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Old 05-14-2008, 02:26 PM   #1
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I used PEX.. have a question


the story:
to make a long story short.. we bought a house.. all hot water was over copper.. turns out all basement cold water was over really old galvenized pipe (that only unioned up with copper just at the base of the sinks). Lucky for us, the upstairs bathroom was all copper.

We had a leak out to the spicket and I knew nothing about plumbing but, thanks to google and the 'interwebs' I was able to unscrew this & that, and replace the shut-off valve. All great except when I took out the valve, it was virtually clogged with corrosion. I started to look at the neighboring pipes, and 1 of them was also clogged.

Again back to google & the interwebs, and I learned all about galvanized pipe. After I saw what me & my wife were showering in (and cooking in.. etc) I had no choice but to take on a project to replace all the cold-water galv pipes.

So after a few weeks of research.. copper.. cpvc.. pex.. this that & the other, I almost went with copper but then I saw the wonders of PEX, broke down & bought the expensive crimper, and after prepping the pipes for a week, on Mon & Tue I did the major cut-over.

Took 2 days.. a few issues, but this read is getting to long so basically in a nutshell, I'm up & running now with all new PEX pluming and removed the old galv pipes.

Now I've seen PEX installed before and I know it's bad reputation of DIY just curving plastic all over the place so it looks like a scene from the matrix where everythign is unorganized & all over. I did not half-ass it invested in all sorts of brass fittings + pex fittings to make sure the pipes are running alont the top with out getting in the way of anything.

Needless to say, my water pressure is superb, and all the yellow corrosion crap is no longer running anywhere. Water is actually clear, not cloudy. A whole-house water filter is next on the to-do. I went from knowing nothing abotu plumbing to probably still knowing nothing about plumming but at least I replummed my entire basement (at least all the cold water pipes down to the last corroded fitting). Lucky for me I didnt flood the house, but god knows what a plumber would have charged.

So the question is.. is simple slack in the line sufficient enough?

reason for question:
my main concern has to do with PEX contraction.. I read that for every 100 feet pex can contract 1 inch for every X deg. change in temp (I have the exact specs somewhere.. just not in my head). Anyway our house is not that big & I would probably have to cross the street to our neighbors house if I were to run a 100 feet of pex.. and my main (actually 2 main pipes) 3/4 inch pipes off of the main & water meter only had to travel about 12 feet before I started to split them up in to the different sections.

To combat this I read you have to creat a loop in the line 1ce based on the diameter or the pipe (if I understood what I read correctly). Instead of doing this (because I have no idea how that's possible to create such a small loop on a 3/4 inch pipe which is frankly really thick & difficult to bend at such a tight angle) I gave the pex a good amount of slack, but all the pipes are covered up with foam covers that give them both protection and keeps them in-place. This also lets them contract if need be.

I'll put up some pictures tonight if I can (of the entire project.. old pipes.. new plumming).

Any help or things to keep in mind when it comes to PEX would be much appreciated.

thank you


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Old 05-15-2008, 08:56 AM   #2
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is this forum anti-pex or something?

I see the class action lawsuit adv. 99% of the time on this website.

Its interesting how the class action site (or any article with regards to this) mentions that almost all the states (with the exception of NC) are the coldest states in the country (they also say nothing about elevation having any effect on the installations). I've also seen how "master plumbers" install PEX. They cutting corners and angle the pex in such a way that it probably puts more than ideal tension on the fittings.

I'm not defending Zern but I find it interesting that even though there is vague information about the lawsuit, this site is advertising the issue non-stop.

Both HD & Lowes sell pex products (one branded directly as "Zern" and at HD one is branded as "QuickPex" .. which is also manufactured by Zern/is a product of Zern). So, HD & Lowes both selling hazardous products that are not up to code?



Last edited by cgerikh; 05-15-2008 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:40 PM   #3
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There's nothing wrong with PEX at all. The Zurn thing was due to failure of certain types of their fittings. I think it is a shame that the class action group advertises on a DIY site as well, because it scares people away from an excellent product.

Some people are old-school and can't get used to running plastic instead of copper...They seem to resent the lack of craftsmanship that goes into it. I can see their point, but I say pooey! It is cheaper and it won't corrode, burst, etc.

Don't worry about making a loop for expansion/contraction. I've seen literally THOUSANDS of homes with PEX installations, and have yet to see anyone put in a slack loop. You can do a reasonably tight installation with a lot of fittings like you described and never have an issue. Simple slack is probably unnecessary in the real world, but sure won't hurt.

As for concerns...
Be sure to keep it away from sources of heat. The manufacturers require 12" vertical clearance and 6" horizontal clearance from flues, chimneys, can lights, and other sources of high heat. Over long-term exposure to high heat, the PEX can become somewhat brittle.

Be proud that you had the guts to undertake such a project. You picked a good product.
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Old 05-15-2008, 02:47 PM   #4
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Yes, use pex and be assured it will last for many years to come. It's all we use here and will continue to use the product.
Fix it right the first time, so you won't have to fix it a 2nd time.

2008 Oregon Specialty Plumbing Codes
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:06 PM   #5
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awesome. thanks for the help... I do have a fluorescent fixture a bit too close to 1 of the lines.. definitely not high heat but maybe too close for comfort, so I'll have to move it over a bit. Other than that everything is kosher.

As long as the wife is proud thatís sufficient enough. Iím trying to stay humble and avoid any confidence/overconfidence.. the fear of coming home and swimming in water keeps my confidence in check

Thanks again..
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:45 PM   #6
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I have long used copper.IT wasnt till just a few months ago that I looked at prices of 3/4 inch copper.Just behind me was Pex. Gold for copper or a few bucks for pex. The choice was easy. As was my plumbing project. I am hooked on pex.



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