I am continuing to gather info for the new house,this time
concerning plumbing. I had been thinking about the Manablock
system,basically a plastic(PVC) manifold known as a "home run" system
in which there are seperate shut off valves for every outlet and, I
assume, fixture. The piping is flexible Pex tubing,which seems like a
good idea,but the Manablock sys. seems to use a whole bunch of
I spoke with a guy from a plumbing supply place today who said that
many plumbers today are using the Wirsbo system which utilizes 3/4"
trunk lines to smaller manifolds that I assume are located close to
the areas they will supply,branching off into 1/2" or 3/8" tubing to
supply the end fixture.
Does anybody have experience w/ these systems,or can you lead me to
a resource for more info,perhaps a newsgroup such as this(I looked but
didn't find a plumbing newsgroup) Thanks again for the info.
Thanks for the link;lotsa good info. I am now thinking of going with
the Uponor/Wisbro system and a trunk and branch config. Uses less
pipe,better fittings and warranty,and it seems to me one would want
shut off valves near the fixture (as opposed to a home run sys) should
a leak or problem occur. Appreciate the info man.
My home run systems have manifold shutoffs AND fixture angle stops.
In a home run system the PEX is continuous from manifold to angle
I used the Pro-PEX brass fittings..hard to beat those.
Gotta have fixture angle stops....manifold shutoffs are a nice extra
branch and main system has a lot more fittings & connections
Home run only has a connection at the manifold & the angle stops. My
2 bath, kitchen & laundry only had 32 "expansions"
A branch & main will have a lot more and they're be all over the
place. Branch & main hot water waits are longer & flow variations can
I have a Manablock system. The home is 11 years old and not a single
problem so far. No leaks/breaks, etc..
Here is enough information to keep you busy awhile (*.pdf library).
I'm an mechanical engineer & avid DIY'r (personally restored a couple
The "best" PEX layout / installation depends on:
the design of the house (ex. ranch vs 2 story; "small" 1 or 3 bath
vs 4 or more),
location of the water usage points,
type of construction (slab, raised foundation)
local climate; temperature swings
I've done two home run systems (design & installation)
I've done one "remote" manifold system w/ hot water loop (design only)
those plastic "maniblocs" look enticing price wise (the copper
manifold with shut off are really pricey but I've used them both
I think you'd be very hard pressed to build a copper manifold cheaper
than buying one
From your second paragragh sounds like you're on the right track.
the wirbso site has some design manuals to down load
One bit of advice....when building a home run system, even with remote
manifolds, smaller fixture supply tubes from manifold to fixture will
minimze hot water wait times.
I use 1/2" from manifold to fixtures everywhere, no flow problems &
short wait times
Bite the bullet & go copper manifolds w/ shutoffs...you'll be happier
I recommend the cold expansion with PEX reinforcing rings rather than
the crimp ring systems. I also recommend the brass Pro-Pex fittings.
I got all my stuff online at pexsupply.com (was before locally
available at plumbing supply houses)
you can rent a hand expander or buy one on Ebay & flip it
the design guide that Rico suggests is awesome......a lot of info in
1.>... manifold known as a "home run" system 2.>..Wirsbo system which utilizes 3/4" trunk lines to smaller manifolds that
I assume are located close to
Have #1 PEX system in our current house except the manifold is copper and
doesnt have the shut off valves on each run. We have stops in the various
cupboards for each fixture. We have one 50 gal Water heater, The pipe is
all 1/2" pex, it works fine..can't say I have any complaints.
We had the #2 system in our former house in AZ. The home was 120' "long"
and had some LONG plumbing runs. The plumber that put the system in had a
lot of experience with Wirsbo pex and recommended it highly. We had a 1
1/4" service after a 3/4" meter. From the 1 1/4, it dropped to 1' pex,then
3/4 then 1/2.
NO 3/8 pex, a few of the risers to the faucets were 3/8 though. That system
worked great too. We had TWO 40 gal water heaters, I can't say one system
seemed any better (or worse) than the other.
I'd either system again.
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