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Thread: Pex plumbing vs Copper

  1. #1

    Default Pex plumbing vs Copper

    I am currently performing some work at my house and amongst one of the improvements I have been working on is to replace all the copper piping under the house with pex. Thus far good yet, I am installing some new fixtures like new sinks and showers and guess what! I have called several plumbers and they do not want to work with PEX. I asked why they would not work with pex? They say because it is known to leak. I would agree that if you do not properly crimp the pex to the brass fitting off course I will agree that leaks will happen. Other than that I disagree with the change from copper to pex. Any comments, experiences, or suggestions? Please some input would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    As far as the argument between PEX and copper IMO it's kinda ying and yang, I haven't heard of PEX "developing" leaks if correctly installed, you can ask 10 plumbers and you'll get 3 different opinions of the PEX v's Copper scenario.
    PEX if frozen will swell like a snake that just ate and return to it's original shape once thawed, copper certainly won't do that. PEX is much cheaper to buy and install than copper. I'm not sure why you have troub;le finding a plumber that is willing to work with PEX almost all of them do nowadays UNLESS it is prohibited by your local code (Chicago is one).

    Who replaced the PEX so far ?

  3. #3

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    Yea, its odd that they are not willing to work with Pex. I wonder if they are thinking about polybutylene for some reason. Check with your local building dept to see if pex is allowed, and what it would take for you to get a permit to install it. I changed out all the old galvanized pipe in my house to pex, took me 3 days to do it. Fished it through all the walls and such.

  4. #4
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    PEX did have a somewhat rocky start but the modern stuff (most of what has ever been around in the US) has been really solid. PEX has been used in Europe for much longer then it has this side of the pond. I'm sure if you run across a oldschool plumber that doesnt keep up with the trends or watch any home improvement shows they will be anti-pex.

    Just like copper or PVC it is possible to install it wrong. The nice thing about PEX is it comes in long rolls so it's possible to go all the way across your house without having a single connection. (provided there are no fixtures to supply along the way). You will have very few connections in your walls (none if you just update the main runs). You can also get copper stubs that allow you to run pex to under the fixture and bring copper up through the floor.

  5. #5

    Default Pex vs Copper

    I am in Dallas, TX and although I did not get a permit I checked with the plumbing expert at Home Depot and it is to City Code. The challenge for me was that the plumbers I contacted for help are indeed old school and would not want to work with it. I ran pex all throughout the house crawl space without any leaking issues. Yet, since I was working mostly by myself running the pex roles from one end to the other was a bitch. Nevertheless, it was clean and easy to work with. One think I did was to install a cut off valve under the house from the water that way I would not have to run to the curve every time I needed to do any future work. I am also planing to install a water pressure gauge. I did read that because pex is permeable it can get some water contamination but since I did attached under the foundation joists and beams rather than laying it or burying the pipes on the ground I would not be to much concerned. I appreciate everyone's feedback.

    I just got a $4,400 bid from my contractor who is going to do the two and half bath remodeling for installing two new exposed plumbing showers like these: http://sigmafaucet.com/ecommerce/pro...id=76191014590, four new sink, one pedestal sink and three toilets on the existing plumbing looks like I am going to have to do it myself.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernard View Post
    I am in Dallas, TX and although I did not get a permit I checked with the plumbing expert at Home Depot and it is to City Code.
    Never rely on a big box store as your official code compliance resource (sorry HD plumbing guy) they are seldom experienced in their departments let alone code compliance.

  7. #7

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    Yea, I agree, Never trust the code advise you get from a big box employee. Some of these places claim to have a master plumber, or a master sparky on staff in that department. I highly doubt that, because I doubt they would pay the wages. Your problems in finding a plumber who would work with Pex shocks me actually, PPI (Plastic Pipe Insitute) is based in Dallas.

    A trick I learned in dealing with long runs of pex is uncoil it and let it sit in the sun for a hour or so before you really start working with it, warms it up enough to keep it from kicking your butt.

  8. #8
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    And always tape the open ends so when your dragging it through a crawlspace your not filling it up with dirt.

    wait....you have already done the crawl. sorry

  9. #9

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    I think Pix leaks if it is correctly installed, you can consult plumbers and you'll get different opinions on this.You can also check local building department to see if pex is beneficial or not.
    Last edited by Mr T; June 2nd, 2015 at 11:14 PM. Reason: Ad link removed by moderator (repeat occurances WILL get you banned)

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