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I need some plumbing advice. I have a home in Virginia but I live in Florida. We just got a call from our neighbor, who checks on the house, that we had a pipe break. My husband hopped on a flight and is there now with a mold remediation company. House was built in the 70's and has copper pipes. A plumber also came out and had to fix pipes in 3 places. He says that we should consider replumbing the house. Im skeptical and don't know if that is really necessary but I might be wrong. How do you determine if it's one of those things that you have to do or if you should consider doing? And how much does a replumb typically cost?
Also, we were told to keep the water/electric on and keep the house above freezing in the winter to keep things like this from happening. The water is on a well pump so if we turn the electric off, we don't run the risk of having a never ending running pipe if one breaks. I guess my other question is what is the best way to protect our home from major leaks again from down here in Florida. We visit just a few times a year up there and don't want any more leaking pipes/broken pipes if we can help it. Thanks for any advice
 

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solar guy
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You are at the end of the life of the copper pipes. You are on a well which I suspect acid water is eatng the pipes. I would suggest replacing with CPVC or pex and make sure the pipes grade back to a central drain. Shutting off the water is a good idea as it limits the amount of potential damsge but is not fool proof.
 

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the pipe master
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Disregard what that guy just said.

First we need to know if those pipe leaks were pinholes from corrosion or splits from ice damage. If it was just splits than no, that in and of it's self is not grounds for a total repipe. If the pipes are corroded on the inside and pinhole leaks are springing up then I would recommend repiping.

When copper starts to pinhole it's usually the beginning of the end.

If the pipes were damaged be freezing and you decide to repipe them, DO NOT USE CPVC AS THE GUY ABOVE SAID. CPVC does not do well in the cold. If freezing is the issue your best bet is to install a quality brand of pex pipe with bronze (not brass, there is a difference) fittings. The installing plumber should take great care not to install pieces of pipe shorter than 12" as short pieces lose their freeze resisting properties. Have frost resistance hose bibs installed. Freeze valves are cheap insurance as well. And I shouldn't have to tell you but insulate the pipes. Closed cell polyethylene would be the best choice. The thicker the better.
 

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ACE Duraflo

At the risk of advertising a product, there is another solution to pinhole leaks in copper piping. Put (pinhole leaks copper) into a search engine and find it yourself. My company, as well as others perform this sort of work and it has been used in thousands of applications both residential and commercial. Check it out and feel free to write back if you have any questions.
 

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If the pipes were damaged be freezing and you decide to repipe them, DO NOT USE CPVC AS THE GUY ABOVE SAID. CPVC does not do well in the cold. If freezing is the issue your best bet is to install a quality brand of pex pipe with bronze (not brass, there is a difference) fittings.

Curious why you would believe that CPVC doesn't do well in the cold. I've had it under my house for years without a problem and it isn't wrapped and the crawl space isn't heated. Actually I've been told by plumbers that it was better than copper since copper conducts the cold and CPVC doesn't. For my money I'd have no problem with using CPVC again.
 

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I need some plumbing advice. I have a home in Virginia but I live in Florida. We just got a call from our neighbor, who checks on the house, that we had a pipe break. My husband hopped on a flight and is there now with a mold remediation company. House was built in the 70's and has copper pipes. A plumber also came out and had to fix pipes in 3 places. He says that we should consider replumbing the house. Im skeptical and don't know if that is really necessary but I might be wrong. How do you determine if it's one of those things that you have to do or if you should consider doing? And how much does a replumb typically cost?
Also, we were told to keep the water/electric on and keep the house above freezing in the winter to keep things like this from happening. The water is on a well pump so if we turn the electric off, we don't run the risk of having a never ending running pipe if one breaks. I guess my other question is what is the best way to protect our home from major leaks again from down here in Florida. We visit just a few times a year up there and don't want any more leaking pipes/broken pipes if we can help it. Thanks for any advice
I am not a Plumber but around here in Northern NY where it gets really cold-Down to -30 below, many summer homes are "winterized" I have done a few myself. All the pipes are drained & an air compressor is used to force all of the water out of them -usually from the top down-with connections opened up near the supply,etc. Then RV anti-freeze is put in all the drains including a washing machine, toilets bowls &tanks and other "water appliances". With "city water" it is best to turn the water off out by the street.

As far as your copper pipes they have stood the test of time-and I would be surprised if they need replacing ! Joints that break are usually poor soldering jobs- and alot of pipes break where a different metal is screwed into a copper fitting & corrodes at that point & ends up breaking..............
 

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DavidC
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May I add to the confusion? Split cooper from freezing can be reliably repaired by an experienced plumber. I wouldn't start chasing pinhole leaks unless you need a hobby.

CPVC is probably OK in the right hands. But our city only allows it for home owner self installations and besides that I just don't like it.

I vote for PEX properly installed if you're going to replumb. Hopefully ProTech will come back and explain the differences between the brass and bronze fittings, I'm curious. For our occasional jobs we use PEX piping but can't say without looking what the fittings are and I'm curious.

Good Luck
Dave
 

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Curmudgeon
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11,706 Posts
Lots of weird response for a 2 month old
problem from a poster as phony as
a $3 bill.
He's 19, has a wife, a home in Florida and
Virginia, runs a construction company
and doesn't know any plumbers.......

Just sayin'.
 

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Banned
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1,539 Posts
There is a right way to leave a house and a wrong way. Start watching ask this old house. Maybe you could catch the rerun where rich Tretheway went to a guys house and did exactly that. Basically showing him everything to do before he walked away for a season.

Ps. To the one poster i do remember him pulling out the air compressor.:laughing: There was actually a whole list of things which needed to be addressed.
 

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the pipe master
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501 Posts
PEX is an elastomer that is crosslinked so that it remains flexible and remebers it's shape. CPVC is naturally brittle and has to have plasticizers added to the resin to make it flexible. These plasticizers eventually are destroyed or leeched out of the resin and the resin returns to it's natural brittle temper. Pex will expand when frozen and then retracts again when thawed. Pex remain flexible at low temperatures while cpvc becomes brittle (just like it's parent compound PVC). Pex is not effected by oil like cpvc. if your house is winterized via using and air compressor oil from the compressor can enter the pipe and cause the resin to become soft or brittle depending on the hydrocarbon makeup. CPVC is damaged by exposure to vegetable oils (even when in smoke form), caulking, contact with NM cable (Romex), oil based paints, many pesticides, tar, lubricants (WD40, PB, liquid wrench, 3-in-1 oil). CPVC does not dampen pressure waves (water hammer) as well as pex does.

Brass vs bronze: Some parts of the country have water chemistry that will de-alloy aka de-zincafy some types of brass. Bronze is far more resistant to this de-alloying. If your area does not have said water type then there is no problem with using yellow brass.

May I add to the confusion? Split cooper from freezing can be reliably repaired by an experienced plumber. I wouldn't start chasing pinhole leaks unless you need a hobby.

CPVC is probably OK in the right hands. But our city only allows it for home owner self installations and besides that I just don't like it.

I vote for PEX properly installed if you're going to replumb. Hopefully ProTech will come back and explain the differences between the brass and bronze fittings, I'm curious. For our occasional jobs we use PEX piping but can't say without looking what the fittings are and I'm curious.

Good Luck
Dave
 

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the pipe master
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501 Posts
I'm a third generation licensed master plumber that has been specializing in diagnosing the underlying reasons for distribution piping failures for over a decade and doing repipes. My teachers before me used pex and have shown a track record of 15 years of use without failures. Pex has a 30 year track record of use in Europe.

I put my name on all of my repipes for 25 years, do you? Oh that's right, your not even a plumber and you probably don't even know what pex is and what makes it different than other polymers do you? That won't stop you from talking smake on the internet though.

Bring it.
 
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