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Old 11-16-2011, 02:59 PM   #16
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Copper vs. CPVC


I really worry about places like my GF's 3 floor condo building. All cpvc, about 17 years old. That piece I worked on was soooo freakin' brittle. And the plumbing in the utility rooms is not very neat, the pipes not well supported.

She is on the ground floor but I really worry about someone on an upper floor moving a box on a shelf or whatever in their util room and whacking a pipe.... Or someone rooting around under their kitchen sink and snapping a cpvc water supply stub. Wouldn't take much. If that were to happen and if their inside shutoff valves don't work like my GF's old one there would likely be serious damage as the main shutoffs for the building are in a ground floor closet and not well labeled. Not sure if the residents even would know where to look.

I like my copper but PEX looks very robust and a lot cheaper for new const.

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Old 11-16-2011, 05:37 PM   #17
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Copper vs. CPVC


Do you use shark grip fittings with your pex? What other type fittings are there that can be used. I have watched plumbers re-plumb the house across from me that was totally demolished by the April tornado and the insurance company paid to rebuild it. They put in red and blue pex piping and used what they called a shark grip fitting. It looked simple enough to install.

What about coming from under your house up the wall and out to your commode for instance, do you just bend the pipe and not use fittings there? What about where the pex comes out and you hook up your service lines do you transition to galv there in order to make it straight or can you just heat the pex and make it stay straight permenantly?

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Old 11-16-2011, 05:48 PM   #18
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Copper vs. CPVC


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Do you use shark grip fittings with your pex? What other type fittings are there that can be used. I have watched plumbers re-plumb the house across from me that was totally demolished by the April tornado and the insurance company paid to rebuild it. They put in red and blue pex piping and used what they called a shark grip fitting. It looked simple enough to install.

What about coming from under your house up the wall and out to your commode for instance, do you just bend the pipe and not use fittings there? What about where the pex comes out and you hook up your service lines do you transition to galv there in order to make it straight or can you just heat the pex and make it stay straight permenantly?
Tom
Not sure about the shark grip fittings, I've never seen them used but not sure they can't be. As far as when you go through the wall you normally use a stainless steel fitting (normally an elbow) and attach it to the stud behind the sheetrock. Using galvanized is just the asking for trouble in the long run.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:05 PM   #19
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Copper vs. CPVC


Yes, you certainly can use various types of press on connectors, like Sharkbite. This site has a lot of PEX tubing, fittings, compression rings, tools, etc. You can get a good feel as to what is available by browsing here:

http://www.pexsupply.com/?cmpid=ppc;...FQd_5QodgXaIqQ
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:33 PM   #20
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Copper has a few advantages, and several disadvantages. The advantages are ready availability, resistance to nicks, and natural antimicrobial action. There are some disadvantages, namely high cost (at $4 per pound for raw copper), low life expectancy in acidic water, and relatively high installation costs. In the right water environment, a properly installed copper piping system should last fifty years.

PEX has a number of advantages, and several disadvantages as well. The advantages are low cost per foot, ability to make continuous runs without fittings due to bendability, and long lifespan. The disadvantages include damage from sunlight (should never be used when exposed to direct sunlight), easily nicked by metal, and a history of brass fitting failure (see Zurn lawsuit and recent problems with Wirsbo brass fittings).

As in most building discussions, individuals often have preferences built on personal experience, and not all beliefs are grounded in empirical fact. One thing for certain is that the market has a lot to say about what type of piping will be installed. The current high metal price environment makes PEX look pretty good.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:41 PM   #21
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Interesting... what is the mechanism for brass fitting failure?

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a history of brass fitting failure (see Zurn lawsuit and recent problems with Wirsbo brass fittings)..
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:57 PM   #22
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Copper vs. CPVC


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Interesting... what is the mechanism for brass fitting failure?
There was a series of fittings failures caused by designing and manufacturing issues. Probably caused by so many companies trying to rush into the market initially as much as anything else.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:03 PM   #23
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Pinholes... cracks? What?


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There was a series of fittings failures caused by designing and manufacturing issues. Probably caused by so many companies trying to rush into the market initially as much as anything else.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:19 PM   #24
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This from wikipedia:

  • Problems with yellow brass fittings. There have been some claimed PEX systems failures in the U.S., Canada and Europe resulting in several pending class action lawsuits. The failures are claimed to be a result of the brass fittings used in the PEX system. Generally builders and manufacturers have learned from these experiences and have found the best materials for use in fittings used to connect pipe with connectors, valves and other fittings. But there were problems reported with a specific type of brass fitting used in connection with installations in Nevada which caused a negative interaction between its mineral-rich hard water[20] and so-called "yellow brass" fittings.[7] What had happened was that zinc in the fittings leached into the pipe material in a chemical reaction known as dezincification, causing some leaks or blockages.[20] A solution was to replace the yellow brass fittings which had 30% zinc with red brass fittings which had 5% to 10% zinc.[20] It led California building authorities to insist on fittings made from "red brass" which typically has a lower zinc content, and is unlikely to cause problems in the future since problems with these specific fittings have become known.[7]
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:19 PM   #25
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Copper vs. CPVC


Cpvc is very easy to install and inexpensive. I installed it in my home 15 years ago and have had 0 problems. If I was doing it today I am not sure, but I would use Pex, I like the idea of not instaling all the 90s and 45s to install CPVC.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:20 PM   #26
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Copper vs. CPVC


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...I've never seen a solder joint break (or even leak if installed correctly).
That is why I install a foot of galvanized before any valve. I've seen too many COPPER pipes break off in the wall when someone was trying to shut off a valve or change a valve under a sink...

I not seen this happen with galvanized. (But I wouldn't care to plumb a whole house in galvanized! )
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:35 PM   #27
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That is why I install a foot of galvanized before any valve. I've seen too many COPPER pipes break off in the wall when someone was trying to shut off a valve or change a valve under a sink...

I not seen this happen with galvanized. (But I wouldn't care to plumb a whole house in galvanized! )
?? If it never leaks why bother?
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:43 AM   #28
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Copper vs. CPVC


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I've never had a leak with the CPVC in my house!

Also I like to transition to galvanized about a foot before valves or faucets, then clamp the galvanized down to the studs. Then years later when you are changing a valve under a sink or whatever, you can place a lot of turning pressure on the valve to remove or install it, then not worry about the copper solder joint breaking in the wall or plastic breaking in the wall.
I assume you're mainly addressing CPVC here. Why would you join galvanized pipe to copper? and why forcefully try to remove a valve or fitting without a back up wrench?
As for the OP's comments, PEX or copper. Stay away from CPVC if possible. Check your electrical bonding too if you go PEX and avoid exterior walls.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:19 AM   #29
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DIYERS use mechanical fittings, guys that know what their doing use copper and solder fittings. That's not true in all instances because I know many plumbers that install whole house pex, I'm just saying for this forum.
That would probably be mostly true.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:39 AM   #30
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Copper vs. CPVC


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I assume you're mainly addressing CPVC here. Why would you join galvanized pipe to copper? and why forcefully try to remove a valve or fitting without a back up wrench?
As for the OP's comments, PEX or copper. Stay away from CPVC if possible. Check your electrical bonding too if you go PEX and avoid exterior walls.
********************
Explain situation surrounding "check your elec. bonding too if you go PEX"

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