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Old 02-17-2011, 07:58 AM   #1
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Need advice on plumbing for new washer


Help!

Hubby and I are going to move my mom's washer (and dryer) to her first floor. They're currently in the basement. The location on the first floor is 50 feet from the basement location. Her basement is unfinished so running plumbing will be fairly simple. Her plumbing all all galvanized metal pipes.

She lives in the middle of nowhere with the nearest home improvement store 45 minutes away, so we'll be taking all the tools and supplies with us.

Hubby and I have always lived in houses with copper plumbing and we've done quite a lot of small jobs - adding and moving sinks, tubs, showers, etc. Because we know how to work with copper so well, we just naturally planned to use copper for the new plumbing, using dialetric unions to join the copper to the galvanized pipes.

But copper is soooo expensive - so we're considering alternatives, but we don't know much about and have never worked with the alternatives. This is what we need advice on.

The other options are cpvc and pex; which should we use? And why? And how would we connect either of those to the galvanized pipes, and how would we connnect either of those to the shutoff/hookup ?

We're heading down to my mom's tomorrow, so we need to finish getting supplies today. We've already bought everything (boy did that add up) we need if we were to go ahead with using copper, but that can be returned easily enough.

I would really, really appreciate any and all advice anyone with experience can give.

Alice

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Old 02-17-2011, 08:59 AM   #2
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Need advice on plumbing for new washer


PEX would be the natural choice for this---It is not allowed in my area so my experience is limited to the hydronic heating systems that I have installed----One of the Plumbers here will jump on this soon,I think.

---Mike---

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Old 02-17-2011, 09:24 AM   #3
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Need advice on plumbing for new washer


Pex does require you to buy special tools, though. (Crimper or expander) which can get expensive.

I never hear of anyone doing anything with CPVC these days, everything always seems to be copper or pex.....why is that? It seems fairly simple for a novice to use.
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:19 AM   #4
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Need advice on plumbing for new washer


Thanks Mike and secutanudu,

Are there really different plumbing codes for different parts of the US? I thought there was a national code that was used everywhere. Not that I've looked at it or anything, and I'm not too worried about meeting code in my mom's locality, as long as the completed job is going to hold up.

I just took a look at Amazon to get an idea of what a crimping tool would cost and also how much the pex tubing is. I can't order from Amazon since I need it before we leave tomorrow, but I can at least get an idea of the cost. What I see is that the tool and 100' of tubing is about the same as 100' of copper that we bought, plus we had to buy connectors and elbows, and plus we could use the crimper again in the future, so I think it makes sense to go this route.

Can someone point me to an online tutorial on using Pex? Something short and sweet and really basic?

Or jump in with some basic info we should know before using Pex? Or make an argument for using the CPVC?

Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:23 AM   #5
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Need advice on plumbing for new washer


The crimpers do vary in price quite a bit. With stuff like this, my thought is you usually get what you pay for. I've only seen pex done with the pipe expander, but it's VERY expensive (a few hundred bucks). All the plumbing I've done myself has been copper.

Video on the expander (also more links on the right side about crimping).
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:25 AM   #6
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Look to Youtube---find a manufacturers video----sadly there are a lot of true idiots that post there--


Codes do vary--I work in the nastiest area of the country--likely the last place on earth that still requires conduit for all residential electric and no PEX---Mike--
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:27 AM   #7
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Need advice on plumbing for new washer


There are a few things to know when doing pex. You can also get bend supports like this, which assist in making sharp turns without crimping the pipe:

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Old 02-17-2011, 11:38 AM   #8
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Need advice on plumbing for new washer


i'd personally go with uponor/wirsbo pex-a plumbing using the expander connections. in order to use the expander connections, which are superior in my opinion to any other, you must use pex-a. the tool with heads ain't cheap, so it's something to consider.

here's the tool and connections:



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Old 02-17-2011, 11:42 AM   #9
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with pex, you do need to consider expansion and contraction. you need to leave a reasonable amount of slack when running the tubing, you need to install hangers every so often and you need to use special brackets for making sharp turns. you also need to keep the pex away from any heat sources.
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:43 AM   #10
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Alice,

If you install PEX tubing:

- and use the copper crimp ring method, I recommend that ALL components be from the same manufacturer. There is a "go/no-go" tool that should be used to insure proper crimp joints. This go/no-go test is by the thousands of an inch so my opinion is that buying components and crimp tool from different manufacturers can result in less than reliable joints.

- Pex tubing expands/contracts about 1" per 100 feet per 10 degree Fahrenheit change. You need to allow for this tubing expansion/contraction, especially on the hot water line.

- There's a lot more to installing PEX than just buying the components and putting them together. I've just touched on a couple of things but there's more to know.

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