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Plumbing ...Pex What's your $.02 on it...

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by keyman512us, Sep 13, 2007.

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  1. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Hey all..

    Just wondering how many folks out there have had experience with PEX for their household plumbing???

    PEX seems like a strange idea. Electricians "rope" a house with romex...So for plumbers to run tubing maybe not much of a stretch...but kinda reminds me of running garden hose allover the place...

    So what's your $.02 on the subject???

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  2. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Hog...What "brand" of PEX??? Watts,wirsboro etc.???

    How much more were the "shark bite" fitings???

    Are those fittings "interchangeable" from one brand to the next??? I like the sound of "removable" fittings (might have just the application at my homestead). ;)
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I just installed a couple hundred feet of "Mr. Pex" pex-al-pex on a couple of projects. It has a layer of aluminum sandwiched between a couple layers of plastic and some other stuff--oxygen barrier, I believe. Anyway, it's a little intimidating because it's stiff, but once you bend it into shape, it stays that way, regardless of heat, etc. Reminded me a lot of soft copper. I hung it with some fence staples and those plastic zip-zip tieups that you can use for wiring, etc. The job was a lot neater than I expected, and the stuff was pretty easy to run, once I got the hang of it. You can run it through holes where appropriate. The pex-al-pex won't take Shark Bite fittings, but I bought some pressure-to-sweat fittings for the connections ($8 each). Theoretically, all you need is one connector on each end to connect to the copper, black iron, whatever. However, I did have to put in a couple of vents on runs heading straight down, so I had to cut the pex and reconnect it with pressure-to-pressure fittings ($10 each). On balance, at 88 cents a foot for 3/4 inch pipe and A LOT fewer fittings, I'd say it's a lot cheaper than copper. My friends in the plumbing and heating trade all use it, so I'm guessing it's the wave of the future.

    Personally, I like to use black iron and pex. I like to re-use copper.
  4. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Heres the site: http://www.cashacme.com/sharkbite.php
  5. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Ok, ran the new pex tubing to the addition last weekend. Used all Shark Bite fittings with the exception of 2 Watts same style valves. Man did it go smooth, fast and easy.
    Hooked it all up, turned on the valves to check for leaks................. and the damn threaded brass nipples off the stubout fittings leaked. I used some liquid teflon blah blah blah, and it leaked. I took them back off, cleaned, used good old teflon tape, and done! Oh, the Shark Bite fittings as well as the Watts valves worked almost flawlessly. One Shark Bite elbow had a few drips, spun the tubing to make sure it got seated right, and done. One project down, with minimal headaches, and not 5 other projects made in the process. 2 thumbs up for Pex & Shark Bite. :) 2 thumbs down for new improved (yeah right) teflon paste joint sealer. Sometimes the old way is the best way, sometimes mix of old & new also. :)
  6. blbaird725

    blbaird725 New Member

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    Glad to find a PEX thread discussion. I redid my whole house in May of this year and am thrilled with the system. To save space here I have a series of guides on PEX where I describe my experiences with it and the materials and tools involved. I am working on writing more about it and would love to hear others experiences. My first guide is here: http://reviews.ebay.com/PEX-Plumbing_W0QQugidZ10000000003806382
  7. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    I have been putting off plumbing a sink in an island. I am thinking of using the sharkbite fittings to tap into the existing water line. My biggest concern is getting enough "play" in the cut line to insert the fitting inbetween the cut.
  8. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Are you using a Shark Bite "T" to tap into the middle of an existing line? What is the existing line made of? You only needs about an inch or so play to squeeze the Shark Bite in there. worse comes to worse cut a few extra feet out of the tapped pie and put another Shrak Bite coupler on the other end and connect the two with some pex.
  9. WILDSOURDOUGH

    WILDSOURDOUGH New Member

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    1800' of 3/4" hydronic Oxygen barrier Pex in basement floor with 2 currirulator pumps hooked to outside boiler- I and wife did it spring 2006 and we love it ! One mistake- I put both pumps are on the feed side (HOT), should have had one on the outflow side (Cool).

    Presently installing all pex in upstairs water system- Pex already in in the basement (where we have lived for the last year)- With the price of copper, and the smooth flow of pex, a constent pressure water pump system- it's the only way to go nowadays.
  10. jklingel

    jklingel Feeling the Heat

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    I hear nothing but good stuff about pex pipe, from city engineers to plumbers. I helped a friend install it in his house a few yrs ago, after he froze solid and had 874 splits from frozen pipes; pex can w/stand freezing. We installed it in my son's basement floor and all of his interior plumbing last year; easy as pie. It is going in my new house, for sure. Sweating copper fittings every 4" is for the birds; bend the pex, run it through, crimp it on. Done.
  11. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    I too have heard nothing but positive feedback on PEX. I did my first project with last year and it went perfectly. My only hesitation is whether it will stand the test of time. I try to take the long view on these things - will my grandchildren have to replace it because it gets brittle after only 50 years?

    I spent a chunk of time in England, and was struck by the difference in the sense of time. At some level, they seem to view the 'colonies' over here as some sort of frenetic experiment that may or may not work out. Another thousand years or so and perhaps we'll have some validity.

    A native told me that they don't use concrete for municipal buildings because it's considered a temporary building material.

    Seems like that's a more healthy way to look at things that our tendency to look a initial purchase cost only.

    So - any idea how many generations PEX is good for?
  12. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I don't remember exactly, but I think Pex has been around in Europe for the last 20 years or so.
  13. WILDSOURDOUGH

    WILDSOURDOUGH New Member

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    I think PEX will last a thousand years or more- after all it is a plastic hooked to brass fittings.
    Well anyway- it will outlast me and the next 4 generations.
  14. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Are you referring to me? What exactly are you meaning? Are you personally singling me out and calling me a moron?
    Please be more specific? Its ok if you want to kiss folks of your same gender. But I don't fly that way. I know I am a good looking guy and you must find me irresistible,
    but your going to have to look elsewhere. Sorry lil fella, don't take it too hard.
  15. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Perhaps late to reply, but I recently used shark bite fittings for the second time including a "slip coupling." This addresses your case where you need to close up a cut line and you can't push the pipes apart to get them into the standard fitting. Works great! In your case, you'd cut out the width needed for the tee, and then a bit past that, make another cut. Push the slip coupling over the end of that second cut, then install the tee to replace the removed section of pipe and close up the second cut with the slip coupling.

    -Colin
  16. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I just installed 2 valves in the basement to the new lines I ran to the addition & garage. WHile the addition is not done yet I wanted to drain the lines so they would not freeze. Took about 5 minutes and done. Now I can drain the garage for winter, close the two valves before there, and reopen the basement valves to feed the addition.
    The ones I just did in basement were for faucet lines. So I can drain the pipes to garage empty for winter. Worked nice.
  17. JohnnyBravo

    JohnnyBravo New Member

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    its all we use up here, have been for years. there was a previous generation called poly b. but its outlawed and now you have to use pex. its quick and easy, sometimes it blows joints. the only problem is that all the fittings have a small inside diamater limiting water flow, copper has fitings that go on the outside of the pipe maintaining the inside track size. we have new systems that pex or coper just slip into, no crimping or anything. seems a bit sketchy to me but the gas co. has been using it for years on their plastic underground feed lines.
  18. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    In 2001, I took a trip for a month to Newfoundland and noticed all the new houses were using it, and lots of the builders were doing elaborate multi-zoned radiant heating in very modestly priced homes because it was so easy.

    When I got back to NY and asked my builder about this, he looked like I was describing something I saw on Mars, his plumbers told him it was not allowed here and they could only do it with poured concrete floors, etc... doubt they even knew what they were talking about.

    If copper prices keep going, I bet I could pull out all my first floor baseboards and associated piping, sell them for scrap weight value, and pay for all the PEX I'd need to do radiant heat for my first floor.

    -Colin
  19. caber

    caber New Member

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    Good discussion on Pex. We're adding onto the house and replacing some old copper as well. For those of you adding pex to an existing pipes - do you use the manifold? The instructions I have read have separate dedicated lines going to each location - one to the toilet, one to the sink, one to the shower, etc. Can you just run a central line and T off it to the different location? If you do, how well does that work?

    Thanks,

    jim
  20. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Is that so you never have to worry about a splice / joint being buried in a wall? Just guessing...

    -Colin
  21. skeetska

    skeetska New Member

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    We use PEX almost on daily basis. Fixture to manifold (home run system) No joints in walls to leak. The time savings are great 25 hrs. to do copper 1 1/2 hrs Pex.
  22. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    Hey we have pex in our new home, it's been great thus far, I ain't no plumber, but the guy that put it in is a good friend and he's used it quite a bit in commercial construction, most recently a public school building.

    Have the manifold, with the dedicated lines coming off there, each labeled where it goes, easy to turn on and off, color coded hot/cold......that's always fun, asking friends if they know why one's red, and one's blue, haha.

    Anyway, that's my .02 cents worth!
  23. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    I have a quick qustion here for ya..
    What is the pressure rating of pex?
    I have a new house it's all pex, and have no water pressure (well not what I'm used to)
    There's a Pressure reducing valve off the main I would like to turn up but I'm reluctant to......Till I know what the fittings are rated for (should there be a splice in a wall)
    So Heatman what do you recommend for incoming pressure for PEX?
    I have a gauge somewhere.........
    Thanks....
  24. skeetska

    skeetska New Member

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    GVA, We have to put a 90 lb air test on new systems and the pex has no problems with that. 50lbs are what most wells and city water services are set at. Also take the shower heads and strainers off and check for blockage especially with water savers.
  25. mtfallsmikey

    mtfallsmikey New Member

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    What no one has said (or admitted to!) about Sharkbite or Tec-Tite with pex is using it on hydronic systems...both are rated up to 200 deg.
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