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jkrodger 07-10-2007 08:49 AM

Copper vs. PEX?
I know Copper's long-standing reputation, but has anyone had any experience with the new PEX pipes?

I know it costs less and the buzz is that it's a great alternative to copper, but I don't know anyone that has it in their house.

RippySkippy 07-10-2007 11:09 AM

Cheaper is kinda relative...the fittings and tools can be kinda pricey, the pipe as a rule isn't bad at all. The price though IMO is offset by the flexibility of running the lines. Not that it can't be done with copper, but the home run systems with valves offer additional isolation of supply lines.

I ran a few hundred feet in my house and man it was a dream...couldn't believe how easy and neat it turned out. First time through using the copper crimp rings, no leaks. I've used a fair amount of copper before, and never had that happen when sweating. I believe if I were to do it again, I'd go the same route.

slakker 07-10-2007 12:52 PM

For me, the biggest benefit was not having to weld/solder near wood when using PEX.

redline 07-10-2007 06:39 PM

Pex is the next new thing.

The price of copper is trading at $3.58 a pound compared to $2.00 a pound in 2006. The inventory levels for copper have fallen sharply from 900,000 tons in 2003 to 100,000 tons currently. Sharp inventory drop since 2003 and there are no signs that the inventory will any time be increasing. China keeps buying all the copper it can gets its hands on for their bursting economy.

ron schenker 07-10-2007 07:03 PM

Pex is my pix:wink:

SecretSquirrel 07-12-2007 10:28 AM

Up here in the mountains of NC, Pex is the piping of choice as it tends to resist bursting due to freezing, better than copper.

comp1911 07-20-2007 09:15 AM

I built my house in 05 and the only "mistake" I made was plumbing it in copper. I don't mind running copper but what I learned installing Wirsbo infloor heat and what I've seen since, I'd go home run pex if I did it again.

It took me along time to run all that copper.

martyshel 07-20-2007 10:52 AM

The only down side to PEX that I've found is that in tight spaces it's sometimes hard to get the crimping tool on the fitting square to make a good crimp (I used the quick clamp fittings with the ear on them). But usually you can think ahead to minimize the # of tight spaces you come upon.

jkrodger 07-20-2007 10:55 AM

is it hard to do it yourself? My husband and I were just going to call in a plumber to do it, but if it's not too hard, I wouldn't mind reading up on it and trying it myself.

martyshel 07-20-2007 11:01 AM

It's pretty easy to do. I'm not a plumber and had never used PEX before until I did my addition this past year. I had no problem with using the PEX. It's pretty inexpensive tubing, but the crimper tool costs $100 and you'll need a PEX cutter that cuts it off square. It's about $10.

RippySkippy 07-20-2007 11:03 AM

with out knowing what your wanting to accomplish, it's hard say yes or no. With out pior knowledge, I've plumbed my new house with PEX and haven't had any issues thus far...but as you said read up, look at what's available locally and base your decision from what you have learned and know.

FWIW -- so far I've liked working with it.

jkrodger 07-20-2007 11:13 AM

thanks! Yeah, we're looking to replumb the entire house. Good news is that it's only a one story and virtually all the plumbing is exposed in the basement right now. The only tricky part, that I'm pretty sure we'll still have to call a plumber out for, is when we remodel the kitchen we need to move our sink over to make room for a dishwasher.

Other than that, there's a hose out back, one bathroom, a sink, and a fridge with a water line. Pretty simple.

RippySkippy 07-20-2007 11:27 AM

sounds like it would be doable. What kind of supply is coming out?

When you start reading and talking to others, you'll find everyone has "the best" I honestly think the best is the Wirsbo system...but OMG the tool is expensive. I choose to use copper crimp rings, there's some rumblings that some of the stainless steel clamp types are having some issues and at least one type has a recall. I like what I have, and doing it again, I'd probably do it all over again.

With a small system like you have, I don't think I'd worry about the cute red and blue (hot and cold) colored's just eye candy anyway. When I got mine the only color they have in stock was copper colored...isn't that interesting?

Good luck to ya...and if you need away!

clasact 07-20-2007 08:45 PM

They do make a connector for dishwashers to pex pipe and just to add my two cents worth I did my whole house in pex last year by myself in less then a day and I am no pro at any of this oh and you may want to check out the other posts on the same subject on here if you still have question some have good links to info

What have I done 07-21-2007 05:00 PM

what crimping tools do you all like to use? I have seen sioux chief that will crimp 1/2' or 3/4" copper rings. Or a nother tool is called "the cinchtool" by Watts Waterpex. It uses a different type of clamp and can do 3/8", 1/2", 3/4" or 1". Any body use either of these crimpers?
I'm an avid DIY'er and am gonna do all the plumbing in our current flip.

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