• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • PLEASE: Read the FORUM RULES BEFORE registering!

4

Pex pipe

3
Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!
10

dlane

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Messages
2,221
Likes
884
#1
Anybody familiar with pex plumbing pipe ? Thinking of repiping the house . It has galvanized rusty water pipe in it now and it sprung a small leek that was squirting the underside of the floor "not good" had to cut a hole in the floor to patch it , I'm sure other holes are on the way eventually , it is a double wide mobile
Just wondering if any one has experience with it the do's and don'ts , I'll be hiring a plumber for the job
Thanks
 

f350ca

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
1,180
Likes
1,841
#2
Pretty easy stuff to use. A handyman dream, a cutter and crimper are all you need to be a professional. I've got about 3000 feet of it with oxygen barrier in the floors of the shop and house for radiant heat. Used the leftovers to plumb the domestic water.
Only tricks are watch your bend radius and don't bury a fitting in the wall, but to be honest I've never had one leak.

Greg
 

ch2co

Grumpy Old Man
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
752
Likes
462
#3
I'm an old timer and still look at pex with concern. I love good old copper with solder connections. My son in law just replaced his whole house plumbing with pex and loves it. Easy to rout, cut, and connect. I've done my house and a rental property in copper in the last 2 years and must admit that pex would have been a lot easier but as I said, I'm an old timer. I've never seen problems with any pex system though.

CHuck the Grumpy old guy
 

34_40

Dazed and Confused
Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
648
Likes
139
#4
My well gives us "hard" water, Any horizontal runs of copper will be eaten up in a few years. So we went to PEX and even S-40 PVC.

I like copper when we lived in the city. But over here on the well. Plastic is the way to go.
 

RJSakowski

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
2,769
Likes
2,838
#5
I installed some "temporary" pex hot and cold plumbing in the basement when we did a kitchen remodel over eleven years ago. It's still in place and we never had any problems with it. As a DIY project, it is by far the simplest way to go. For any major job, go with the crimped connections rather than the quick connect. Far cheaper in the long run. I didn't because I had only eight connections to make and the cost of the crimping tool wasn't justified at the time.

If you're hiring the job out, it will save you money in both materials and labor. I haven't seen any down side.
 

brav65

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2014
Messages
899
Likes
428
#6
I have built at least 1500homes using pex. The only leaks I’ve had are from screws or fittings that were installed incorrectly.
 

firestopper

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
1,093
Likes
1,879
#7
Built our home in 1998 using PEX overhead, never had a single issue. The heavy Swiss made fittings where a little pricey but overall an excellent product.
 

gr8legs

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
207
Likes
278
#8
I recently re-piped quite a lot of our house with PEX when building a spa room.

I didn't do enough research (or didn't think through what I did find) and replaced 3/4" copper with 3/4" PEX (routing it through the floor joists rather than on the surface so I could eventually drywall the basement ceiling.

If I had to do it again I would have done individual 'home runs' of much smaller pex (3/8" maybe?) directly from the water heater to the places that needed hot water. The PEX is much smoother inside so there's less friction - and the smaller pipe means the hot water gets to the tap much faster because you don't have a big slug of cold water in the 3/4" supply line to move before the hot water can arrive.

The 'home runs' are recommended for PEX and now I know why. Probably cheaper in the long run just for not wasting hot water. Besides that, the smaller piping would have been much easier to snake through the joists.

Stu

Bath Theorem: When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.
 

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
4,032
Likes
4,182
#9
The plastic pipe also does not suck heat out of the hot water like copper does. "Low specific heat."
 

BtoVin83

Iron
Registered Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2017
Messages
5
Likes
20
#10
I had doubts about using it but after the experience I would have to say it's a pretty good system. The biggest drawback I see is you have to convert over to NPT eventually and that interface is not fully developed in my opinion.
 

dlane

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Messages
2,221
Likes
884
#11
I can make threads. Crimp or snap in, but repairs are a ***** with crimp , estimates tomorrow
Thanks all.
 

brav65

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2014
Messages
899
Likes
428
#12
The most common method is to pipe 3/4” pipe to a manifold above or below the bathroom. Then 1/2” to each outlet. This works really well when circulation pumps are used then you have hot water in seconds to each outlet. With the low cost of pex and the ability to run with few connections recirculating loops are the way to go.
 

Aaron_W

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2016
Messages
64
Likes
30
#13
When we moved in here in 2012, we found much of the pipe was not galvanized, but black iron pipe with heavy internal corrosion.

My wife and I replaced most of the interior plumbing with PEX over a weekend. It made a huge difference as some of the pipe we pulled out was corroded to the point that some of the 1/2 and 3/4" pipe was effectively 1/4". It was a relatively easy job, it has also proven to make additions very easy as well, just cut and insert the appropriate fitting where you need it. No fighting with getting just the right angle for an elbow, or cutting a pipe a hair too long or short. Much cheaper than copper too. The only place we have found metal pipe necessary is the shower and spigots / sinks which need the rigidity of metal pipe to keep them in place, but just a foot or so right at the end of the line.

We went with red for hot and blue for cold so the basement looks like a kids model of the human circulatory system. :)

Starting year 6, and not one issue.
 

juiceclone

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Messages
171
Likes
100
#14
OK .. I'm going to be the odd man out here, but... When PEX became available, my employer had us use it instead of 3/8 copper to supply food service equipment. It was great to use, and cheap. All went well for a while, and then we got a few calls about leaks. Some were due to those "gator grip" type push in fittings eventually nicking thru the pipe wall where the tiny spring disk grips it. I'm sure the suppliers addressed that by now. However some of the leaks were strangely right along the pipe run somewhere. Leaks in a ceiling or, behind a wall were showing up. I had occasion to run about 100 feet to a food tiki hut on a golf course, 99% buried and the last 2 feet exposed as it went into the hut to the equipment. They had us remove the EQ because the pipe was leaking in that 2 foot section after a few weeks. It finally got to a point where we no longer used it. Now' I'm no rocket scientist, but some of my relatives are, and I had an occasion to ask about PEX he had used for his radiant heat. Usually when I ask this guy about something, I get lost about 3 sentences in. So here is the gist of the matter. PEX pipe is manufactured in such a way that an entire length of pipe is similar to one continuous molecule .....unbroken. This is why it doesn't "glue" well. If/when Pex is exposed to ultraviolet light, apparently the energy is just right to cause some of the atoms to lose their grip on their neighbor. After a while this "imperfection" "can" spread and eventually, depending on how long and how strong the UV exposure was, pinholes or worse will appear. This is why the stuff works so well buried in concrete floors for example. The real dicy part is U have no way of knowing if that pipe was stored on a shipping dock or somewhere else and received a dose of UV before it ever reached U. Even a regular exposure to 40watt florescent lights 6 feet away has caused a pex air line in my home shop to fail..pinhole..and only where the light falls on it!!! I have received similar warnings from other sources. As much as I liked the convenience of that stuff, I will never use it for anything again.
 

RJSakowski

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
2,769
Likes
2,838
#15
Interesting. Part of the run of PEX in my basement has been exposed to direct sunlight on any clear day for over eleven years with no sign of failure. I also have CF and fluorescent lighting. Possibly the color has something to do with it? I used the red PEX for both hot and cold lines. My water system pressure is around 60 psi.

edit: This site seems to support the UV embrittlement. https://www.pexuniverse.com/problems-pex-pipe-and-how-prevent-and-fix-them
 
Last edited:

dave2176

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2013
Messages
914
Likes
161
#16
I re-piped my house in pex several years ago. Only way to go. I added a 30 valve manifold so everything has its own shut-off including the left sink has a different set of valves than the right sink does in the bath.
 

jocat54

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2011
Messages
467
Likes
258
#17
I have always liked and used PEX and have never seen it leak in the actual pipe. I used it where the water supply was subject to freezing under some cabins---freeze and thaw no leaks.

Last year one of my sons called and said that he had a water leak in his attic could I come help him. Get over there and find the leak is in a length of PEX pipe from the manifold to the water heater. We decided to cut out and splice in a new section of PEX--all good-----about 3 months later he calls and says he has a water leak in the same general area. The same piece that leaked before, leaking again. (not the piece we spliced in). This time we replaced the whole piece from manifold to water heater. So far so good.
I had never seen PEX pipe leak before---guess it could have been from the original installation, maybe bending it to tight.
 

juiceclone

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Messages
171
Likes
100
#18
Interesting. Part of the run of PEX in my basement has been exposed to direct sunlight on any clear day for over eleven years with no sign of failure. I also have CF and fluorescent lighting. Possibly the color has something to do with it? I used the red PEX for both hot and cold lines. My water system pressure is around 60 psi.

edit: This site seems to support the UV embrittlement. https://www.pexuniverse.com/problems-pex-pipe-and-how-prevent-and-fix-them
I wonder if the "newer" colored pex has uv blocking in it? Be nice if the cretins who manufacture the stuff belatedly admit the problem and said "it's ok now...we fixed it" ...yeah....right...
 

juiceclone

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Messages
171
Likes
100
#19
I have always liked and used PEX and have never seen it leak in the actual pipe. I used it where the water supply was subject to freezing under some cabins---freeze and thaw no leaks.

Last year one of my sons called and said that he had a water leak in his attic could I come help him. Get over there and find the leak is in a length of PEX pipe from the manifold to the water heater. We decided to cut out and splice in a new section of PEX--all good-----about 3 months later he calls and says he has a water leak in the same general area. The same piece that leaked before, leaking again. (not the piece we spliced in). This time we replaced the whole piece from manifold to water heater. So far so good.
I had never seen PEX pipe leak before---guess it could have been from the original installation, maybe bending it to tight.
Yes..that's the kind of stuff we ran into...The pipe could have been left in the sun sometime before u got it, and eventually it failed. Replacing with a different batch of pipe or a piece that wasn't exposed could fix it.
 

RJSakowski

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
2,769
Likes
2,838
#20
I wonder if the "newer" colored pex has uv blocking in it? Be nice if the cretins who manufacture the stuff belatedly admit the problem and said "it's ok now...we fixed it" ...yeah....right...
If you read through the link that I quoted, there was apparently an ongoing lawsuit as of Dec. 2015 with Nibco et.al. concerning failures due to cracking and leaking.

That's what I love about the building trades. New products come out and are promoted as the be all and end all only to find out a few years later that they have some seriuosly fatal flaw. Aluminum wiring, drywall from China, formaldehyde emitting insulation, asbestos, lead paint; the list goes on. It seems that our homes become the surrogate test labs for the testing that should have been done before products are released for sale. Unfortunately, it is often the homeowner who bears the final cost of the failure.
 

dlane

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Messages
2,221
Likes
884
#21
Nothing will have uv light on it, but rodents could be a problem was told to put water by the poison so they can drink to death, the plumbing co today is $1500 lower than the last one was and a better install .

I hear ya Bob , and I hate feeding the pig but non of it will matter after I'm gone
 

f350ca

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
1,180
Likes
1,841
#22
I wonder if the "newer" colored pex has uv blocking in it? Be nice if the cretins who manufacture the stuff belatedly admit the problem and said "it's ok now...we fixed it" ...yeah....right...
Don't think so.
I left some of the red coloured pipe with oxygen barrier outside, it turned a white colour.

Greg
 

RJSakowski

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
2,769
Likes
2,838
#23
Likewise here, With perhaps twenty years left, I think about things differently. A twenty year warranty is a lifetime for me now.

I hadn''t even thought about rodents. My PEX is all exposed so unlikely to be teething exercise for rodents. I did have a squirrel cut through a plastic .fuel line on a Chrysler product though. I matched the tooth marks to a dead squirrel for a perfect fit. I have had thousands of % in rodent damage though. The house is fairly tight now and I run a diligent trapping program for the few that manage to sneek in through cracked doors but the out buildings ar e a different story. I had dinner with some friends , one of whom is a contractor. He waas doing a renovation on a 100 year old house and they discovered runs of electrical wiring in the attic where the rodents had stripped the insulation off leaving bare wires separated only by the air gap. Something to be said for running BX or conduit!

I have my house plumbed almost entirely with CPVC and PVC. Some of it has been in for almost forty years with no problem. It replaced all the old galvanized pipe.

Our well went out last year. The steel pipe rusted out where it connected to the cast iron donut that directs the water to the horizontal line and the entire length of pipe and submersible pump dropped some forty feet down to the bottom. The well driller managed to catch the end of the pipe and run a special tap(kind of like an easy-out) in so he could pull the old pipe. That's been replaced with PVC pipe now.
 

brav65

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2014
Messages
899
Likes
428
#24
I am surprised to hear some of these issues as I have personally built over 1500 homes with pex, I just completed a 207 room Hyatt Andaz hotel and we used pex in all the rooms. I have had pex in all but three of the 31homes and two condos I have personally owned and only had a handful of leaks which occurred at a fitting or where a screw, or nail had punctured the pipe. I live in Phoenix so UV exposure is exceptionally high given our 300+ days of sun. This is just my experienc and two cents.
 
6
5 7