Copper pipe epoxy relining opinions - does anyone have actual experience?

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Our copper pipes are developing pinhole leaks - usual story. Got epoxy relining estimates from the big names - Ace DuraFlo, NuFlow, CuraFlo. They are similarly priced +/- 10% of each other. I understand why, when done well, this process would solve the problem with minimal hassle. Here's the issue. They show a small piece of copper, perfectly coated in lab conditions with a smooth, thin epoxy layer and explain that's "more or less" what my pipes will look like when they're done. The rub is - nobody can't tell because you don't actually open the relined pipes to look inside. Today a plumber came in for an unrelated issue and I asked him about this epoxy relining. He said "give me a minute", ran to his car and brought back a piece of copper pipe relined with white epoxy. It looked quite bad inside. The white epoxy filled ~1/2 the pipe, probably the bottom half of a horizontal line. The upper half of the pipe was coated with ~1/16" thick material. All of it was wavy, nothing smooth there. The end result: epoxy reduced the original 3/4" pipe to an effective 1/2" or so. The guy said a lady paid Ace Duraflo quite a bit to have her house epoxy-relined and then was fed up with the problem and paid the plumbers to yank it all out and reline the entire house with brand new copper. They kept samples to show around.
This may be reality or it may be non-typical. Before spending 9-10K on our house, we thought we would look for actual opinions on the forum. Did you have your copper pipes epoxy-relined? By whom? Can you share your experience with us?
Thanks GS
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Replace with PEX, costs less, one line to each fixture, no connections in walls etc
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Thanks for the advice but for now I'm looking for specific (good or bad) testimonials from people who had their copper pipes epoxy- relined.
GS
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Epoxy lined? Yea look hard, look long, unless your warranty is iron clad for years of cost, even then will they be in business in x years? , doubtfull.
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Why on earth are you so stubbornly intent on wasting money? You've already had one qualified opinion that the relining process is prone to problems. Consider the physical facts of the process: To fully coat the pipe interior it must be totally filled with polymer mixture, then drained. If you believe that drainage will occur properly on an uphill run, you are dreaming. Faucets and valves must be removed to avoid damage, of course. After draining, the mixture needs substantial time to cure properly despite claims to the contrary. All things considered, epoxy relining may be a reasonable fix for a simple street to meter line to the house, if you are prepared to accept reduced water flow rates. The idea of decision making based on testimonials (opinions) of people with no real data on problems like flow rates is absurd. The facts are: you have corrosive water. Your plumbing needs to be substantially resistant to corrosion. CPVC and Pex systems have many years service in such conditions. Get past the denial, get some quotes, pick the best company and have them do the job. You'll save money and add value to your property. HTH
Joe
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Guys, I really appreciate your insight and advice extolling the virtues of PEX. It is a logical option IF I wanted to redo the entire water system. I'm not at that point yet. I believe yanking out all existing copper pipes and replacing with PEX involves opening walls and a fairly big mess [true? false?]. Just trying to get the facts straight. Before I trash the epoxy relining idea, I'd really like to hear from people who had it done and are now living with it. Always worth listening to both sides. Maybe that one Ace Duraflo job was done by an incompetent crew, leading to the unusable system. Maybe they did it right and that's the best this process can deliver. I don't know. Which is why I'm asking for some reliable, i.e. first hand, information. Hope someone can share their own experience.
Regards GS
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Gershon wrote:

But you'll spend at least half as much on a half-baked, cockamamie idea and end up redoing the house anyway?
Makes sense to me...
--
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So far I have exactly one data point about one house that was redone. I'm looking for more data points to see whether there is a trend. Opinions about the pros and cons do have value - yet they are just that, opinions. First hand experience carries more weight in my book. I'm not trying to defend epoxy relining. Just trying to collect real information about it. Do most customers love the result? Do most customers hate the result? Etc.
Regards GS
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Gershon wrote: ...

1 for 1 is a trend... :)
And you've a piece of the material to inspect firsthand; what more do you expect?
Other stuff to consider...
http://www.pprc.org/research/epp/EpoxyPipeCoating.pdf
One process only has 10-yr warranty; how old are the pipes in the house at present for comparison?
Cost estimates in most references I've run across are roughly equivalent to replacement _INCLUDING_ repair of finished surfaces unless very upgraded treatments were used.
In addition, the DuraFlo site says if they find a leak while doing the job they repair the section, anyway.
--
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I see they tortured some rabbits and rats to get this data. Yes, forcing them to ingest huge amounts of Triethylenetetramine as well as holding the eyes open and flooding them with it is torture. I hope the crap hoses up everyone's pipes they use it on and they go broke.

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Well, if I asked for testimonials on the thrill of burning your own $20 bills and got no responses, isn't that a data point(s)?
Two points makes a line. Three points makes a trend.
Data point one - You asked the plumber and he said No F'n Way. Data point two - You asked here and got no testimonials. Msg could be           no one is stupid enough to TRY something at that cost. Data point three: - TBD?
Personally, I never heard of this epoxy thing but I'm not overly plumbing savy. Suppose you want to make a change. add-on, replace a leaky valve, etc at a later time. I would think if you put a torch to these lined pipes the goop inside the pipe would just melt and ball up someplace causing further restriction. Maybe everything has to be compression in the future?
Another thought is what if you ever sell. This an item that must be disclosed I wonder? Even if an RE person said no, I know if I bought a place, had some plumbing-101 work done and it blocked up the pipes because it was gooped up inside, I'd think lawyer at that cost of remedy. Residential lined pipes as a "patch" is highly unconventional and out of profile IMHO.
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I think such is the nature of all new technologies. Some references they advertise for this process (I may actually call them...) - http://www.fixmypipes.com/casestudies/singlefamily.html - http://www.fixmypipes.com/casestudies/schools.html

The lifetime warranty they provide can transfer to the new owner. As an improvement ["guaranteed no leaks"], it may help sell the house. Of course, assuming it works well enough for me, for a few good years...
Regards GS
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So far I have exactly one data point about one house that was redone. I'm looking for more data points to see whether there is a trend. Opinions about the pros and cons do have value - yet they are just that, opinions. First hand experience carries more weight in my book. I'm not trying to defend epoxy relining. Just trying to collect real information about it. Do most customers love the result? Do most customers hate the result? Etc.
Regards GS
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So far I have exactly one data point about one house that was redone. I'm looking for more data points to see whether there is a trend. Opinions about the pros and cons do have value - yet they are just that, opinions. First hand experience carries more weight in my book. I'm not trying to defend epoxy relining. Just trying to collect real information about it. Do most customers love the result? Do most customers hate the result? Etc.
Regards GS
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Gershon wrote:

Hmmm, Most thinking customers don't do stuff like that. Sounds like you are trying to justify your intention. Similar thing on the market, the bathtub reglazing. It does not last and custmoers did not like the result ending up replacing the tub.
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My only intention is to end up with a better system at the minimum cost and hassle.The system was originally galvanized metal, previous owners redid everything in copper about 25 years ago. One 15-foot pipe in the attic is giving me headaches, pinhole leaks every year or two. For ~$100 I can replace it myself with type K copper [I now, may be overkill but I don't want to worry about it for many years]. Thing is, I'm convinced there may be other weak spots = surprises I'd rather avoid. So now we're talking about a 9K-10K job [I have a big house]. My options include epoxy relining [least mess, no opening any wall, etc], redo the entire thing with copper, redo it with PEX, maybe others. Copper & PEX means ripping walls open, big mess, longer time with no water, etc etc. Which is why I'm trying to get objective (= first hand) opinions.
Regards GS
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Metal pipe looses heat, cpvc and a foam wrap is 14x more insulating than copper. Plastics will save energy.
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Gershon wrote:
...

How is filling a failing piece of pipe w/ some crap and hoping it doesn't develop a leak at the equivalent cost "better" or even "minimum" cost? Simple answer is -- it isn't either.
I'll again note the length of the warranty on the epoxy coating is less than half the age of the system you have now--that tell you anything?
Third-party evaluations I found indicated replacement cost _including_ the interior repair were equivalent to the lining process cost as well.
Still seems a no-brainer to me...imo you're asking for the magic bullet and equivalent of the free lunch and there just ain't no such thing...
--
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replying to dpb, Lupe Hernandez wrote:

So to be fair about warranties a copper repipe is guaranteed for 1 year dura flow 10 years.
I have welded galvanized pipe getting pinhole leaks a friend had his house done with the dura flow
5 years ago and is pleased with the result. I am on the fence there is a 5 month waiting list for
E pipe jobs around here lots of folks are getting it in a few years good feedback should be available
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On Sunday, July 13, 2014 12:44:02 PM UTC-4, Lupe Hernandez wrote:

DO NOT COAT GALVANIZED PIPES! You cant:(
Since the insides of galvanized pipe are nearly always filled with rust:( To the point it restricts water flow greatly.....
Now repiping copper is a lot of work but because of freezing weather I redid a bunch of split copper lines for a realtive. Quick easy and cheap:) Although I want to buy one of those expander tools for PEX. This will cut the costs of fittings dramatically:)
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