Apollo PEX-A vs Uponor: Which PEX Pipe is Best?

Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipes have become increasingly popular for residential and commercial plumbing applications due to their flexibility, durability, and resistance to damage from freezing. Two of the major manufacturers of PEX pipes are Apollo and Uponor. But which brand offers the better product? This article examines the key differences between Apollo PEX-A and Uponor PEX to help you determine which is the right choice for your project.

Here is an in-depth comparison table contrasting key factors between Apollo and Uponor PEX-A tubing:

FeatureApollo PEX-AUponor PEX-A
Manufacturing MethodEngel method using peroxideEngel method using peroxide
Standards ComplianceASTM F876, F877ASTM F876, F877
Pipe Sizes Available1/4″ to 2″1/4″ to 2″
Maximum Temperature Rating200°F200°F
Minimum Bend RadiusNo data provided1″ for 1/2″ tubing
Chemical ResistanceHighly resistantHighly resistant
Oxygen BarrierNoneNone
FlexibilityNo exact data, “highly flexible”20% more flexible than PEX-B
Pressure Rating100 psi @ 73°F, 80 psi @ 180°F160 psi @ 73°F
Flow Rate18% greater than PEX-BNo data provided
Warranty10 years25 years
Plastic Fittings OfferedBR, PosiTempQick & Pro, MLC
Metal FittingsBrass, stainless steelViega PureFlow
Recirculation RatingRated for recirculation up to 150°FRated for recirculation up to 140°F
Approved ApplicationsPotable water, radiant heatingPotable water, radiant heating
Special FeaturesNoneProPEX (enhanced flexibility)

What is PEX Pipe?

PEX stands for cross-linked polyethylene. It is a flexible plastic piping material that is designed to withstand extreme temperatures and pressures, as well as resist corrosion.

There are three main types of PEX tubing:

  • PEX-A: This pipe is manufactured using the Engel method, which involves peroxide cross-linking. It has a high degree of flexibility and can withstand temperatures up to 200°F.
  • PEX-B: This type uses silane for cross-linking instead of peroxide. It is moderately flexible and has a maximum temperature rating of 180°F.
  • PEX-C: Also known as PEX-AL-PEX, this pipe sandwiches an aluminum core between inner and outer PEX layers. It is the least flexible option but can handle up to 200°F.

Apollo PEX-A Overview

Apollo is one of the leading manufacturers of PEX-A tubing for plumbing and radiant heating systems. Some key features of their products include:

  • Manufacturing Process: Apollo uses the Engel method with peroxide to cross-link their pipes. This creates strong, flexible tubing.
  • Flow Rate: Apollo states their PEX-A tubing provides an 18% greater flow rate than comparable PEX products. This improves water pressure.
  • Fittings: Apollo PEX fittings create secure, leak-proof seals. They offer brass, plastic, and stainless steel fittings.
  • Sizes: Available in both coil and straight lengths up to 1000′. Diameters range from 1/4″ to 2″.
  • Approvals: Apollo PEX tubing meets ASTM F876 and F877 standards and is approved for potable water use.

Uponor PEX Overview

Uponor is another leading PEX pipe manufacturer that produces PEX-A tubing and fittings. Here are some of their notable features:

  • Manufacturing: Like Apollo, Uponor uses the Engel method with peroxide for cross-linking their PEX pipes.
  • ProPEX Design: Uponor’s PEX-A tubing is engineered for durability, flexibility and performance. It is 20% more flexible than PEX-B.
  • Connections: Uponor has a wide range of brass, plastic and stainless fittings designed specifically for their tubing. No glue or sealants needed.
  • Pipe Sizes: Available in both coils and straight lengths up to 1000′ long. Diameters from 1/4″ to 2″.
  • Warranty: Uponor offers an industry-leading 25-year limited warranty on their PEX tubing for potable water applications.


Both Apollo and Uponor manufacture PEX-A tubing, which offers some advantages over PEX-B:

  • Temperature Rating: PEX-A has a maximum temperature tolerance of 200°F, while PEX-B is only rated for 180°F.
  • Chemical Resistance: PEX-A has better chemical resistance, especially to chlorine. This enhances durability.
  • Freezing Resistance: PEX-A tubing is more capable of expanding and contracting when water freezes without bursting.
  • Flexibility: PEX-A is approximately 20% more flexible than PEX-B. This allows easier installation around bends.

So PEX-A, which both of these brands offer, is preferable for many plumbing applications due to better temperature, chemical, and freezing resistance.

Apollo vs Uponor PEX-A: Key Differences

While Apollo and Uponor both manufacture PEX-A using the Engel method, there are some differences between the two:

Flow Rate

  • Apollo states their PEX-A tubing provides an 18% greater flow rate than comparable PEX pipes. This results in improved water pressure.
  • Uponor does not advertise increased flow rate but their ProPEX design maximizes flow.


  • Apollo offers brass, plastic, and stainless fittings. Their plastic PEX fittings are 25% more resistant to fractures.
  • Uponor has a wide range of proprietary plastic and metal fittings designed for their tubing.


  • Both brands tout flexibility, but Uponor claims their PEX-A is 20% more flexible than PEX-B. Apollo does not provide flexibility comparisons.


  • Apollo provides a 10-year limited warranty on their PEX tubing and fittings.
  • Uponor offers an industry-leading 25-year limited warranty on PEX tubing for residential plumbing.

So in summary, the main differences are in flow rate claims, fittings offered, quantitative flexibility, and warranties provided.

PEX Installation Considerations

When installing either Apollo or Uponor PEX tubing, there are some important factors to consider:

  • Pipe support: PEX should be properly supported every 32″ for horizontal runs and every floor/ceiling for vertical lines.
  • Fittings: Use fittings approved and designed for the specific PEX tubing you purchase. Ensure proper insert depth.
  • Water pressure: Confirm your system water pressure does not exceed pipe and fitting maximum pressure ratings.
  • PEX preparation: Straighten coiled PEX before installation. Leave some slack to allow for thermal expansion and contraction.
  • Transition fittings: Use proper transition fittings when connecting PEX to copper, PVC, or other piping materials.

Following the manufacturer’s instructions for proper PEX installation is crucial to creating a reliable plumbing system. Consider hiring a professional for a large or complex PEX plumbing project.

Is Apollo or Uponor Better?

Both Apollo and Uponor manufacture quality cross-linked polyethylene tubing and fittings for residential and commercial plumbing applications. When choosing between them, key factors to consider include:

  • Application needs: Temperature resistance, chemical exposure, and flexibility requirements.
  • Project scale: Available pipe sizes and run length limitations.
  • Warranty terms: Uponor offers an industry-leading 25-year warranty.
  • Cost: Compare pricing between brands when purchasing materials.
  • Code approval: Ensure the products are compliant with plumbing codes.

For many homeowners and plumbers, either trusted brand of PEX-A tubing can be an excellent option over traditional rigid piping materials. Consult with product suppliers to determine the best choice for your specific plumbing project needs.


What are the main differences between PEX-A and PEX-B tubing?

PEX-A has a maximum temperature tolerance of 200°F, while PEX-B is only rated for 180°F. PEX-A also has better chemical resistance, especially to chlorine, enhanced durability from freezing resistance, and about 20% more flexibility than PEX-B.

Does PEX pipe need to be insulated?

PEX tubing is designed to withstand freezing temperatures. However, in very cold climates it is still recommended to insulate PEX pipes in unheated spaces to prevent energy loss and protect against extreme cold.

Can PEX pipe withstand high water pressure?

PEX is rated to withstand high pressures, typically up to 100 psi for 1/2” tubing. However, water pressure should be regulated not to regularly exceed 80 psi static pressure to avoid potential failure over time.

How often should PEX pipe be supported?

For horizontal runs, PEX should be supported every 32 inches. For vertical runs, supports are needed at each floor/ceiling level the pipe passes through. Proper support helps prevent sagging and maintains flow.

What is the expected lifespan of PEX plumbing? 

PEX tubing is durable and when properly installed can last 50 years or more without failure or need for replacement. The manufacturers of quality products like Uponor and Apollo provide warranties reflecting this long service life.


PEX has many advantages for water supply plumbing and radiant heating systems compared to copper or CPVC piping. When evaluating Apollo vs Uponor PEX-A tubing, both provide quality cross-linked polyethylene pipe. The main differences are in flow rate performance claims, fittings and connection options, warranty terms, and cost. Review your project details and requirements when deciding between these two reputable PEX-A brands. Proper installation is also key to creating a durable PEX plumbing system. With care taken during design and installation, both Apollo and Uponor can deliver reliable, flexible plumbing for residential and commercial projects.

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