PEX Tubing For Home Usage; Basic Questions On ?

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krw wrote:

Ok, so you don't know much about PEX and the fact that it was becoming popular over copper even when it was more expensive due to much faster and easier installation and fewer joints to potentially leak.
You also don't know much about copper since you have the grades backwards. Type "M" is the thinnest wall and cheapest, type "L" is a medium wall thickness and type "K" is the heaviest wall thickness and the most expensive. Type "K" is rarely found outside of commercial installations.
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wrote:

That makes it better for the professional installer, not me.

No, I'm not a plumber. I only do it on the weekends and hate every minute of it. That doesn't change the fact that I'd never use PEX, if I had a choice.
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Welcome to my world <ggg>. Around here, you can't use the thinner stuff inside of walls, but it's approved for areas like basements where you can easily access it. If you compare them, you find the L is much thicker than the M, and unfortunately much more expensive.
The nice thing about running all of this copper everywhere is that I'll have died of old age before it needs any maintenance :)
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Cheaper as defined by material AND installation cost. It also has the benefit of being somewhat freeze resistant.
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Added some fixtures using PEX, cheap, easy to work with:) no downsides at all.
And since mine MIGHT FREEZE its nice to know its freeze resistant
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On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 06:28:22 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

In another thread someone had a pipe break under a slab. Never found out if they used PEX, up an through the attic.
PEX is easy to transition to copper, CPVC and poly type pipes.
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Pex is extremely fast to install on new construction. That's it's main selling point. Labor is about the most expensive part that goes into a new home.
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Sharkbite connectors are horribly overpriced/expensive. I considered PEX until I found out how much the connectors cost. If you can find an inexpensive way to join PEX tubing, it will be much more cost effective. You can get connector kits and make your own, but I don't know how much those cost per connector.

Copper. One main reason - I don't trust the PEX connection process. The push on connectors use rubber o-rings to make a seal. Know what rubber o- rings do after 20 years? Yeah - they leak. The clamp fittings clamp the pex to pipe, but again you are clamping flexible pex to pipe, and it's going to leak sooner or later. My copper job will be in this house working flawlessly when I've died of old age. An equivalent PEX installation will be leaking like a sieve by then.
I may be wrong, but I've seen a lot of clamped pipes and o-rings in my time, and they all leak sooner or later. Until they come up with a inexpensive PEX connector that will last 50 years, I won't use it anyplace that I can't get to it quickly and easily for maintenance. Keep that in mind before you seal PEX into a wall - when it leaks, you will have to tear the wall out, and if that happens you will wish you had used copper (at least I wished they had used copper - I would not have had the broken platic pipe to start with). My neighbor is likewise cursing cpvc - he had a similar experience a while ago with breaking cpvc in a wall.
I also admit to some bias against plastics in general. I just spent a week ripping out cpvc and replacing it with copper. We had a pipe break inside of a wall and it made quite a mess. I'm not sure why it broke nor how durable the cpvc is supposed to be, but I do know I'm not the only one around here with broken cpvc, and I also know my copper job will be there for many years without leaks.
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PEX isnt usually installed using Sharkbite connectors.
Jimmie
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How do they install it on a commercial or large job? I'm guessing they make their own connections and that these connections are much cheaper then sharkbites?
I actually have a half dozen sharkbites. I used them to cap pipes so I still had water to half the house while I was working on the plumbing - I found them to be *very* handy for this. Pop them on, pipe sealed. Pop them right off when done. Then when I went to pressure test my work, grab a sharkbite cap and pop it on, test my pipes, pop it right off when done. They are very usefull in the right place :-)
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Zootal wrote:

There are several different connection types used for PEX connections depending on the manufacturer and none of those standard connections are like the "Sharkbite" ones. There are a couple varieties of crimp connections and at least one type that uses an expansion tool to briefly expand the PEX to fit over the connection and the PEX then contracts solidly over it. All have been in use for a number of years now with no apparent issues.
On the subject of the "Sharkbite" style connectors, they are essentially the same as the push lock connectors that have been used in both industrial automation pneumatics as well as in heavy truck air brake systems for many years with no apparent issues there either. As long as they are made with proper QC and proper material selection, there is no reason that they should not outlast the life of the tubing itself.
On the tubing life subject, I will note that in hard water areas copper pipe / tube will have a much shorter life span than PEX.
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It is becoming popular in new construction for its ease of installation...

It is usually less expensive than copper piping... The advantage to using PEX piping is that rather than routing pipes starting in one place in your home and going from fixture to fixture (which can have water traveling quite far through your entire home to get to the last fixture on your pipes) PEX piping is installed in a "home run" configuration with each fixture location getting its own PEX pipe run to it from the central distribution manifold... What this means is that there are NO additional connections/joints in the walls of your home piped with PEX, only the one at the manifold and the one at the pipe stub for the shutoff at the fixture location... When something leaks and the shutoff under your sink or toilet won't hold, with PEX you can shut off only that one fixture compared to having to shut off the water in your entire house with a typical copper pipe installation...

Yes... Since PEX has been used for years in underfloor heating systems it is fine for hot water... The standard has become blue PEX tubing for cold and red PEX tubing for hot water...

Why not use it in your home... Think of it as a "structured plumbing system" with superior performance to the copper piping it has replaced... With a PEX plumbed house you don't have to wait for hot water to go through all of the pipes in your house to get to a distant fixture, as each fixture is basically on its own pipe...
If a leak ever happens you have the ability with PEX to shutoff ONLY the affected line, with copper piping it is usually ALL or NONE as far as shutting off the water flow...

See above comments...

~~ Evan
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On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 22:12:49 -0800 (PST), Evan

That makes me laugh a bit.
Standing at the counter one day, telling the man I needed "red and blue" PEX. He said he didn't have any red PEX. I was a PEX virgin.
A plumber guy at the end of the counter said to use white. Smacked myself in the forehead. I extended both hot and cold five foot with white lines (remember hot/cold sides).
It don't have to be red or blue.. white will do.
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wrote:

That *is* pretty funny. Did you mutter *Doh!* when you smacked yourself?
Thanks for the a.m. chuckle.
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Oren wrote:

Did you remember to put a bit of red electrical tape around the hot water feed so the chap coming behind you wouldn't get scalded?
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That red/blue PEX tubing convention is more of a way of idiot proofing installation... Rather than pulling each tube individually, you would pull both at once...
It helps for later, when all the walls are closed in to be sure that what you think is the hot feed is really the hot feed and that the pair of tubes hasn't gotten twisted up and swapped somewhere along its route from manifold to fixture stub...
But if you want to use a bunch of white tubes, go nuts, using PEX for water supply is not like doing heating loops, as hot must feed hot and cold must feed cold... If you confuse one end of a heating loop for the other it still forms a closed loop under the floor... If you connect the wrong PEX tube to the wrong manifold because they are poorly labeled or you can't tell which one is the left one or right one up at the fixture when you are down in the basement at the water manifold hooking it up, that is why people use red PEX for hot and blue PEX for cold...
~~ Evan
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If you got the tools and skills, go for it (PEX). I stick to copper/soldering or braided hoses/compression fittings for just about everything. Copper lasts and the choice for inside walls.
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