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Old 02-10-2019, 06:33 PM   #16
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


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Originally Posted by Texasdiyer View Post
My exact first thought as well.

If you ever happen to have a fire, you'll likely die from the toxic fumes of the melting PEX before the actual fire - go with copper
We went with copper but its plastic now.Plastic is OK with drywall.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:23 PM   #17
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


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Originally Posted by gvanderende View Post
If anyone is using this thread for educational purposes, I replaced most of the galvanized in the house with PEX, it has been up and actively passing water for about 3 months, and I haven't experienced a single problem.

Sounds like things went well. Were you expecting problems? Install a manifold or follow the old lines?


There are pros and cons for each, copper and PEX. But what I think tips the scale in favor of the PEX, is being able to run long lines from a manifold to a faucet with out a single break in the line. You can put a nail or screw through each pretty easily. Thieves won't steel the PEX out of your house for scrap copper. Cheap PEX fittings have been known to fail. Although that first surfaced years ago, and not sure that is really a issue any longer. I have never had a failure in almost 15 years since I first started to using it.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:32 PM   #18
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


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Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
Sounds like things went well. Were you expecting problems? Install a manifold or follow the old lines?


There are pros and cons for each, copper and PEX. But what I think tips the scale in favor of the PEX, is being able to run long lines from a manifold to a faucet with out a single break in the line. You can put a nail or screw through each pretty easily. Thieves won't steel the PEX out of your house for scrap copper. Cheap PEX fittings have been known to fail. Although that first surfaced years ago, and not sure that is really a issue any longer. I have never had a failure in almost 15 years since I first started to using it.
not to mention the manifold being sort of like a breaker box - you can shut off ONE line, instead of the whole house, should you need to fix a leak/replace a fixture.

you could do that with a valve tree and copper, but i've never seen that if it wasn't on hydronic heat.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:44 AM   #19
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


There's a reason why copper is still the gold standard. PEX will work and obviously has for hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of installations. Residential housing typically has PSI levels of 80 PSI or below, typically 60-65 ideally. Plastics can easily hold these types of pressures and the connection methods are adequate in holding this pressure as well albeit some better than others. With all this include the low cost of PEX, I can see why it's attractive to so many people.

The drawbacks of PEX, some well agreed, some a personal opinion include leeching of chemicals even if they are trace amounts into the water. You can argue that most people don't drink tap water so maybe that's a big shrug... The other is as PEX ages, like most plastics, it becomes more brittle. Couple this with water hammer and there may come a day where a fitting breaks and causes a flood. It's also more susceptible to accidental puncture with fasteners or tools and at the end of the day, the idea of having plastic water pipes in my wall just doesn't sit well with me and of course that's my personal opinion.

Some people find comfort in knowing that PEX is approved in building codes. That means absolutely nothing. OSB is also an approved sheathing material, plastic electrical boxes and lightweight 1/2" drywall is also approved. Again, it means absolutely nothing.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:49 AM   #20
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


i already had a fire that was stopped by melting pex pipe that acted as a sprinkler, also in our cold climate, pex is more resistant to freezing (accepts some deformation before leaking) and copper will not.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:18 AM   #21
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


My municipal water lateral is PEX. not sure what the mains are.

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Old 02-13-2019, 11:47 AM   #22
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


Interesting sidebar to this the local electric utility company was out in my fathers neighborhood pulling up all of their PEX-sheathed underground cable and replacing it with new cable, the stuff was installed in the 70's and today is coming apart. (the PEX insulation not the copper, obviously)

Given the right circumstances Copper will last hundreds of years. PEX not so much. PEX is part of the trend of "throw it together fast and don't worry about it if it falls apart in 100 years since by then the home will be bulldozed" in home construction.

A lot of people do not understand that when a bank finances and builds a commercial building whether warehouse or office building or whatever, before they issue a dime of money they have a lifetime defined of how long the building is expected to be needed. They PLAN on tearing them down in a specific timeframe. When you walk into a Home Depot or some large public building like that you think "wow this is pretty big and impressive" well folks, they are PLANNING ON TEARING IT DOWN in the future so don't fall in love with it!

The commercial sector was burned with all of the historic architectural restorationists who started passing laws to force old buildings to be kept standing even through they are not quake proof, inadequate heating and cooling and cost a mint to keep powered up and the space is not configured in a way that takes modern furniture or modern uses. They decided back in the 70's that they had enough of that and nowadays they make sure to have the buildings ripped down before the are old enough to get trapped by that.

Because of this in the commercial sector the emphasis has been on putting them up as cheap as possible that's why they are using chipboard and they pull stunts like making the first floor concrete posts and steel and the second floor wood (it allows them to make the concrete section cheaper since the second floor is lighter - but that means in order to add another story when land prices in the area increase, they have to tear the building down and start over) PEX was designed for this sector and it works perfectly well there.

By the way - steel galvanized pipe was ALSO designed for this. The builders who installed it 80 years ago knew perfectly well the zinc galvanizing would wear away and the pipe would corrode. Galvanizing has been in use since the mid 1800's and they knew perfectly well it didn't last but they didn't care.

But it is a huge mistake (in my opinion) for homeowners doing repairs to existing structures to use PEX. Consider that if your home is in a suburb or a neighborhood that has been around since the 1950's (the height of galvanized pipe use in residences in my observation) that your house is almost certainly going to last another century. Work that you do in it now is going to be around longer than you and in my opinion it shows a real lack of pride in workmanship for you to use PEX or ANY of those commercial construction techniques that are cheap/fast/not-to-last.

It's one thing if you are trying to nurse some more life out of a rental in the inner city or you have acid or very hard water. Acidic water corrodes metal pipes and PEX and PVC is the only defense you have there. And hard water builds up mineral deposits in pipes which means no matter what you use the pipe is going to have to be replaced in the future. And inner city rentals often are in areas the city master plan has slated for teardown and replacement with high density housing.

Besides embrittlement PEX is highly susceptible to rodent damage and there's many stories of people who have had flooding or dripping with mold as a result due to use of PEX.

Every seller out there of wham-bam-thank-you-mam construction materials and tools and techniques has used the same excuse when selling their stuff "I've used it for 20 years with no problems" well sorry but 20 years is not long enough and the simple fact is you were selling storm doors 10 years ago or used cars before you got into selling water pipe the reality is you are simply lying. And, having a contractor recommend ANYTHING is one of the stupidest things a buyer can do - the contractor is ALWAYS going to recommend whatever product gives them the highest margins.

PEX and PVC has not been approved (and likely will NEVER be approved) for Natural Gas and there's a reason why - it's simply not as durable - and gas lines are something where it is Really Important to have quality and longevity and they don't fool around with trashy short-lived products. If it's not good enough for gas it isn't good enough for water despite what it's fanboys will tell you. And the fanboys know that and with most of them pushing PEX and PVC they are doing it more to continually tell themselves they made the right decision than anything else. (because they know that they just did a cheap hack)
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:00 PM   #23
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


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Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt View Post
Interesting sidebar to this the local electric utility company was out in my fathers neighborhood pulling up all of their PEX-sheathed underground cable and replacing it with new cable, the stuff was installed in the 70's and today is coming apart. (the PEX insulation not the copper, obviously)

Given the right circumstances Copper will last hundreds of years. PEX not so much. PEX is part of the trend of "throw it together fast and don't worry about it if it falls apart in 100 years since by then the home will be bulldozed" in home construction.

A lot of people do not understand that when a bank finances and builds a commercial building whether warehouse or office building or whatever, before they issue a dime of money they have a lifetime defined of how long the building is expected to be needed. They PLAN on tearing them down in a specific timeframe. When you walk into a Home Depot or some large public building like that you think "wow this is pretty big and impressive" well folks, they are PLANNING ON TEARING IT DOWN in the future so don't fall in love with it!

The commercial sector was burned with all of the historic architectural restorationists who started passing laws to force old buildings to be kept standing even through they are not quake proof, inadequate heating and cooling and cost a mint to keep powered up and the space is not configured in a way that takes modern furniture or modern uses. They decided back in the 70's that they had enough of that and nowadays they make sure to have the buildings ripped down before the are old enough to get trapped by that.

Because of this in the commercial sector the emphasis has been on putting them up as cheap as possible that's why they are using chipboard and they pull stunts like making the first floor concrete posts and steel and the second floor wood (it allows them to make the concrete section cheaper since the second floor is lighter - but that means in order to add another story when land prices in the area increase, they have to tear the building down and start over) PEX was designed for this sector and it works perfectly well there.

By the way - steel galvanized pipe was ALSO designed for this. The builders who installed it 80 years ago knew perfectly well the zinc galvanizing would wear away and the pipe would corrode. Galvanizing has been in use since the mid 1800's and they knew perfectly well it didn't last but they didn't care.

But it is a huge mistake (in my opinion) for homeowners doing repairs to existing structures to use PEX. Consider that if your home is in a suburb or a neighborhood that has been around since the 1950's (the height of galvanized pipe use in residences in my observation) that your house is almost certainly going to last another century. Work that you do in it now is going to be around longer than you and in my opinion it shows a real lack of pride in workmanship for you to use PEX or ANY of those commercial construction techniques that are cheap/fast/not-to-last.

It's one thing if you are trying to nurse some more life out of a rental in the inner city or you have acid or very hard water. Acidic water corrodes metal pipes and PEX and PVC is the only defense you have there. And hard water builds up mineral deposits in pipes which means no matter what you use the pipe is going to have to be replaced in the future. And inner city rentals often are in areas the city master plan has slated for teardown and replacement with high density housing.

Besides embrittlement PEX is highly susceptible to rodent damage and there's many stories of people who have had flooding or dripping with mold as a result due to use of PEX.

Every seller out there of wham-bam-thank-you-mam construction materials and tools and techniques has used the same excuse when selling their stuff "I've used it for 20 years with no problems" well sorry but 20 years is not long enough and the simple fact is you were selling storm doors 10 years ago or used cars before you got into selling water pipe the reality is you are simply lying. And, having a contractor recommend ANYTHING is one of the stupidest things a buyer can do - the contractor is ALWAYS going to recommend whatever product gives them the highest margins.

PEX and PVC has not been approved (and likely will NEVER be approved) for Natural Gas and there's a reason why - it's simply not as durable - and gas lines are something where it is Really Important to have quality and longevity and they don't fool around with trashy short-lived products. If it's not good enough for gas it isn't good enough for water despite what it's fanboys will tell you. And the fanboys know that and with most of them pushing PEX and PVC they are doing it more to continually tell themselves they made the right decision than anything else. (because they know that they just did a cheap hack)



Wow, last time I heard a rant like that against PEX it was from a union plumber.


If the failures were mounting as you suggest, lawsuits would reverse the trend. Sorry, don't see it happening anytime soon.


There is a PEX rated for nat gas. Believe it is yellow PEX Al, although not sure where it is or isn't code compliant. Here the norm for underground mains at the residential level is (plastic) yellow HDPE tubing.


There will always be a better way to build a mouse trap. The question is how to build a adequate mouse trap at the most economical price. If price isn't a concern I honestly think SS or brass pipe and fittings would easily last 100, maybe 200 years. Nothing wrong with building for the next generation. This is what freedom is all about.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt View Post
PEX and PVC has not been approved (and likely will NEVER be approved) for Natural Gas and there's a reason why - it's simply not as durable - and gas lines are something where it is Really Important to have quality and longevity and they don't fool around with trashy short-lived products. If it's not good enough for gas it isn't good enough for water despite what it's fanboys will tell you. And the fanboys know that and with most of them pushing PEX and PVC they are doing it more to continually tell themselves they made the right decision than anything else. (because they know that they just did a cheap hack)
Building codes don’t care about longevity, quality or the actual structure for that matter. 95% of it has to do with the safety of the the soft squishy things that live inside them. Water is not considered a danger so they are just as likely to approve pipes made out of paper as they are with any other material. You are right with gas and electrical for that matter as those are nothing to be progressive about changing for cost or anything else.
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:34 AM   #25
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


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Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
Wow, last time I heard a rant like that against PEX it was from a union plumber.


If the failures were mounting as you suggest, lawsuits would reverse the trend. Sorry, don't see it happening anytime soon.


There is a PEX rated for nat gas. Believe it is yellow PEX Al, although not sure where it is or isn't code compliant. Here the norm for underground mains at the residential level is (plastic) yellow HDPE tubing.


There will always be a better way to build a mouse trap. The question is how to build a adequate mouse trap at the most economical price. If price isn't a concern I honestly think SS or brass pipe and fittings would easily last 100, maybe 200 years. Nothing wrong with building for the next generation. This is what freedom is all about.
For starters a rant is a post that has no logic or reason. I gave logical reasons for my position. You have none for your opposition so you fell back on the lazy man's way of responding which is to claim it's a rant when it is not.

Secondly, I did not say plastic pipe is all bad and I gave 2 examples in my post where they are preferred. Too bad you not only were too lazy to respond you were too lazy to even READ my entire post OR YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN WHERE I SAID PEOPLE SHOULD USE PEX.

Rant, indeed! And I'll stack my residential plumbing up against yours any day. Mine DOESN'T leak whether it's galvanized, copper, or plastics. (and no I'm not a plumber)

Plastic natural gas lines are fine UNDERGROUND. Last I checked we didn't live underground. Well you maybe. We aren't talking about PEX feeders. And if the gas company wants to use plastic underground that's their problem if it fails. And it does fail sometimes when people dig into it with shovels and whatnot. Most likely the gas company has weighed the chances of a plastic feeder being damaged by a shovel against the certainty of a ferrous metal feeder rusting out and decided to take the lesser of two evils.

Years ago the water company used WOOD water mains in some areas. So based on your logic we should use wood pipes. <eyeroll> What is appropriate for mains and feeders in the street has nothing to do with what's appropriate inside a house.

The reality is that if a building material lasts past a "reasonable lifespan" there WON'T be lawsuits. For example people to this day are STILL having problems with LP Inner Seal siding rotting away on their houses. When we went shopping for a house this last summer we saw one like that. I was like "why don't they disclose they have LP siding" to the Realtor and got "what's LP siding" Yeah right, tell me another story. But the LP siding lawsuits were over in the late 90's and nobody today would even contemplate suing them on a 40 year old product that is crumbing away. LP would just tell the judge "40 years is good lifetime" and the judge would say "sounds reasonable to me" and that would be that. Ignoring the fact that the house next door was sided with T-11 the same year and has no problems.

Lastly, "most economical price" is pure unadulterated baloney. There is ALWAYS a lower more "economical" price. There is always some way to make something cheaper or worse or poorer. The problem ISN'T when a consumer decides with their eyes open "I'm going to buy a cheap POS product and if it breaks in a week I'm good" The problem is when people come along and try making claims that the POS product is as good as a high quality product that costs more. People that do that, like the PEX defenders, mislead people who haven't spend the time doing the research, like the Original Poster of this discussion. And the price difference between PEX and copper is tiny when factored over the expected lifespan of the house.
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:50 PM   #26
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


Unfortunately most consumers do shop the cheapest price, the cheapest bid etc. Then when it fails they whine about it. Some of you weren't around for the Shell/Dupont crimp issue or the Quest plastic. I have seen both. I will be a copper guy and if you want your spaghetti pipe then have at it.

And yes people will ***** about it just like you would if they found a cheaper version of you at work and you were no longer needed.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:10 PM   #27
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


This thread reminds me of the tube to tubeless tire controversy.Yes I remember that era.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:15 PM   #28
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


My house has CPVC water pipes. That stuff scares me

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Old 02-16-2019, 03:09 PM   #29
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


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Thieves won't steel the PEX out of your house for scrap copper.
This ^

Subscribed. Also interested in going galvanized to pex. Hope to see more discussion on it.
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:45 PM   #30
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Re: Replacing Galvanized water lines with PEX


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This thread reminds me of the tube to tubeless tire controversy.Yes I remember that era.
now moving to airless!
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