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Old 02-23-2012, 08:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
I get it that copper has been around a long time, and has some desirable properties. But allow me to point out that prior to copper, lead pipe was common, along with lead based solder fiittings. Lead has been in use since Roman times, that does not mean it was good for you then, or now. Similarly, wood stave pipe has been around since at least 2500 BC, rarely used anymore. Galvanized steel piping has been in use for at least 100 years, not much used for water anymore.

Just because copper has a long history does not by itself make copper superior. PEX has been in use in Europe for over 50 years, and is clearly lower cost than copper, at least with copper at $4 per pound. And just as a note, my 1959 house was done entirely in copper, with 50/50 solder. I had to replace ALL the piping about 8 years ago because the acidic water in my house ate holes in all the pipes, and some of the fittings. I used PEX. Nothing against copper, but it isn't the savior of the planet.

No one Is saying that copper is the best thing since sliced bread, these products in my opinion are unproven as to the durability, I would bet nickels to oranges that the majority of the so called new age plumber donít know that there is a process of installation when it comes to copper, thereís a lot more than just cut and solder, seems anybody can be a plumber now a days .. but not a true start to finish master plumber, the way we started the trade was in the union apprenticeship program, we start carrying the 10 foot section of black pipe helping the journeyman with whatever part of the building we were piping in we learned how to lead pipe, cut and spin galvanizes pipe ,solder, gas, oxygen , we had learn how to read prints draw isometrics, water fixture load factors etc, before we could take the journeymanís test, and the test include actual hands on testing, man if you didnít wipe a solder joint that was it you failed workmanship was a big part of the exams. Now a day here in Miami Dade 3 years of W2ís pay the fee buy the books study the books take the test. If you get a 78 they send you your license. When I took my plumbing masters test that what it was a plumbing masters test you got a master plumbers license and a certificate of competency. Today you take a contractors exam half business half trade, I know 2 guys here that have these licenses and never held a pipe wrench in their hands figure that. Anyway in a couple years Iíll close shop get a part time inspector gig, hopefully buy that time I can say man those guy were right this stuff really held up. Or maybe not ill just spend my time fishing on the boat with a filled cooler and the old lady and the dog of course , yeah that sound better.



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Old 02-29-2012, 03:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Javiles View Post
I am going to go out on a limb here but why would anyone fool with this stuff, I will not pipe in a new house or re pipe with any of this plastic stuff, ... snip...
Why would anyone fool with PEX?

The copper hot water pipe under the concrete slab in our 40 year old "ranch style" home (low roof pitch) started leaking. I was not about to move furniture and carpeting and break the slab trying to find the leak. God forbid that the leak was under a wall partition. And even if I did find the leak and repaired it, another leak would probably happen somewhere else due to deterioration of the copper pipes.

I ran continuous PEX tubing in the attic. It never freezes in our location so that was not a concern. It was VERY easy to pull the tubing in continuous lengths through the attic. There's not a single joint in the attic so no chance of a joint in the attic leaking.

Had I used copper, the lengths would have had to be about 8 feet max because of the low roof pitch and feeding the pipes through the attic man holes plus available space in the house where the attic man holes are located. Then it would have required soldering to join the lengths and for every elbow at turns while lying on my stomach, not to mention there's only enough room lying under the ridge areas for a person to even fit. All the soldering would have been a huge fire hazard.

I used Wirsbo/Uponor PEX and the nightmare job using copper was turned into a pleasant, easy job using PEX. No moving of furniture, no removal of carpeting, no breaking of the concrete slab trying to find the leak. No pouring of concrete to repair the broken areas of slab. No undoing all of the above after the job was done. No soldering of copper in the confined attic space.

I would never re-pipe a house using copper after my experience using PEX. If you actually do the piping in a house using Wirsbo/Uponor PEX, you might change your viewpoint. It does require a "lot" of new knowledge to do the job right though. It's not just pulling PEX and making connections. Allowances have to be made for the large expansion and contraction of PEX tubing in hot water pipes, and the forces exerted against fittings because of the large expansion and contraction. Once it is all understood, the installation is easy.

Best regards,


Last edited by Homerepairguy; 03-01-2012 at 05:04 AM.
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