Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????

 
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Old 02-05-2007, 11:38 AM   #1
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Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


Pex is just starting to get popular here. It appears that it is the most cost effective way to go plus the Mana Block offers a great deal of flexibility for the homeowner. Am I missing something on this stuff? Cost, reliability, ease of installation all appear to be advantages. Correct? Other thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:45 PM   #2
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


Correct, you'll never look back.

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Old 02-05-2007, 02:36 PM   #3
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


Minnesota plumbers are all switching over to it. Big labor savings.
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Old 02-05-2007, 04:07 PM   #4
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


Ditto. Big labor savings.
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:07 PM   #5
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


Been doing it here for years and there really is nothing bad to say about it. Superior in EVERY way. The best system I've seen is the RTI clamp system but Wersbo just bought it and is going to strangle it to eliminate the competition. Too bad.
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:19 PM   #6
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


is this the same thing as flex pipe???



i would like to use flex pipe ... have heard problems related to termites ... so i don't use it ... would be nice though ...
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:47 PM   #7
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


I am curious to hear more about pex pipe. I was under the impressions it wasn't as good as copper since i see all the national homebuilders using it and not the local guys.

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Old 02-05-2007, 11:03 PM   #8
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


I live in the Western suburbs of Chicago, and I've yet to see it in a home (I don't do new construction though). I don't think our local building department will accept it. I'll have to ask next time I talk to the inspector.
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Old 02-05-2007, 11:20 PM   #9
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


Hopefully PEX will replace most water pipping applications. I was hesitant at first, now I hardly ever use copper. It really is the greatest thing since sliced bread. AND it's been used in Europe for the past 15-20 years, it's not new, just new to the US. Do some searches in the plumbing section namley: PEX vs. COPPER thread. There are many good things that experienced plumbers are saying about it. I love it because my bids are comming in lower than the average plumber who doesn't won't do PEX. It's actually better than sliced bread.
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:06 AM   #10
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


I paid attention the other day to how long it took to rough in one of my homes. Here's how it breaks down:

2 story home, trussed, crawl space, 2225 sqft. 2.5 bath, 1 sink in the kitchen, fridge line, sink in the butlers pantry, sink in the laundry room, tankless water heater, 2 exterior spickets. It's a fairly straight forward plan, no fancy framing.

A crew of 4 plumbers roughed the entire thing in in 6 hours. All drains, tubs, shower pans, vents, water lines etc.. done to pressurized. I just give them the house alone for 1 day so they don't have anyone banging around them or in their way.

Way faster than the old way and the only leaks I've ever had were freezes in houses that weren't insulated yet and those had nothing to do with the actual plumbing, it was the valves popping.

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Old 02-06-2007, 10:59 AM   #11
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


Quote:
Originally Posted by dirt diggler View Post
is this the same thing as flex pipe???



i would like to use flex pipe ... have heard problems related to termites ... so i don't use it ... would be nice though ...
Termites and flex pipe?? I hope they don't migrate down to NJ
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:47 AM   #12
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


I think weíre gonna find stuff like this breaking down in 20-30 years and releasing chemicals into peopleís tap water. Fifty years ago, lead seemed like a great way to solder and I think polyethylene products are the lead of today only worse, because the whole pipe is polyethylene not just the joints.

Copper all the way. Itís been tested by time (though silver solder - not so much...but you have to use something).
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:29 AM   #13
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


Quote:
Originally Posted by elvinstheman View Post
I think weíre gonna find stuff like this breaking down in 20-30 years and releasing chemicals into peopleís tap water. Fifty years ago, lead seemed like a great way to solder and I think polyethylene products are the lead of today only worse, because the whole pipe is polyethylene not just the joints.

Copper all the way. Itís been tested by time (though silver solder - not so much...but you have to use something).
What makes you think that? Have you read anything or seen any research?
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:41 AM   #14
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


I have seen it used in a few houses, but to be honest the only thing I hear talked about is how it is cheaper to install. I wonder though how it lasts over the long run and how it is affected by moving around and rubbing a hole in it. Myself I'm still liking the pvc over the copper.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:45 AM   #15
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
Myself I'm still liking the pvc over the copper.
PVC and or CPVC will leave a taste in the water where as pex does not, if you like the taste of plastic then use it all you want.

Last edited by Ron The Plumber; 02-07-2007 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:20 PM   #16
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


Quote:
Originally Posted by wackman View Post
What makes you think that? Have you read anything or seen any research?


This is from an online encyclopedia:
According to some medical studies, the plasticizers added to PVC may cause chronic conditions such as scleroderma, cholangiocarcinoma, angiosarcoma, brain cancer, and acroosteolysis. PVC has been used in many products for many years and still there is not proof of significant harmful effects from exposure. There have been studies that indicate links with certain medical problems and exposure to PVC products.
Many vinyl products contain additional chemicals to change the chemical consistency of the product. Some of these additional chemicals called additives can leach out of vinyl products. Plasticizers which must be added to make PVC flexible have been an additive of particular concern.
That last paragraph seems like it might apply to pex.

Then thereís the issue of the glue used with PVC-type plumbing, though of course this is NOT a factor for pex, since I think they are crimped at the joints rather than glued, correct?

Anyhow, hopefully Iím wrong. If not, Iím training my daughter in as a plumber, since there will be a massive removal/replacement industry when she's 20.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:41 PM   #17
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


Quote:
Originally Posted by elvinstheman View Post

This is from an online encyclopedia:
According to some medical studies, the plasticizers added to PVC may cause chronic conditions such as scleroderma, cholangiocarcinoma, angiosarcoma, brain cancer, and acroosteolysis. PVC has been used in many products for many years and still there is not proof of significant harmful effects from exposure. There have been studies that indicate links with certain medical problems and exposure to PVC products.
Many vinyl products contain additional chemicals to change the chemical consistency of the product. Some of these additional chemicals called additives can leach out of vinyl products. Plasticizers which must be added to make PVC flexible have been an additive of particular concern.
That last paragraph seems like it might apply to pex.

Then there’s the issue of the glue used with PVC-type plumbing, though of course this is NOT a factor for pex, since I think they are crimped at the joints rather than glued, correct?

Anyhow, hopefully I’m wrong. If not, I’m training my daughter in as a plumber, since there will be a massive removal/replacement industry when she's 20.

That is interesting. I wonder if that then also applies to other items that come into contact with our food, air and water, like plastic food utensils, plastic cookware (spatulas, strainers, tupperware, gladware etc..) and air thats been ran through filters (many filters are made with plastic components).

I'm not gonna stop using pex until something conclusive comes out but I will keep a closer eye on it, If I acted on everything that is suspected to be harmful I'd never use a cell phone, watch tv, eat any food that can't be grown or go outside. Thanks for the info though Elvin. Yes pex is connected with metal straps and clamps. No glue, which makes it so much easier to install.

Last edited by wackman; 02-07-2007 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:42 PM   #18
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


I've seen pex used in NC for years. My current house is ten years old and has pex piping. It is all that is used. Even the older houses that have copper are being replumbed with pex, because we have a lot of hard water that corrodes/oxidizes the copper making the water taste nasty. I've installed pex quite a bit doing additions and repairs. My experience is that quest piping sucks and leaks, copper is a pain to manage in tight areas, and CPVC has a tendency to crack when it freezes.
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:29 AM   #19
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


I've had it in my house for over 20 years and neither me or anybody else has ever said anything about noticing a taste in the water. Maybe because we have so much other stuff added to the water it hides it, I don't know.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:31 AM   #20
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Re: Pex, Copper, Or Pvc?????


I do recall looking into data about PEX tubing when I was working on my radiant heat floor in my home. There are no tests that go beyond 50 years at this point regarding longevity. There were also issues about PEX tubing breaking down before that 50 year period. I suppose it wouldn't matter too much for the radiant heat concrete slab, but it sure would cause hell in the second story if it werre to break down. I have actually decided not to use the BPEX tubing in the second level at all due to this concern.

As far as PEX used in plumbing applications, if it lasts over the long haul, that's great, it's simple and inexpensive to install. If it fails in the long term, that's fine too, I know how to install copper! The nice part about this business we're all in is that if we're not building something new, there's always something that needs repair!

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