I am building a new house and thinking of using PEX. I understand how
to distribute it throughout the house, but how do you attach it to the
water meter? I am not using a manifold but will branch it through out
Do you bring the 3/4 PVC from the meter into the house and hook up
there or can you bury the PEX to the meter?
Thanks for any info..
I realize that PVC and PEX are different, it just that I am using this
for the first time and wasnt sure how most people did it. I have 3/4
PVC from the meter to the chase going through my slab. Would I make
the connection in the attic? Or do people run PEX all the way to the
meter? This house in the South with Slab foundation and no basement.
I think most people here are not familiar with construction in climates
where the ground never freezes.
You have an inspection panel behind your bathtub or shower mixing valve,
right? Can you put a little manifold at each bathroom behind that panel
to reduce the number of long runs? Then another near the water softener
or water heater or wherever to supply the utility room and kitchen.
What kind of connectors are you planning on using? Those crimping tools
are expensive, but maybe you only need two. There's also at least one
crimpless PEX system.
I'm just curious. Why do people spend the money for the tools to use
those crimps? Then you cant take them apart when needed. Why not
just use hose clamps. Hose clamps are inexpensive and can be easily
removed. The tools and crimps might be cost effective for plumbers,
but not for a homeowner wanting to do his own plumbing.
I personally would not use any plastic types of pipes in my house, for
permanent water supply plumbing, but I am probably just old fashioned.
I use copper only. But it seems this PEX is the latest fad in
plumbing, so I thought I'd ask.
Another question. I like PVC for drainage pipes. Is that also being
replaced with PEX?
I like soldered "L" copper pipe for supply lines and PVC for drain
lines. But I'm starting to investigate PEX.
I think PEX is catching on because it installs so fast for large jobs.
Plumbers can pipe a whole house in an hour or two and then charge you
for a whole day labor. With copper, they would have to actually *work*
the whole day.
BTW, if you use hose clamps, make sure all the joints are easily
accessible. Don't bury a hose-clamped joint in a floor or wall, just in
case it leaks.
use crimp fittings, there are quick connects that do a perfectly adequate
That new fangled PEX has only been around for about 40 year' - dang newcomer
on the block ruinin' the whole neighborhood.
PEX has been around in one form or another for about 40 years or so. Its
used in Europe, to what extent I don't know, but it's more than here in
America. As to its durability and longevity, to be honest no one really
wants to say and be the first to be proven wrong. There's nothing wrong
with copper fittings, I plan to use them to interface between my meter and
my house - simply because copper is rigid and proven lasting and secure.
But I'm sure people use it to the meter as well.
I've never seen PEX in any size above 1", so I doubt it will replace
drainage. It's primary strength seems to be that it's cheap, easy to
manufacture, and readily adaptable to common fittings. But it may not be so
readily available in larger diameters due to problems manufacturing or a
simple lack of need. It may also not be durable when subjected to chemicals
or wastes. When dealing with water or ethelyne glycol it may be just fine -
but urine, feces, bleach, and whatever it is you pour down the drain it may
Hose clams can be problematic also. I've seen many a hose break right at
Not a fad by any means. People are finally waking up that this 40 year old
material is reliable and h as many advantages over copper. There are many
new maerials for building that are far superior than old methods, but many
of us like the traditional stuff. If I was building a house tomorrow, it
would be from foam and concrete, like www.integraspec.com and save a bundle
of money. Yes, it would have pex plumbing.
Check out the house about 2/3rd down on this page
Not yet as pex is only in smaller sizes now. PVC works well because it is
not subject to the pressures a feed system has.
Why would it break by a hose clamp and not the crimps? I have not
actually looked closely at the crimps, so I am not sure what is
different. Actually, in my area I have only seen PEX used in trailer
Being older, I guess I tend toward the traditional, although there are
exceptions. For example, I'd never use steel pipe for drains. I have
unclogged far too many. I know PVC is better. But for supply water,
I dont even like PVC, because it sags. I like something rigid that I
dont have to worry about the place flooding when I leave for a week,
and I like a neat look to my plumbing, which I cant see with anything
that sags. I'll be honest and say I know little about PEX, but
plastics never seem to last long. Like the older lawnmowers had a
metal cover over the air filter. They outlived the mower. My last
mower had a plastic cover that always fell off, eventually cracked
which made it fall off more often. It finally got chopped up when it
went under the blade. This is just one of many examples I could give.
My opinions of plastics in general are they are cheap, short lived,
and weak. I still have some of my old childrens toy trucks from the
50's and they are still like new, aside from the paint scratches. Buy
a kids plastic toy today and they'll be junk in a year or less. I'd
rather spend more to get metal items, but most things are not made in
If PEX was around for 40 years, how come I never heard of it till
about a year ago? I even worked for a plumber for 7 or 8 years in
the 80's to 90's. Like I said, I saw some of it in trailer houses,
never really questioned what it was. I just figured it was some of
the "junk" they use in trailer houses, which is generally only seen in
trailers. To me, stuff like that is temporary. It's like using a
garden hose for plumbing. When I worked as a plumber, I would often
run a garden hose from another nearby house to the one I plumbed, so
there was water. I just hooked it to a spigot screwed or sweated into
the main supply. This was only for a few days or a week.
I'll take a look.
Agreed for drainage. For supply pipes, I dont care for it. I
actually put a small amount in my own home, and just in an exposed
place in the basement. I just did it because I got it for free and
wanted to test it out, but when I go away, I shut off the two valves I
placed ahead of it. One of these days I plan to get rid of it. I just
dont trust it. 95% of my house has copper pipes. It's just those 15
feet or so thats PVC.
Take a look at a typical hose clamp. They are a thin metal that makes an
edge that is slightly depressed into the hose material. Vibration, water
hammer, temperature changes make the hose or tubing move ever so slightly
over a long time. With a wear point, it is possible to cut through the hose
at some point. This becomes more of a possibility if the clamp is not
positioned properly. The crimper eliminates that possibility.
Pex was originally used mostly in trailers because acceptance of change is
very slow in building. Europe has used it for many years.
Thanks for the info.
Is there a website with a clear photo of the clamps?
In my rural area, they dont even sell PEX.
I'd like to take a close look at the clamp just to learn about it.
I guess "once a plumber, always a plumber", even if I am retired.
Just a comment, but I wonder why they dont make a "screw clamp"
specifically for PEX. In other words, something similar to a hose
clamp. There are times when a person wants a pipe that can be taken
apart. A water heater is one such example. They need to be replaced
from time to time. and unless the place a union in the system, they
will have to cut the pipe, and crimp in a coupler. Do they make
unions for PEX ???
I like http://www.pexsupply.com/ foor tools, fittings & tubing
PEX connectors come in two flavors that I am aware of:
crimp type & expansion type
crimp type requires a crimp tool, a crimp ring, a compatible fitting &
go / no-go gage
expansion type needs an expander tool ($$$'), an external plastic ring
& compatible fittings
the expansion type system takes advantage of the PEX material shape
The expansion tools, hand, pneumatic or battery are pretty spendy
where the crimp tool is cheaper.
Online the expanders are ~$300, $600 w/ 1/2"head, $1200 w/o heads.
I opted for the hand expander kit w/ 1/2, 3/4, 1" expander heads
(cheapest)..... hard work but if you use the home run technique & don't
have a whole lot of fixtures you probably get away with fewer than 40
"expansions"; plus my plan was not to do all expansions in a single
day. I moved before I re-plumbed but this next house needs it as well.
The battery powered expander talks about 1 1/4" & 1 1/2" expander heads
so there must be large dia PEX available?
Exactly. But obviously no one seems to want to visit the site. Hint:
your problems with the water heater and unions can easily be solved --
in fact the whole crimping idea will go away -- with Qest compression
fittings. Again: Visit the site above!
What about using a "Flair-it Plus" coupling (NSF and Uniform Plumbing
Code certified for potable water, but I don't think they are IPC
approved yet) when you need a union and crimp connectors everywhere else?
You're probably gonna have to transition to metal pipe at the water
heater anyway, why not use bronze unions (and a gate or ball valve on
the cold side) on the metal stubs out the top of the heater?
Crimps seal a lot better than hose clamps and never need to be
retightened. The kind of screw hose clamps made of flat metal don't
seem to seal very evenly all around the hose because with my old Ford
they always leaked at one heater hose assembly, no matter how much I
tighten them, unless I first sealed the fitting with rubber cement.
OTOH spring clamps and screw clamps made of steel wire sealed it fine.
And for air conditioning, it seems that ever since cars switched to
non-ozone-depleting R-134a gas, crimped hose assemblies have been
needed to prevent excessive leakage, but old Freon R-12 systems could
be sealed adequately with just hose clamps and barbed fittings.
each sink, tub, dishwasher, clothes washer, outside faucets....??
A manifold GREATLY simplifies the installation as there are no branches,
each outlet gets full pressure and full flow. You simply plumb hot and
cold to the manifold. You then distribute equal lengths of PEX to each
Pex adapters are available to connect to PVC, Copper, steel pipe,
The reason being, and I could very well be wrong.. is the extra cost in
how much pipe is used. I just thought that with the extra cost of the
manifold and the extra pipe ( due to the fact that the same runs would
be made over and over ) would make the cost unessary high. What is
Robert Gammon wrote:
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