Galvanized Pipe

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I plan to replace a good portion of galvanized Pipe with PEX. I've read a few articles on the subject, and it looks fairly straight forward... unscrew the old pipe, put on a threaded plastic connector and attach PEX to it.
How likely is it that my 1965 built house's pipes will break under me trying to unscrew them? If one breaks I'll have to buy a set of dies and rethread the darned thing, and I really don't want to do that.
Also, is this a job a fella can really do himself? Or should I just pay the $2,000 to have a plumber do it?
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On 21 Dec 2006 08:20:54 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

A lot depends on the condition of the pipe. If you are replacing it all you only really care about the first joint. One tip. At that joint make sure the plastic is the male and the metal a female, perhaps even a brass/bronze connector. If you thread steel into plastic it will split the plastic after a while.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Last month we replaced all the piping in my son's old house with PEX. We went from the water meter to the last hose bib. Required a day to dig a 70 foot trench from the water meter to the house, and another day to run the pipe and fittings. Total cost was under $500, but that was because he had cheap access to the crimp tools (borrowed over the weekend from a plumber friend). He had complete access from under the house, so it was fairly easy. The crimper is going to be your biggest single expense. Suggestions - run 3/4 PEX as much as you can, you will appreciate the flow. Second, if you're going to do it, replace it all at once, the effort involved will keep you from ever wanting to do it again.
--
Grandpa

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and another day to run the pipe and fittings.
Wow, just one day? I re-pipe mine with copper and it took a few days with just one guy. Did you open up the walls to get to the showers, tubs, sink fixtures and hot water heater too?
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# Fred # wrote:

Was way too lucky on that. Deep crawl space under the house made access easy. Pulled the old galvanized out and used the sill plate holes to run the PEX in. Existing access doors for behind the tub, lavatory and commode meant we didn't have to open up a single wall.
--
Grandpa

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Grandpa wrote:

..
Not a bad suggestion, but if you can do it, I suggest running all runs as home runs to a manifold in the basement. You can use the smaller inch and since you will not be sharing, it should give good volume and pressure and the hot water will not need to run as long. Any maintenance work will allow you to shut down just one run at a time.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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wrote:

Manifold?
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

Every application will be different, but a manifold may lend itself to ease of routing. We put quarter turn ball valves at every fixture for maintenance work.
Question - in all that talk about using water pipes for grounding, someone mentioned bonding the water heater inlet and outlet pipes together. If you're 100% PEX from the water meter, would that be necessary?
--
Grandpa

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No, as you can't ground PEX but make sure the electrical panels are grounded.
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Grandpa wrote:

No, you don't use water pipes for grounding, you ground the water pipes. A subtle, but important difference.
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In an older house it is possible that the water pipes were used for the ground and that the pipes are in fact still the one and only ground on the premises. If that is the case it will be necessary to install a code-approved ground when replacing the pipes
--
Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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Thanks for the responses fellas.
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Yes pay attention to that. There are lots of houses with plenty of gotchas like that, espcially ones built in the 50's and 60's where grounding was first becoming standard and desirable. My house was a virtual deathtrap of grounds to water pipes - when the actual grounding was installed every and all grounds unaccounted for were clipped by the electrican so as to rule out fault loops and shock hazards.
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I have fiberglass insulation in my crawl space, should I use copper as I would have to sweat most of the joints very near the fiberglass?
Fiberglass, I'm sure isn't flammable, just not sure if it's a good idea.
Copper is $7 for 1/2" x 8ft at home depot here in Kansas! PEX is 50ft x 1/2" for $25 here, and the tool is a rental for $10 a day at my local hardware store.
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Use what suits the job best. Sweating the joint is simple enough. Just put a small piece of drywall between the joint and the fiberglass to hold it away.
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WHERE in Kansas is copper that cheap?? Also, it doesn't come in 8' sections.
--
Steve Barker



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I apologize, Steve's right....
http://contractorservices.homedepot.com/StoreProducts/ProductInfo.aspx?cid9003&pida97243-86e8-41a3-bf23-8fe8d72013db
it's 10 bucks for 1/2" copper M grade here, and it's 10 feet long.
That's $1 per foot or so for grade M, 1/2" copper. 3/4" pex is about $50 at HomeDepot for 100 feet.... easier to install, cheaper and you don't even have to have a truck to get it home.
And I only risk flooding my house by being a moron, rather than burning it down by trying to sweat all those pipes.
Thanks guys, I know what to do now.
Steve Barker LT wrote:

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Plus run the plex to a manifold distribution center, with ball valves on each line
this way you can easily isolate any fixture at any time and have no hidden Ts etc in walls. think of it as a control paNEL FOR WATER
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My mother-in-law recently asked me to take a look at their leaky kitchen faucet. I figured it would be a simple gasket or valve replacement.
Turns out the faucet spout was corroded and the part was no longer available (or at least too difficult to find locally). It was a wall mount faucet which also turned out to be difficult to find (at a reasonable price). I thought I had gotten lucky when I found a replacement in the back of a bin at the local home center, and rushed back to my in-laws to install it.
Unfortunately, when I went to unscrew the faucet, the pipe in the wall twisted off instead.
So I bought a special tool to try to remove the pipe from the next fitting. No go, it just crumbled until the fitting was destroyed also.
Figured I'd try to remove that fitting and replace, but it busted off inside the wall.
I decided to just replace the vertical pipes running in the wall with new ones to the basement. So, I started removing pipes and fittings. It seemed like every fitting I went to remove cracked or crumbled in my hands. The final 10 foot section of pipe split lengthwise down the entire length! I thought to myself "You've got to be kidding!" :) By the time I was done, there was only 5 feet of the original plumbing left. So, I decided to just replumb the house since the majority of it was already out.
Of course, the old faucet mounted to rigid galvanized pipes, and the new CPVC piping wouldn't support the faucet. And there was no way to install bracing without tearing into the wall. I certainly didn't want to go there after everything that had happened so far. :)
In the end, I decided to replace the kitchen sink with one I could mount a standard deck mount kitchen faucet to.
So, the moral of this story is hope for something simple, but expect the worst. In my case, a leaky faucet turned into a complete replumbing job. My in-laws have a new sink and faucet and much better plumbing now, but it wasn't the project I had been planning for.
If the pipe joints look rusted like they've been dripping water, or you see any signs along the pipes of pinhole drips, expect the pipes to break. :)
Anthony
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Having watched a friend do this, I believe the odds are related to two things:
- How soon you have guests coming to dinner.
- Whether someone in the house is in a nasty mood for regularly occurring biological reasons.
Beware.
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