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Old 02-21-2015, 12:56 AM   #1
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Water pipe - PEX


Someone wanted to install a water pipe on an exterior wall. I recommended PEX bc if freezing does occur the PEX line will simply expand without bursting. My neighbor has this installed in her crawl space so i know that PEX does indeed not burst when the water freezes. That person emailed me back saying that "Local codes does not allow the use of PEX"

My question : If the PEX web site says okay to use as a water pipe, why would local codes not approve it ?
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:38 AM   #2
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Going to have to contact the local building department about that.
No way even where I live would I be installing an form of plumbing in an outside and sure as heck not on the outside of an outside wall if that's what your implying.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:52 AM   #3
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maybe ' that person's ' local code doesn't allow it ? generally speaking ( posting ), i'm w/joe even down here

ps - you know this already - pex' w/site says whatever pex wants but that doesn't make it code compliant
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:34 AM   #4
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Some areas have not adopted pex yet. I feel there are a number of reasons why this is.
Industry influences, union influences, and code updates take legislation action (politicians).

Most codes do not allow pipes in exterior walls without the proper protection regardless of the pipe type
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:07 PM   #5
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beyond whether it is code compliant, why would one place a pipe where they are planning on it freezing? Whether it is code compliant or would or wouldn't rupture is important but the fact that if it freezes, it simply will stop the water supply. Why install a water line that you are anticipating it freezing?


On top of that, the fittings are not made of PEX but either metal or a more rigid poly and I would suspect they are susceptible to fracture due to freezing.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:55 PM   #6
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Sometimes water lines are installed where they are prone to freezing, for example, where the water line exits the ground and enters the house in a crawl space, like my neighbors house and ours too. We have a solid water line wrapped with heating tape. We had no problems with it for the past 6 years until the temp reached 10 degrees or less. The water froze but not completely bc we lucked out and noticed low flowing water. Letting the water flow melted the ice. Thinking now about replacing that section with pex. BTW, our heating tape will be useless in a power outage

But that guy saying his local codes don't allow pex got me thinking of the big WHY not? So just wondering if "they" found something wrong with it. Can it break down and contaminate the water is the only example i can think of. It could be too that guy was fibbing about local code forbidding it, but why would he lie ?
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtd View Post
But that guy saying his local codes don't allow pex got me thinking of the big WHY not? So just wondering if "they" found something wrong with it. Can it break down and contaminate the water is the only example i can think of. It could be too that guy was fibbing about local code forbidding it, but why would he lie ?
This has been discussed many times on this forum, it all depends who you ask. You will get a variety of answers on how safe pex tubing is. Back in post 4, eplumber touched on a few political reasons.

I believe there is nothing wrong with it at all. It's been used for years and much cheaper and easier to work with than copper. I haven't heard of any sicknesses, deaths, or health problems associated with the direct use of pex tubing. Just my opinion.

You can google, using pex tubing for domestic water, and come up with 387,000 results of pros and cons.

Last edited by jmon; 02-22-2015 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:28 AM   #8
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Someone on here mentioned they've had pex for 10 years and their water still has a distinct plastic taste. Copper and pex both have their pros and cons. If given the choice I would pick copper.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtd View Post
Someone wanted to install a water pipe on an exterior wall. I recommended PEX bc if freezing does occur the PEX line will simply expand without bursting. My neighbor has this installed in her crawl space so i know that PEX does indeed not burst when the water freezes. That person emailed me back saying that "Local codes does not allow the use of PEX"

My question : If the PEX web site says okay to use as a water pipe, why would local codes not approve it ?
The freezing thing is not always true. I've seen pex split. Granted it does not do it with with the regularity of copper pipe but it can split.

One other thing to think about.... when copper pipe does freeze it's pretty easy to thaw out with clamp on thawing machines. (They send and electric current through the pipe... essentially turning it into a heating element). You can do this easily with copper because all you need is the two ends of the pipe.

Pex of course doesn't conduct electricity so your thawing options are quite a bit more limited.
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