of it, you will get the PEX pipeline in different sizes to meet your needs. Thus, you need to know what size PEX will be useful for your shower.
What Size PEX for Shower is Ideal?
The affordability and flexibility of PEX in water pipelines are increasing its popularity; you may want to install it for the shower. But which size PEX should you choose for your shower?
Well, there’s no thumb of rule for it. Therefore, you need to consider a few things that include the manifold system, PEX diameter, and requirement for water pressure. So, let’s discuss them in the below sections.
You need to consider the “nominal sizing” of the PEX when you decide to use it for your shower system. The nominal sizing refers to a construction standard that lets you know whether or not the PEX will be usable with the fitting you want.
You will get the PEX tubing in multiple sizes varying from 25ft to 1000ft. But, you need to look at its inner diameter and not the length since the diameter of the PEX tubing will control its compatibility for different fixtures and fittings.
So, what is the available diameter for PEX?
You will get the PEX diameter varying from 3/8-inch to the right up to the 1-inch. Thus, you will find the true size for the PEX diameter for showers. Usually, showers have ¾-inch inner diameter sizing. Thus, both ½-inch and ¾-inch diameter PEXs will easily be compatible with the shower fixtures of your bathroom.
Also, ½-inch to ¾-inch diameter of PEX will be useful for residential use with required water flow without inconveniences.
Water pressure requirement:
Next up, you must consider your required water pressure. It is even more important since homeowners are increasingly tilting towards a plumbing system that reduces water wastage. Hence, homeowners prefer a PEX system that slows down the water flow rate these days.
Henceforth, you might consider installing a narrower PEX pipeline to reduce the water flow rate and water wastage for the shower fixture. For instance, you might consider installing a ½-inch PEX for the ¾-inch shower fixture.
However, you might still go with the same diameter for the shower fixture. It means you can also choose the ¾-inch diameter for the ¾-inch shower fixtures. It will allow you to get the full water pressure and flow, and it could be a game-changing decision for many people.
Also, consider that choosing a narrower PEX for showers will increase your bathing time since it will reduce the water flow rate. Hence, installing a ½-inch isn’t a practical idea for showers, although it is compatible.
And if you aren’t worried about waiting for a few more moments underneath your shower, you may even choose a 3/8-inch PEX diameter to conserve water.
Next up, you need to consider the manifold system of your household and shower fixtures. Which PEX diameter is compatible with the manifold system of your shower?
Technically speaking, with the flexibility and continuity of PEX, you can use it with various manifold systems of your household. Plumbers also permit such applications. You will typically find blue and red valves on two sides of your whole-house residential manifold system. Here, you will need to follow the thumbs of the rule, which suggests that you might choose a narrower water supply pipeline than the diameter of the standard manifold system of your shower fixture.
Since most whole-house manifold systems, including the shower fixture, features ¾-inch valves, you can easily choose the following three PEX diameters.
- ¾-inch PEX
- ½-inch PEX
- 3/8-inch PEX
However, remember that choosing narrower PEX will decrease the water flow rate. So, be aware of it.
Consider pressure drop:
You should also consider the distance of the shower fixture from the manifold system of your home. The longer the distance, the wider your PEX pipeline should be for proper water pressure. For instance, a ½-inch PEX pipeline delivers adequate water pressure for a 350-ft distance. If the distance is 250ft, you can choose 3/8-inch PEX diameters.
Henceforth, you should determine the distance of the manifold system from the shower fixture and choose the PEX size accordingly. Ideally, you should choose the size that won’t drop the water pressure and cause inconvenience.
PEX Shower Plumbing Diagram
One of the best benefits of the PEX pipeline for shower fixtures and other systems of your home is its flexibility and ability to install through a DIY project. It means you may even mount the PEX pipeline through a DIY project. However, you will need an appropriate plumbing diagram for it. Thankfully, you will find different plumbing diagrams for PEX on the internet. You may even consult a plumber and take help from him to get a good diagram.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can I run 3/4 PEX to shower?
Since your shower manifold system will mostly have a ¾-inch diameter, you can conveniently use a ¾-inch PEX for showers. It won’t reduce the water flow and pressure at all.
- What size water line goes to a shower?
Ideally, your shower fixture will require a ½-inch water line. But, you can upsize it to ¾-inch with the PEX, thanks to its flexibility and convenient installation process.
You should now have a clear idea about what size PEX for the shower is suitable. You can choose between ½-inch and ¾-inch PEX diameters for the shower fixtures to supply adequate water without any drop in water pressure and flow. The advantage of PEX is its affordability and flexibility, so you shouldn’t feel disappointed with it for shower fixtures. And finally, with the right size described in this discussion, you should now be all set to mount the PEX pipeline for showers and enjoy your bathing time.
I am James Martin, An professional plumber with more than 16 years of experience. The main purpose of my writing is to share my experiences of helping others. Be with me and explore bathroom plumbing, installation, cleanness ideas, and many more.