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arcsum68 01-01-2013 02:16 PM

Can PEX be run in soffit with electrical and vents.
Not able to find much anywhere via Google or this forum.

Considering installing a tankless, our water heater is leaking and I would really love to reclaim the space.

I have an existing soffit in my garage where theres various things run including electrical, a short run of HVAC, and an exhaust fan and dryer vent.

Can anyone tell me if its OK to add pex into this environment or should I keep it seperate?

joeplumber85 01-01-2013 02:55 PM

Going tankless shouldn't require redoing any waterlines outside the mechanical room, are you sure you aren't referring to the 636 PVC intake & exhaust piping for a on-demand water system?

If you DO mean pex, a garage is generally an unconditioned space and the water line will be susceptible to freezing if your climate allows it. Aside from that, pex is often found side by side will all the other mechanical runs you mentioned.

joecaption 01-01-2013 02:59 PM

Going back and adding your location to your profile would lessen the questions we have to keep asking.

arcsum68 01-01-2013 03:16 PM

Thanks, updated the location.

Freezing should not be a problem inside. We do have the occasional dip into freezing temps but it's not a huge concern.

I live in a 2 story house, the current hot water heater does not allow for proper venting since the flue is galvanized and goes up to the roof. The only exterior wall it shares is the entry way. Besides being impossible to get to it would be very cost prohibitive to do all the stainless required.

40' of PEX would allow me to re-route the plumbing an an exterior wall close to the gas meter that already has an available T and the electrical panel. This would allow me to install an external unit.

If need be I can create another small soffit just for the water lines, or just leave them exposed, but I would prefer to have it look cleaner than that.

Alan 01-01-2013 07:12 PM

Keep in mind, adding another 40 feet of hot water line to the system = larger cold water sandwich.

arcsum68 01-01-2013 07:22 PM

Are there other options?

Unless I can vent out the existing vent it will have to be moved. Minimum is 20ish feet, but then the gas would have to be routed over the man door.

So, its either the gas/110 or the water.

Alan 01-01-2013 07:26 PM

Hard to say without knowing what the water lines are doing. If the hot line is travelling somewhere near where your heater is going to be, the best is to tap into the existing line at it's closest point rather than extending the hot water outlet line.

If you don't have that option, then it doesn't hurt anything, it's just annoying.

mr leak 01-01-2013 07:56 PM

ARCU68 Pex
As you described you can run pex in the soffit with other as desacribed

arcsum68 01-01-2013 10:09 PM

Thanks for the input, there's really no closer solution unless I get to a point where I start taking all the siding down. The house is pretty much maximized for the space. Not much of any attic, on a slab, and nearly every wall is utilized on both sides. It was very well thought out.

arcsum68 01-01-2013 10:11 PM

Just a thought, if I got a condensing unit that used PVC. What are the chances of me swapping out the flue from only the garage and roof with a floor in between?

Then I would only have to worry that my gas supply might be too small (3/4 OD black pipe) and electrical which I am not concerned about.

I assume they are strapped in place fairly well.

Alan 01-01-2013 10:23 PM

You're talking about leaving a ~ 10Ft section of (galvanized?) flue pipe inbetween where you can't access it?

arcsum68 01-01-2013 10:31 PM

No, wondering if you are would be able to extract and replace it in the section by pulling it out from the attic and garage.

Alan 01-02-2013 09:15 AM

Ah I see. Hard to say without looking at it. I'd say pulling the flashing off the roof and taking it out that way would be the easiest. The hard part is (if it's in a wall cavity) getting it back in through the insulation.

arcsum68 01-02-2013 09:34 AM

It's all interior space, it goes up the middle of my house. There's probably only insulation at the garage and then again in the attic.

I still do not believe my current gas line would be able to handle the demand though.

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