Home Improvement

What’s the Difference Between Non-Barrier, Oxygen Barrier and Pex-Al-Pex?

Pex-Al-Pex piping is crosslinked polyethylene composite pressure pipe with an aluminum tube reinforced between inner and outer layers. It is widely used for plumbing, underfloor heating, hydronic heating and cooling, and snow and ice melting systems.

When planning to install Pex pipe fittings, you may come across three major types i.e., non-barrier PEX, oxygen barrier PEX, and Pex-Al-Pex 16mm. All are ideal for plumbing, hydronic piping, and distribution in residential and commercial areas. However, there is a significant difference between the three that you must know to make a wise decision.

Comparison – Non-Barrier PEX, Oxygen Barrier PEX, and Pex-Al-Pex

Non-Barrier PEX

It is a plain extruded pipe without any external coating or additional layers. Ideal for hot and cold water plumbing and open-loop hydronic heating systems. It is flexible, easy to install, and a great alternative to copper and CPVC rigid piping for residential and commercial potable and non-potable water plumbing applications.

Oxygen Barrier PEX

It has an external layer of EVOH polymer which meets the DIN 4726 standard for oxygen permeability. Prevents oxygen molecules into the water and corrosion of cast iron components in the system. It is suitable for hot water hydronic heating applications, fan coils, radiant floor heating, and snow-melting applications.


The major distinction of Pex-Al-Pex is the internal layer of aluminium, sandwiched between two durable layers of PEX. Which results, it can help add a memory feature to the tubing and let it retain its shape. The aluminium layer gives an oxygen diffusion barrier without any additional coating. It is suitable for closed-loop hydronic, radiant floor heating, and snow melting systems.

Pressure ratings of Pex-Al-Pex are higher than other types or regular PEX. And before selecting a Pex tubing, you must understand pex al pex vs pex to decide because it will tell what would be better for your plumbing applications.

Features of Pex-Al-Pex Pipes

  • Easy Joint Assembly – made of either crimp-on connector rings or compression fitting, easy to finish and no need for solder and torch them
  • Flexibility – Bend them using hands in any direction and will stay in a fixed position. It works through existing frame elements, walls, and floor joists.
  • Resistant to Frost Cracking – better than rigid piping when resisting surface pressure of freezing water.

Applications of Pex-Al-Pex 

The popularity of Pex-Al-Pex pipes began with radiant heating systems. Since the pipes can retain their shapes, they are ideal for a variety of applications that include:

  • Hot and cold water plumbing distribution
  • Radiant heating and cooling applications like ceilings, floors, and walls
  • Ice and snow melting
  • Pitch heating
  • Chilled water piping
  • Hydronic pipes and distribution

Tips for Finding a Reliable Pex-Al-Pex Supplier

Deciding which supplier you are going to work with is a vital yet complicated process. It could take ample time and energy before you find the right supplier who will deliver top-quality products. You can make the process a bit easier by following these tips:

  • Quality Assurance

The more attention to give to quality assurance, the better product you will receive. Because It reduces the chances of defective products and components and gives customers complete satisfaction.

  • Sourcing Materials from Reputed Manufacturers

Many suppliers source from other factories and manufacturers. So, if your supplier doesn’t produce parts and products, ask them where they are getting the materials to ensure they work with reliable manufacturers. The best way is to check the quality of materials is to ask a supplier to give the list of materials they deliver.

  • Build a Long-Term Relationship

It is essential to build a lasting relationship with your supplier. Rely on someone expert who is professional, polite, and cares for your precise needs. Make a clear communication with a supplier and let them understand your needs to deliver bulk orders with ease and perfection.


It is always best to research and know the essential facts when considering pex-al-pex pipe solutions. With all the information in this post, hopefully, you can have a great start and find a reliable pex-al-pex supplier for cost-effective products.

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