3/4 or 1" PEX??

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I'm replacing 44' of buried 3/4 galvanized water pipe to the water meter at the sidewalk. Looks like PEX is the way to go. But the inside diameter of 3/4" galvanized is about the same as 1" PEX. 1" is quite a bit more expensive, but it's a small part of the total cost.
People at hardware stores say, "just use 3/4", it'll be fine." Comment on that???
Then there's the problem of having a tiny variety of PEX "sharkbite" type fittings. They don't even carry a 1" female to PEX fitting at the Big Box stores. I'm also concerned about the stiffness of the 1" making it harder to install and easier for movement in the earth, etc. to pull it out of the fitting.
Are the sharkbite fittings strong enough to bury? They say they are, but are they really? Seems like serious potential problem to me. The fitting at the meter is a straight shot and visible in the meter box. The one at the house has to go down to get to 24". Any compaction of the soil below the pipe could allow tremendous pressure pulling the pipe out of the connector.
Am I worrying too much? Techniques for mitigating that problem?
Are the clamp-type fittings better? I hate to buy a tool to make two crimps of the circular stuff, but the ones with the protrusion that you squeeze should be easy enough.
Suggestions?
Are there different brands/types of PEX? Can I just go down to Home Depot and buy some? Or do I have to worry about vendors and grades and types and and and?
Suggestions?
Thanks, mike
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Instead of buying a bunch of sharkbite fittings, why not just buy yourself a PEX crimping tool, and that way you'll have the tool you need to do repairs on your PEX plumbing in future. You can buy them for under $100 nowadays.
If it wuz me, and it didn't cause any other problems, I would run 1 inch pex tubing through your house and branch off to the kitchen, bathroom and laundry rooms with 1 X 1 X 3/4 inch tees. Then branch off those 3/4 inch lines with 3/4 X 3/4 X 1/2 inch tees for the kitchen faucet hot and cold and dish washer hot lines. Ditto in the laundry room; branch off your 3/4 inch supply with 1/2 inch lines for both the washer hot and cold and the laundry room sink hot and cold supply lines.
They did the same thing in my building (21 suite apartment block) when they built it, but they started with 1 1/2 inch hot and cold water supply pipes. They did that so that every tenant can have full water pressure at their shower head when getting ready for work in the morning, and full water pressure in their kitchen sink when washing dishes in the evening. If it was all done with 1/2 inch copper pipe the way some cheap houses are built now, tenants would be fighting over water pressure.
The obvious advantage in doing that is that each 3/4 inch supply line can supply full flow to TWO fixtures, sinks or appliances at the same time, and so you don't have to be concerned about being scalded in the shower if someone flushes the toilet, or the dish washer not working having enough water pressure to pressure wash the food off the dishes because the washing machine was filling at the time, etc.
But, truth be told, even if you did it with 3/4 inch Pex and branched off with 1/2 inch supply lines, you'd seldom have a problem with water pressure because you seldom open any faucet wide open, and even if you do, the aerator on sink faucets, shower head or the resistance to flow through water mixing valves restricts the flow anyway. A wide open bathroom sink faucet with a water saver aerator on it will only have between 1 and 2 gallons of water coming out of it per minute. They don't have aerators on bathtub spouts cuz then you'd have the water running for an hour before you could have a bath.
--
nestork


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On 5/29/2013 12:35 PM, nestork wrote:

I'm talking TWO, count 'em TWO fittings. If I can count on sharkbite not to leak, the decision is easy. It all boils down to whether the sharkbite is reliable when buried outside. If it leaks, it won't destroy walls/ceilings. And I can easily get it at to fix it.
There seem to be two camps. People who want to sell me services don't get paid if I can just shove the pipe into the fitting. Fittings salesmen seem to like it. And they sell me something whether I use sharkbite or clamps.

That's the kind of FUD that I'm getting from those trying to sell me their labor. My dishwasher pressure is determined by the pump. It ain't washing while it's filling. Input pressure/flow only affects the time it takes to fill.

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the house. Create an inspection pit in the floor if necessary.
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I could write a dissertation to answer your questions but I'll do the abridged version
I designed my first PEX re-pipe in early 2007. I bought all the materials & an expander tool. I chose to use WirsboPEX expansion system. At the last minute I wimped out and had a plumber & his crew do the install after I'd done all the demo and built all the hard copper terminations.
About 6 months later my buddy & I did the re-pipe of his ex-wife's house...flawlessly. We replaced the mainline (~35') with 1" PEX
BTW Ed helped me work through some of my pre-PEX jitters.
Here's what I'd suggest Go with the 1" PEX supply line ... at 15 gpm the 3/4" will drop about 12psi over 44ft. A 1" PEX mainline will give you awesome garden hose flow. :) If you use sharkbites & if you're worried about soil subsidence just compact the soil as you backfill a few inches at time. Sharkbitea are fine... I've never heard or read about a failure. I've never had a failure. I chose expansion type connections... just slip on a doubler ring, expand the PEX & insert the fitting. Nothing to crimp, nothing to gauge. You should be able to rent an expansion tool. I bought one on ebay. I kept it for the re-work & add-ons and other jobs but I haven't used it in about a year.
more info here
http://www.uponorpro.com/Technical-Support/Manuals.aspx
or post again if I missed something
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Sounds like the local ACE Hardware here. Everytim I go in some knucklehead runs over to "help" and starts asking all kinds of dumb questions. My favorite is the one that explained to me how residential water systems work at about 2 PSI.
That line should be 1". Around here, new construction, they pull 1" poly from the street. Seems reasonable. If you run 3/4" to upstairs bathrooms, seems the whole house should have 1".

I'd use regular PEX fittings. Did you check rental places, like HD to see if you can rent the tool? Or how about Ebay? You can buy one and sell it on Ebay if you like later.
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What size are you connecting to? If it is 1", I'd go with 1", but if it is already 3/4" there is not gain on using the 1" downstream.
Sharkbite fittings work well, I'd bury them or I'd rent a pex tool. I don't know how well you'd do with a tool with no practice and I've not used one myself. This is not the place to practice though, you want to be sure it holds. .
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I agree there probably isn't much gain, but even if he has a 3/4 reduction at the street, there will still be less pressure drop with a long line of 1" than with 3/4". Probably not enough that it offers any benefit. I'd be very surprised if a 1" connection isn't available at the street.
If it were me, I'd forget about PEX, the tools, etc. Get 1" poly and use barb fittings. That is what has been used here to connect to municipal water systems for decades now. Don't know of any problems with it. And it's the least expensive.
Also, when considering 1" vs 3/4", some things that could make a big differene:
lawn sprinkler system runnning off it? water use outside the house off a wide open spigot?
things like that you will see a big difference.
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On 5/29/2013 5:02 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Be surprised, cuz the meter tail is 3/4" fittings.
Quick measurement says that the ID of 3/4" galvanized pipe is 3/4". The ID of 1" PEX is about 3/4".
Don't have a 3/4" PEX to measure, but it's gonna be smaller than 3/4"
The area goes as the square of the radius. So, 70% of the radius gives you HALF of the area. And I expect flow goes down faster than that because of surface friction.

till I die.
I plumbed a 100' 5/8" water hoze from the meter to an outside spigot to get the water back on. Water flow is about as good as it was before. I expect that 3/4" PEX is plenty, but the extra cost of 1" is noise level compared to the cost of trenching or pulling it. The downside is that it's harder to find fittings and tools are more costly. It chaps me to pay over $100 for a tool to crimp two connections. The expander tools are way more than that. And if it's like most other things in the world, by the time I need it again, the whole pipe system will be different...again...
The world seems well polarized on the sharkbite stuff. Some think it works good lasts a long time. Others, particularly those wishing to sell me their labor don't like it.

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They started reducing the meter outlet size to 3/4 on new connections here a number of years ago supposedly in the name of water conservation. You want a larger outlet you get to pay a surcharge.
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Sounds like another great lib idea. They think if by chance once a month someone happens to be flushing a toilet and running two sinks, while you're talking a shower and they make it so you get screwed while you're in there, it will lead to water conservation. More likely to lead to domestic violence, IMO.
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On 5/29/2013 3:10 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Practice is no biggie. Just wastes a foot of PEX and maybe a $3 connector if I screw up cutting off the previous attempt.
My fear about Sharkbite is bending or pulling. The pipe ain't all that flexible and will make a tight bend up from 24" to the house. That's gonna put side thrust on the joint. And when the dirt settles, it's gonna have some pull force on it. I've found bend supports for the 3/4" stuff but not for 1".
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As to size, all depends on your water pressure so no-one can say. 3/4" is normally big enough unless your water pressure is very low. Also the plastic pipe doesn't crud up like steel. If the ground is soft, the normal practice is to lay the pipe wavy from one side of the trench to the other. Also backfill the trench with 6" of sand around the pipe. So there is some"slack" to take up if the ground moves.
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I replaced my old service line years ago years ago with 3/4 inch glued PVC. I stiff armed it to the water meter. Enough is enough when it comes to things like this. If this old place catches on fire a 6 inch fire hydrant in the front yard wouldn't save it. We worry about enough water then the code calls for water savings devices. The deposits caused by hard water that can build up in pipes is rather interesting. http://inspectapedia.com/water/Water_Pipe_Clog_Repair_Guide.htm You might look at some old water bills to determine your daily usage and try to calculate your peak flow and work back from there. The best plumbing improvements I've made .. putting in a straight shot for the hot water to the kitchen sink, and a big tank toilet. Damn I got tired of waiting for hot water and having to flush twice or three times.
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I just repiped from the pump to the pressure tank in my house using Pex and got all my supplies from Pex Universe. http://www.pexuniverse.com/ (no connection with them, except I send them money and they send me stuff) They had a good selection of fittings and the prices were better than most. The quality of the fittings was also very good with well made threads on the NPT parts of fittings.
I will confess to buying a crimping tool kit as I plan on using it in the future. I took a look at that expander and the clich systems and had money concerns about the former and read about some cracking issues with the latter. I cannot comment on the Sharkbites as my only experience with them is emergency repairs on copper connections, but they did fine in that application.
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Many years ago I had to replace a water line that ran down the side of a hill to a mobile home:( Digging was horrible 150 feet of ROCK:( the line had to be relocated because the hill was moving.
So I ran the copper line inside of a plastic PVC sewer pipe, figuring it would be protected and very easy to replace......
The OP should go with one inch PEX inside of sewer pipe, to protect the plastic pipe and prevent a future big dig
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mike wrote:

I think that, given the choice, I would go with the 1" instead of 3/4". Like you said, it is only a one time cost and the difference isn't all that much compared to the whole job.
As others suggested, it may be a good idea to go to a plumbing supply place near you (such as a Ferguson's etc. or whatever is near you). They will have the selection of Sharkbite fittings you need if that is an issue.
You can definitely rent a PEX crimping or clamping tool at places like Home Depot.
Around here, hardly anyone stocks or uses Uponor (was Wirsbo) PEX, but they do carry it at Ferguson's. My understanding is that it is used a lot in other parts of the country, and everything I have read about it makes me want to use it -- except that the expander tool is expensive (I don't know the rental cost). If you watch the Uponor YouTube videos, it looks like an interesting product. I do think that Uponor PEX costs more than other brand PEX products, and only Uponor can be use the expander system. One feature of the Uponor PEX is that the fittings have the same inside diameter as the PEX tubing itself -- so the water flow is not constricted at the fittings like it is with other PEX products. They show that on some of their videos.
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Or he could just forget the special tools, forget the PEX and use 1" poly which is cheap, less than 3/4" PEX and has been used here for decades. But apparently he doesn't want to consider that......
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On 5/31/2013 10:58 AM, TomR wrote:

Turns out there's a Furgeson's a mile from here. Got two pieces of advice from them: Don't bury sharkbite connectors. All the PEX they sell is pretty much the same as you get at home depot.

After consideration, I plunked down the $90 for the pex crimper tool. I feel better about having a good outcome. And there's lots more spring in my step, because my wallet is a lot lighter. ;-)

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mike wrote:

Well, I wonder what they mean by that. I am pretty sure though that, while "PEX is PEX", the PEX that can be installed using the expansion method is made using a special different process which is partly why it may be priced a little higher. And, I think (but I don't know for sure) that only Uponor makes that type of PEX (that can be installed using the expansion method). I think Uponor calls that "AquaPEX" (their brand name), and I think that type of PEX is called PEX-a. PEX-a is made with one type of process, while "regular" PEX (which is actually PEX-b) which is a different process.
"Regular" PEX -- meaning "PEX-b", the PEX that they sell at Home Depot, Lowes, and lots of other places (including plumbing supply places like Ferguson's) -- cannot be installed using the expansion method that can be used with Uponor PEX.
Uponor AquaPEX (which is PEX-a) can be installed with the same fittings and using either a crimping or clamping method that can be used with any other PEX tubing (including PEX-b). The difference is that Uponor AquaPEX can also be installed using an expander system and using Uponor ProPEX fittings.
Since the Ferguson's near you said, "All the PEX they sell is pretty much the same as you get at home depot.", I wonder if that means that they do not sell Uponor PEX that can be installed using the expansion method. That's fine, if that's what they mean. On my last check, the Ferguson's near me only stocks "regular" PEX which is pretty much the same as HD or Lowes PEX etc. They told me that is because not many people in my area use the Uponor PEX and the expansion installation method. But, they do sell Uponor PEX which uses the expansion method and they can have delivered to their location from their warehouse the next day for pickup. Maybe your Ferguson's works the same way, and maybe that's what they meant.
I only mention this because, if you do the research, I think you'll find that all PEX is not the same -- most is, but the Uponor/expansion type is different and is the only one that can be installed using the expansion technique. The Uponor YouTube videos explain that and http://www.pexsupply.com/resources/videos has some videos on the same topic.

That sounds like a workable solution for what you want to do.
My comments on the Uponor AquaPEX stuff is not intended to suggest that you need to use that or that there is any problem with what you are planning on doing. I just wanted to pass on the info in general since there really are different types of PEX tubing that are used for regular plumbing (PEX-a and PEX-b, for example). I think the Ferguson's near you would confirm that if you ask them in detail, but they probably only deal with and stock mostly the "regular" PEX-b product that is similar to what HD and Lowes etc. sells.
And, just for the record, as the http://www.pexsupply.com/resources/videos videos show, there are also different types of PEX for different applications such as for baseboard heating systems, etc.
Good luck in your project. Let us know how it works out.
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