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Old 09-14-2006, 02:52 PM   #1
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Pex vs copper in basement renovation


I have a question concerning the hot/cold water lines in my house. Basement is gutted and all water and waste pipes are exposed, 2/3's of h2o piping are 1/2 in.& 3/4 in.original 40yr old copper and the other 1/3 is poorly laid 10 yr old Pex. I am going to replace it all myself, but have 2 issues; 1st: which way to go, copper vs pex( am in NC, mild weather),
what are you guys mainly using these days?, are u having good luck with the pex?. 2nd; if I do replace w/copper, I have a number of straight runs that go thru the joists which cannot be replaced that easily. Looks like I would have to cut some of these longer runs into smaller pieces and connect back together. That seems like it would create more joints that could posiibly leak. Opinions would be appreciated. thx

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Old 09-14-2006, 02:59 PM   #2
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Pex vs copper in basement renovation


drilling holes in joists or use existing holes in joists to try to run the pipe is not a good idea... try to minimze this...leak probably ok as there lot of presolider coupling make you kind of leak guarantee... but just two much works on making short connections.. and kind of ugly too..

the best is try to find existing space which you can group together and form a sofflet in the future if you decided to renovate your basement and use such area to put your pipes/wires/cabels..etc. on top of the joists ..etc. a well design layout can save you a lot of hole drilling on the joists...

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Old 09-14-2006, 03:04 PM   #3
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Pex vs copper in basement renovation


unfortunately, I don't have a choice as to location of two specific pipe runs, both run thru the joists and have to replaced in the same location. Soffitts and tunnels are not an option. That is one of the reasons I am contemplating pex for the water supply lines.
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:08 PM   #4
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Pex vs copper in basement renovation


sorry for my ignorance, I don't know what is pex... but if you have no choice... joining copper pipes with coupler is no problem... it is really easy.. I don't think there will be leak problem... buy those pre-solider couples and applied solider as well to double guarantee... don't worry about leak, it won't... you just need to do more solider work...

and more importantly, it is very important you solider it right the first time, after the whole think solidered, try to fix a leak by replacing a section is a 10 times more difficult as to fit in the couple by breaking a pipe..etc. is a real pain... I done that and don't want to do it again...
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:17 PM   #5
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Pex vs copper in basement renovation


Pex is todays new home installations, this is really good pipe, go with it if you can. we use it everyday, never any question in my mind if there will be problems, there will be none.
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:47 PM   #6
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thanks for your reply Ron, pex looks so easy to work with, almost too easy.
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Old 09-14-2006, 07:22 PM   #7
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Pex is todays new home installations, this is really good pipe, go with it if you can. we use it everyday, never any question in my mind if there will be problems, there will be none.
I agree 100%...cross link poly ethylene(spelling?)is the way of the future
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Old 09-14-2006, 09:24 PM   #8
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Pex vs copper in basement renovation


is the pex cheaper than copper these days?
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Old 09-14-2006, 09:51 PM   #9
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Pex vs copper in basement renovation


Copper is getting expensive, I have not priced it lately, so I can't say, it might be in the same range. But the time involved in faster for pex then with copper.

Now the tool can cost, but I bet you can rent the tool needed.
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Old 09-15-2006, 12:15 AM   #10
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Pex vs copper in basement renovation


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Copper is getting expensive, I have not priced it lately, so I can't say, it might be in the same range. But the time involved in faster for pex then with copper.

Now the tool can cost, but I bet you can rent the tool needed.
I was just going to say that. When working with pex you need the expension tool. Here is the way it works. You stick it in the end of the pex. It expands the tube then you make the insert. Pex has a memory so it will go back to the original size before the expansion. It use to be a manual tool you would squeeze and rotate but now i see they have a new one on the market i thinks its electric.
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:43 AM   #11
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Pex vs copper in basement renovation


There os two types of system, Wirsbo and RTI, Wirsbo uses expansion, useing Wirsbo also requires the use of metal brass or plasric rings on the for each fitting end the others uses crimped on ss rings, we use RTI here and Wirsbo when sizes are greater the 1"

Whats great about pex, you don't have to worry about will the pipe freeze and split, it can freeze but it will not split.
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:49 AM   #12
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Pex vs copper in basement renovation


sounds like pex and copper, after 10 years, would just like we are comparing ABS pipe against ancient Iron pipes now...

so may be... what is the bad thing about pex...... when comparing to copper... to give us "copper pipe owner" a little bit content with what we have...
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:53 AM   #13
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Pex vs copper in basement renovation


Bad thing about it, it's hard to make it look good, clean straight runs, squared up corners, thats what is bad. But it all looks the same when the rock covers it.
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:09 AM   #14
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I can live with ugly runs, besides, you should see my copper joints after im done sweating them. Talk about ugly!.

Sounds like the specialty tool for Pex is expensive, I hate doing the buy and return after use, not my style, but in this case, I may have to.
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:54 AM   #15
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Pex vs copper in basement renovation


Any locals on the forum know if Pex is allowed by code for water applications in NC?

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