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Running new plumbing lines: is everyone in agreement that pex is the way to go?

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Running new plumbing lines: is everyone in agreement that pex is the way to go?

Old 11-18-2018, 04:48 AM
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If you are going to DIY I will meet you at the "Yellow house" and loan you a crimper ...
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Old 11-18-2018, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by savage View Post
Yes. The Attachment 1089869that you have been using to insulate other pipes. It's gray foam tubes, split with an adhesive feature. Cut that with a knife. Use duct tape to connect multiple segments.


Plumber buddy said that mice can feel the water moving inside a bare pipe, but the foam insulation protects your house and the pipe from rodents.
Rodents, pigeons and other things eat the heck out of that insulation/armaflex. I have seeN the stuff in squirrel nests and they didn't get it from the supply house. Many areas require to sheath it in metal for commercial jobs if exposed to possible critters. You gotta keep the critters out of your home.

Many of the copper failures are from rubs, or where the pipe was not sleeved at places where it contacted concrete in slabs and walls. The lime in concrete will eat copper. Thousand upon thousands of homes in Florida have the plumbing in the slab.
Not enough history with Pex for me to have an opinion. Seems fairly common these days though.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by willie g View Post
I've never heard of any failed copper, what grade?
My sister house had to be gutted due to copper pipes leaking in the wall causing damp spots and a lot of mold in the walls. Had to do with the content of the well water eating away the copper pipes. They ripped out every coper pipe and replaced with the PEX and then replaced all sheet rock due to the mold. This happens a lot up here in CT with older houses on well water. Her system was 33 years old.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:55 AM
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There are different versions of pex.I used Pex A and liked it.You need a special tool to do the expansion.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:59 AM
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[QUOTE=FIREMEN122;11990469]
Originally Posted by alligatorgar View Post
Do you have permits for all this work?
[/QUOTE

You do realize there are places in the U.S. where there are no permits required to build, much less remodel.
Not here. You have to have a permit to pee behind a bush...
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by urbnsr View Post
Curious how the copper failed? How long in service?
I still like my copper supply/pvc drain.
Soil conditions. Common problem in many areas. Copper under slabs in Florida is soft copper with ALL joints above the slab. I still like copper, but run thru the walls above the slab.

Plastic pipe has no span strength and must be very well supported.

ALL pipe is "great stuff" when it is introduced. Will it stand the test of time? I don't think plastic will.
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by PF-88 View Post
I believe hard water can eat away at copper pipe.
Possibly, but the worst is water run thru an RO system.
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:13 AM
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[QUOTE=jpcanning;11990839]
Look for a crimper that the head turns on a 90* angle, easier to reach in for the tight places.
[/Q
instead of the crimping tool, you can use the "pinching" tool and the stainless steel clamps which are made by the PEX people. Tool and clamps are much cheaper and and can be much easier removed if you screw up. I know LOWES carries them. The advantage of this setup is that you don't have to put the pinching tool all the way around the pipe like a crimper - this makes big difference if you are working in tight spaces.
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:05 PM
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Copper can fail if the installer does not clean up the flux around fittings after it is soldered. It should be cleaned up using steel wool. I've repaired quite a few leaks in the house where I live.

Last edited by phillipgo; 11-19-2018 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:44 PM
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Cleaning the ends with steel wool or similar is a must. I remember my first time finishing up a circuit and couldn't figure out why the solder was blowing back out of the joint! I forgot to open a valve close-by

I have access to a house that is over 55 years old with copper in the house running hard water through some circuits. Never a problem yet. Don't know the grade, but it was supplied by a plumbing shop. We did have an issue with a copper drain pipe. - That pipe corroded internally, filled up and plugged. Went PVC drain after that.
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Old 11-18-2018, 03:00 PM
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I'm a NJ licensed plumber that gave up the tools about 20 years ago for an office job, but still in that business. Recently I did a 5 bathroom house in upunor pex for my brother inlaw. Give me copper back any day and twice on sunday. Pex is garbage. No way to make it look mechanical, flops all over the damn place the rings expanded on the 1" and 11/4" and slid over the ends of the pipe numerous times rendering it garbage since you can't slide the ring back up once this happens. There is no such thing as a street 90 or 45 so if you need 2 fitting close, it's impossible, because you also need atleast a few inches of tubing for the expander tool to work. So in a house with normal 2×10 ceiling joist you play hell not drilling in the no drill zones. Good luck not having a 3rd hand when in a tight spot where you need to set the expander tool down and reach back up with two hands to find your tubing is no longer expanded. Keep that crappy pex for trailer parks. Copper does not fail if soldered correcly and is just as fast to install. You have to change over to copper for every stub out and every tub shower valve and water heater anyway, so what the point? Use sandcloth or scotch-brite pads to clean the tubing not steel wool you cave men!

Also, M copper is fine for potable water. Will out last any one of us.

Last edited by JonisMist; 11-18-2018 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 11-18-2018, 03:51 PM
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Copper does fail, I actually cut open a length for a friend recently to see the inside. It looked to me like they were using the plumbing for a ground and some kind of electrical charge was going on. But he's having to repair leak after leak; it's a rental and the owner doesn't want to re-plumb. Don't get me wrong, if I build another house we'll use copper but pex certainly has it's place. We had a pex leak soon after moving into our new home; the space was crazy tight but somehow the plumber got in and put a new fitting on with zero problems since. Likely working tight spaces with pex is a skill like any other.

Here, some builders are routing pex through attics instead of slabs. And installing manifolds so different parts can be shut off. I hate the thought of water in the attic but apparently it's being done successfully.
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:38 PM
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Copper only fails if it's not soldered properly, fastened properly or touching galvanized. It's like saying an LS6 engine fails. Yeah if it's not built properly, fastened properly or ran with no oil.

Copper doesn't just fail, because it's copper. Infact, it's extremely robust and proven.
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Old 11-18-2018, 05:05 PM
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Old 11-18-2018, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JonisMist View Post
Copper only fails if it's not soldered properly, fastened properly or touching galvanized. It's like saying an LS6 engine fails. Yeah if it's not built properly, fastened properly or ran with no oil.

Copper doesn't just fail, because it's copper. Infact, it's extremely robust and proven.
Sorry to disagree but every metal.... and/or material, no matter what kind can fail. This is from a 34 year structures mechanic that's seen just about every kind of failure possible. If there was a material bullet proof to every situation, I'd tell you in a hearbeat. So far from what I've experienced, it doesn't exist.
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Old 11-18-2018, 05:49 PM
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Problem with copper is...too much velocity from too small of diameter tube. The water strips away the protective copper sulfate as it forms. Pretty soon the copper gets worn thin enough to pinhole. Usually near fittings where the turbulence is greater.

We have a large country with lots of different water makeup. Some areas the well water is so acidic that all one can use is plastic.

Pex allows for a better schematic layout... much less expensive than with copper. Problem is pex takes a lot of the plumber out of the job....was an issue with larger plumbing firms who wanted longer billed hours per job.

Last edited by listingfast; 11-18-2018 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 11-18-2018, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by GulfC View Post
Sorry to disagree but every metal.... and/or material, no matter what kind can fail. This is from a 34 year structures mechanic that's seen just about every kind of failure possible. If there was a material bullet proof to every situation, I'd tell you in a hearbeat. So far from what I've experienced, it doesn't exist.
Please spare me the scientific jargon. Copper tubing used in plumbing systems has no history of premature failure. Period. It has a life expectency just like everything else. You'll be gutting and remodeling that old fashioned looking bath or kitchen way before the copper is an issue on its own. Especially nowadays with much better tensile strength solders available, rather than the lead solder of yester-year.

My point being, the comments insinuating that copper fails so use pex is absolute nonsense.
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Last edited by JonisMist; 11-18-2018 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:17 PM
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I get the average of 1 pinholed copper leak every 2 weeks or so over the last 40 years. I have gotten more broken Zern crimps on heating systems lately. Pex has a large expansion coefficient and works the crimps until breakage. I use the not as wide but thicker Watts crimps as it seems as though the pex works around the crimp upon expansion and contraction. Have not had any broken Watts crimps.

Copper is fine if sized correctly.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by PF-88 View Post
I believe hard water can eat away at copper pipe.
I have a rental property with well water. Had several copper pipes fail. Simply corroded. Solder on connections most of the time but also the copper pipes get thin.
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Old 11-18-2018, 11:28 PM
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Seen more pex pinholes than in copper . The pex was bent in a right angle , not a real tight radius though . From a wall into a 2x10 ceiling . But I still prefer pex . I use Super Pex with the black inside and use elbows
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