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Old 01-12-2012, 06:44 PM   #1
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Need advice on when to replace copper


I'm starting a major renovation project that includes 4 full baths. The house was built in the 1960s and was done by a premier builder at the time. Basically they line up right under each other. Two smaller ones on the 3rd floor, with the master bath directly under those, and a full size basement bathroom directly under the master.
Since everything will be opened up, how much of the copper pipe should be replaced with PVC and/or PEX?
Or is it better to what copper I can?

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Old 01-12-2012, 06:47 PM   #2
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Need advice on when to replace copper


Copper is generally claimed to have a lifetime of 50+ years. Lifetime is longer in pH neutral or slightly basic water, acidic water can be hard on copper, at least it was in my house, where the copper pipe lasted almost 50 years in pH 5.0 water. But as long as you have the entire house opened up, maybe it is good to replace it. Check threads on this forum, there has been a spirited debate for the past few years on whether copper, PEX or PVC is the best. Certainly copper is the most expensive, at least with $4 lb prices for the metal.

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Old 01-12-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
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Need advice on when to replace copper


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Since everything will be opened up, how much of the copper pipe should be replaced with PVC and/or PEX? NONE. not one foot.
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I'm starting a major renovation project that includes 4 full baths.
Or is it better to what copper I can?
Cut out what you NEED to; and replace any that is in found to be problematic...
with NEW copper.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:01 PM   #4
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Need advice on when to replace copper


I don't think I would touch it if it was all working ok, BUT, being it's all open it may not be a bad idea. Use copper when you redo it. Think about the law suits over various types of pvc/pex and states that have banned it(So I've heard). Now think about the lawsuits over copper. Do you want to be the sorry b@stard that has to deal with that?
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:07 PM   #5
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Need advice on when to replace copper


Keep the copper if its not leaking
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:39 PM   #6
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Need advice on when to replace copper


Keep the copper!

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Old 01-13-2012, 06:46 AM   #7
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Need advice on when to replace copper


Copper, Copper, Copper.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:50 AM   #8
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Need advice on when to replace copper


Cut a hot water line and inspect it----In some parts of the world that pipe will be perfectly fine--

If it shows signs of clogging or deterioration--rip it out.

It all depends on the condition. Check it---
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:59 AM   #9
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Need advice on when to replace copper


I would keep the supply lines if they look to be in good condition. If you have drain line that is copper, I would consider replacing that with PVC, as it can deteriorate faster because of the stuff poured down the drain.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:33 AM   #10
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Need advice on when to replace copper


I'm doing some remodeling at my 1965 house, and i'm going to replace everything that I have access to while the walls are open with new copper. I have no neutralizer on my system and I cut into some underneath the house last weekend and it was as good as brand new L copper. Unfortunately the person who ran the pipes was really sloppy so I want to clean it up anyway.

Besides, the pipe is not always a good indicator of the condition of the 90's in the system either. I'd rather have peace of mind for another 50 years if I live that long.

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Old 01-13-2012, 09:54 AM   #11
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Need advice on when to replace copper


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Since everything will be opened up, how much of the copper pipe should be replaced with PVC and/or PEX?
Or is it better to what copper I can?
Just remodeled a 1959 ranch, the original copper was in very good shape. I went with copper for the upgrade.

When Pex or PVC has been out there for 50+ years, then we'll talk about it.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:08 AM   #12
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Need advice on when to replace copper


Depends on what the stuff looks like. My daughter's in-laws had to replace every bit of the copper in their house because of numerous pinhole leaks. It was less than 25 years old . That's neither cheap nor fun unless you're remodeling anyway.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:16 AM   #13
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Need advice on when to replace copper


If the house is in a high crime area go with cpvc or pex nobody in their right mind steals that stuff
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:43 PM   #14
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Need advice on when to replace copper


The idea of cutting open a few pipes to check internal condition is excellent. If you have soft, neutral pH water, the pipes may be nearly perfect, and you can evaluate that by looking at a couple of cuts. One issue you may want to consider is that the joints were probably sweated with 50/50 lead-tin solder, so you could have lead in your water. This can be checked with a simple water test at a qualified laboratory.

My personal experience was that my house was plumbed using copper in 1959, and all the joints were sweated 50/50 lead-tin solder. By 1995, most of the pipes had developed pinhole leaks due to my acidic well water, and some of the joints leaked too. I replaced the entire house with PEX, excepting a couple of connections that were easier to do in copper (the shower mixing valve, for example). But if my water had been pH neutral, possibly the pipes would have been fine.

By the way, not to get off track, but PEX has been in use in Europe since World War II.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:02 PM   #15
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Need advice on when to replace copper


Its open replace everything...this ia a major renovation don't sell yourself short ..piping is old ...Iam sure you don't want to have to start making repairs in a few yrs because you left alittle copper in.....

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