Pex Vs. Copper

 
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Old 12-10-2006, 05:31 AM   #1
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Pex Vs. Copper


Existing home is all run in copper. Installing new master bath. How much more economical would it be to use pex instead of copper for the rough ins?

Are there different grades of pex?

What are pros and cons of pex vs. copper?

I think my plumber is afraid of pex. He's trying to tell me that I dont want to use pex, I'll hear tubing slapping the walls and it sucks blah blah. and with the amount of copper needed to use to tie into the existing it should be a wash $ wise. Plumbing is my least knoweldgable trade. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

This shower I'm doing has six body sprays, rain head, 2 hand helds, kohler dtv unit. Anyone ever install that dtv valve? Good/bad?
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Old 12-10-2006, 09:29 AM   #2
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


Pex is faster to install, properly secured will not slop around. May cost a fraction more then copper, but in todays market at the rate price of copper continues to rise, pex maybe cheaper.

We do pex all the time, never installed a dtv unit so know nothing of it.

If you want PEX then tell your plumber to use it, heck it might convert him if he tries and likes.

PEX is the way of the future, widely used here in the PNW.

Grade of pex, all same thickness, two types of systems, wirsbo and rti, wirsbo uses an expansion tool where as rti uses crimp rings, we use the rings here.

Hope this was some help.

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Old 12-10-2006, 10:15 AM   #3
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


thanks ron, the sales lady at the plumbing supply was trying to sell my customer on pex. I've only ever had copper installed, so I honestly don't know any different. I am mostly concerned with quality and price. And with 12k in plumbing fixtures and computerized shower controls for one bathroom I'm having a hard time figuring out why my customer is getting nit picky about price now.
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:07 PM   #4
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


I am currently bidding and looking at options on a new house for myself, I am not sure if I should get pex. I know that the bids with pex are cheaper here, but I am wondering if it is going to last as long as copper. What was that stuff that lasted like 8 years, and then started breaking in the walls. It wasnt pvc, but like it.
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:14 PM   #5
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


That was called Polybutylene

Pex is nothing compared to it,.
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:30 PM   #6
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


How do we know that it is going to last? Didnt they think that poly stuff was going to last a long time too?
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:38 PM   #7
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


PEX was developed in the 1960s. PEX tubing has been in use in many European countries for plumbing, radiant heating and snow melt applications since that time. PEX was introduced in the United States in the 1980s, and has seen significant growth in market demand and production.

In use for nearly 40 years, that alone tells me something.

Won't crack or split if it freezes, copper, well you have a flood on your hands.

I can't tell you to use it, in my best judge-ment this is a superior product over copper.


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Old 12-10-2006, 12:47 PM   #8
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


sold me. I wasnt aware that it was around for that long. thanks for your help
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:48 PM   #9
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Crown View Post
sold me. I wasnt aware that it was around for that long. thanks for your help
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:49 PM   #10
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


I've been reading on it since 4 this morning and I feel like I'm sold too. Looks like I'm going to tell my current plumber it's my way or the highway. Why pay the extra labor.
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:56 PM   #11
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


I do mostly "old work" electrical work. When the plumbers do a re-pipe in PEX, they're in and out before you know it. Plus, if you want, you have the added advantage of having a manifold in the basement or mechanical room with a valve for each and every fixture, if you so choose. Neat idea. Google 'Manabloc' for one popular manufacturer of such manifolds.


Last edited by mdshunk; 12-10-2006 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 12-10-2006, 05:05 PM   #12
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


thanks md. i love all this great info!
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:50 PM   #13
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


Whats the cost compared to cpvc? I am about to renovate homes in the innercity. The city is wanting me to use cpvc. (The copper gets stolen as fast as its installed.) I would love to use pex. I think it may install quicker than cpvc. Any input I can get would be nice.
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Old 12-10-2006, 08:32 PM   #14
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


Cpvc requires glued joints, not to mention a taste that can last after it's installed.

Pex is insta on when done and 100% chance of no leaks, if your code allows pex, go for it, it will be a fast a good experience. You might even be hooked afterwards.

Cpvc will be cheaper then pex. I don't care for cpvc myself.
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Old 12-10-2006, 09:19 PM   #15
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


I work for a homedepot (plumbing dept) and we dont carry PEX. Here in Cali alot of people still type L and M copper. Im not sure if our local code allows PEX installation but im about to find out.
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Old 12-10-2006, 09:36 PM   #16
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


Its a city funded project. So its price driven along with theft deterrant.
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Old 12-10-2006, 11:53 PM   #17
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


Pretty sure the IRC allows pex everywhere as long as your town has adopted the new codes. One town in Jersey is still on the 1996 code book. Lowes was quick to jump on the PEX bandwagon, so they stock most Zurn fittings, which is pretty convienient. I still have customers (doctors actually) that don't trust pex because of the water/plastic thing. Which is wierd because copper oxide is no better then the nothing you get from pex. The funny part is they all want copper supply lines, braided stainless hookup lines (which are rubber inside), and sub zeros (which plumb the ice makers with pex). I love the rational here!
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Old 12-11-2006, 08:17 AM   #18
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


Wirsbo/aquapex is the way to go. No camparison to the other stuff. Come on men, we left cast iron behind. Let's move forward.
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Old 12-11-2006, 10:34 AM   #19
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


When I was working down in LA (Cal) five years ago, I couldn't find anyone who had even heard of it. They all looked at me in the stores (box stores) like I was nuts if I tried to describe it. They were trying to sell me iron for a "real" plumbing job! Never tried at a supply house.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:58 PM   #20
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Re: Pex Vs. Copper


I don't think you can get wirsbo/aquapex anywhere other than a select wholesaler. I have seen it on Ebay. That was the pitch the rep was giving us "the homeowner has to call you to fix as they can't get parts and the tool is pricey". Never seen it at HD or Lowes, that is another reason I like it.

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