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Old 03-26-2009, 07:52 PM   #1
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


Hi;
I need to replace some old pipe in my home. I recently replaced some 3/4" brass with copper, but I'm wondering whether future jobs might be easier if I were to use PEX tubing instead.
Any thoughts on the PEX, or should I just stick with the copper?

Thanks

FW
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:39 PM   #2
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


We are using alot of pex around here..Just about every new house has pex.Unless, it's a high end house speced with copper
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:44 PM   #3
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


On new construction unless the customer wants PEX I install copper.

On repair jobs I use PEX. I'm just old school and really like copper. But as pricing keeps getting higher and higher I'll probably start using PEX.

I like both but where I can I use copper
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:02 PM   #4
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


What I like about PEX is how easy it is to route long runs of it. No solder joints.
It would be a real breeze to run it up through the walls, just like electrical cable. Only thing is that I would think it should be fastened to the studs and joists along the way, whereas you can just drop an electrical cable down a wall space without supportint it in the wall.

For now though, I'm only working in open spaces.
I think I should seriously look into PEX. Only down side might be that the crimping tool is expensive. I would have to weigh its cost against how much PEX I would be using, and compare to copper.

FW
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Last edited by KE2KB; 03-26-2009 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:13 PM   #5
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumber101 View Post
On new construction unless the customer wants PEX I install copper.

On repair jobs I use PEX. I'm just old school and really like copper. But as pricing keeps getting higher and higher I'll probably start using PEX.

I like both but where I can I use copper



I love to sweat copper.... Not all customers will pay the price
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:29 AM   #6
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


I like copper as well, but it gets a bit difficult when it's in a hard to reach place.
I just have to be careful not to burn the house down<g>
I like the fire protection pad I bought at HD. It works very well, and is easy to place.
I just found a spot on the joist in the meter closet where the last plumber soldered without protection. The joist is charred around the area of the pipe.
IMO, it's just plain stupid to solder without protection.

I'm sorry to say that I've seen a lot of work, both plumbing and electrical done by "pros" which isn't as good as what I can do.
I guess you have to know which pro to call.

FW
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:10 AM   #7
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


Nothing wrong with PEX at all!
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:33 PM   #8
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


I'm considering running a separate hot water line from the WH to the laundry/kitchen, and may use PEX there. Would sure simplify getting the pipe across the basement (above drop ceiling) and around several bends.

FW
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:34 PM   #9
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


Quote:
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I love to sweat copper.... Not all customers will pay the price
Does sweating copper make you sweat?
I just had to ask.

FW
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:36 PM   #10
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


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Does sweating copper make you sweat?I just had to ask.

FW

LOL:laughi ng:
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:38 PM   #11
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumber101 View Post
On new construction unless the customer wants PEX I install copper.

On repair jobs I use PEX. I'm just old school and really like copper. But as pricing keeps getting higher and higher I'll probably start using PEX.

I like both but where I can I use copper

LOL:laughi ng:
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:55 PM   #12
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


I replaced all the copper in my 50 year old house with PEX because the copper had sprung pinhole leaks in many different places, including the fittings (which were done with the old 50/50 lead/tin solder). Of course, I am on well water, which is quite acidic (about pH = 5), so this explains the leaks.

I used Wirsbo PEX, and originally used brass fittings, but about halfway through switched to plastic fittings. I bought the expander tool, which cost about $300, well worth it, since I ran about 200 feet of pipe, both 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch.

A word of advice on PEX. First of all, you need to use potable water class PEX for your drinking water supply, not the PEX used for underfloor radiant heat systems. Second, check out the threads on the lawsuit related to PEX brass fittings made by ZURN. Apparently ZURN sold over 100 million brass fittings, some of which failed shortly after installation, allegedly due to improper design or fabrication. ZURN is apparently no longer reimbursing plumbers who installed these fittings. I do not know if ZURN makes brass fittings for PEX anymore, but they may still be in warehouses or stores.

If you elect to go with plastic fittings, note that they cannot be reused, so if you need to add to a line and remove a fitting, you will need to throw the fitting out. No big deal, they don't cost too much.

Theoretically brass fittings can be reused, but my experience was that in order to remove them, you had to cut the plastic off with a utility knife, which was sufficient to damage the fitting and cause a leak if reused. Best to plan on throwing them out if you ever remove them. So when you install your pipe, you might plan to get some extra fitting, especially unions, since you may end up removing one or two fittings along the way.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:03 PM   #13
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


Well, I can tell you right out that the $300 for a tool will keep me using copper, at least for now.
I don't have to do enough plumbing to make it worth my money to buy the tool.
Perhaps though, I could rent one.

FW
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Old 03-28-2009, 02:57 PM   #14
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


Where are you going that the tool costs $300? Second question, which pex are you talking about? Uponor/Wirsbo PEX with the expanding tool or PEX with crimp rings? The "Quick and Easy" tool for Uponor is $300+ (gotta love propriatary equipment) but the tool for the crimp style (like PolyB) is only $100-150. Plus you can always rent them from most plumbing wholesalers and some box stores like Home Depot. As for the Pex vs Copper argument... unless you are skilled at soldering and can guaranty that you won't burn your house down, Pex is faster, easier and getting to be cheaper to install.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:52 PM   #15
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PEX or copper to replace old pipe indoors?


Zurn's issues with their fittings were a long time ago although there's still class action going on for those old installations. Zurn still makes fittings today and there's nothing wrong with their modern products.
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