water pipes in new houses

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New to this forum so hope this is not OT. I visited the site of a new house I am interested in buying which hasn't been completed and was really surprised to see that there seemed to be "plastic" hoses for the water supply in the garage area where I would have suspected to see copper piping. I couldn't see what was used in the rest of the house but is this really what builders are using these days?? This was not some cheap cheap place but what was described as a 5 bed, 3 bath exec home. Anyone care to say if this is usual nowadays? I'm surpassed its even legal. Thanks Dave
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Yes. It can be used anywhere that copper can be, except for gas work. It is actually more expensive to buy than copper and is not just a cheap solution, although it is easier to install. Often, copper (or chromed) pipe is used when the pipes are visible, such as tap tails for pedestal basins, or radiator feeds.
In a garage, I'd much prefer plastic to copper due to its greater resistance to frost damage. In the house, I'm not bothered either way, as long as it isn't visible.
Christian.
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Yes perfectly legal and acceptable practice The construction industry is, contrary to popular belief, coming round to the 20th Century. (still a way to catch up to the 21st I know) What is the problem with plastic pipes? Probably people objected when galvanised barrel was used after the lead pipes that had been used since Roman times and when that new fangled copper came in you should have seen the riots.
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Mike Taylor wrote:

well in another 60 years we will probably find out :-)

Proper pipes are made of wood.

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to
He should just read the current threads on this Lego material.

A friend of mine went to work for the gas company in Sydney in Australia in the 1970s. Around the harbour bridge they still had bamboo pipes under the ground. he didn't have a clue on how to join it.
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I doubt he is alone.
Come'on tell us, how do you join them?
tim

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round
in
the
If my memory is right, I think he said using tar or some other similar stuff. he always ripped it out as far as he could.
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of
It will be plastic pipe. Developers use this on the first fix so that unskilled labour can fit it and the Tinkers don't steal it. The second fix is usually copper where the customer can see the pipes. It has advantages and disadvantages, mainly negative I'm afraid. See current thread on this. One poster had a catastrophic failure using this stuff.
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writes

See now here's a case in point John, *most* of the comments are positive and the catastrophic failure as you call it was caused by a manufacturing defect, try and be objective and you will start to be more credible, the first step to being cured is accepting that you have a problem, at least you're admitting that new builds are all using plastic pipe now so that's something 4/10
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David

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hasn't
have
rest
3
fix
advantages
this.
"all" new bulids? My, my.

I find it amazing!! A rank amateur is lecturing me. Amazing! Get therapy please. The NHS still do it free.
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writes

Yes like all house in Germany have flues going through the roof, if you can generalise so can I, so my, my yourself

I'll add rank amateur to the list, and as per usual you resort to this diatribe when you've lost the argument, that's what makes you so easy to spot through your various pseudonyms, you must really get a new act.
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David

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positive
more
therapy
And that you are. Please get a life.

No argument lost on my part my dear DIYer.
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Thanks to those who gave positive and helpful responses. Sadly, no thanks to those who tried to start a flame war. As a new comer to this newsgroup I was disappointed to see that such happenings, which often kill off newsgroups, are prevalent here. Anyway back to the topic... I still don't really understand the pros and cons of plastic over copper piping. For example: How do you join it and is it easier to join and repair than copper and are the joints more trust worthy over time or not? I guess an advantage would be that it might absorb acoustic noise better than cooper but what are the negatives. The deterioration of copper over time is well known but what about plastic carrying hot water over, say, 20 years. Better or worse or as I suspect not proven. This is the sort of factual information I was hoping to get and would be grateful to receive good advise on . Thanks again Dave

of
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David wrote:

Don't be too hard on IMM - he may be a troll, but he's *our* troll. He keeps other trolls away, and his responses/flame wars are so predictable they're like an old pair of slippers.

Plastic pros: # Can go round bends easily. This can cut down on the number of joins hugely. # Won't burst when it freezes.
Copper pros: # Cheap # Proven techology # Looks better

It's important not to confuse the advantages of plastic pipe with the advantages of pushfit connectors. Pushfit can be used on both plastic and copper pipe. But plastic pipe can only be joined using either pushfit or compression, whereas copper can also be soldered.
Most plastic installations will use pushfit. A lot of modern copper installations also use pushfit. Pushfit's advantages are that it's much quicker than soldering, and can be done by less skilled labour.
There's a large range of pushfit connectors avialable; plastic bodied, steel bodied and copper bodied. They all make use of rubber O rings for the seal. It is the life of this rubber O ring which is the main source of concern over the longevity of pushfit connectors.
Most reasonable people think that the life will be such that it won't matter - most houses get replumbed periodically anyway. About 30-40 years seems to be a reasonable assumption.

Not really an issue.

Not proven is the answer. But given how well LDPE lasts carrying mains water burried in soil (I dug up some 30 year old LDPE in very good condition a couple of years ago), I don't believe this is likely to be a problem.
Does that answer your questions?
--
Grunff


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Grunff, Thanks for a very comprehensive and helpful reply. You have restored my faith in this newsgroup. Dave

thanks to

was
newsgroups,
are
plastic
not
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David wrote:

Glad I could help.
I've gotta say, this group has one of the best signal/noise ratios I've seen in a newsgroup, in addition to some of the most knowledgeable and intelligent people around. I really don't know what I'd do without it.
--
Grunff


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Hi Grunff In removethis< you wrote:

I'll just chip in with my 2p. I've been reading and asking the occasional question for a few months now. Although the vast majority of discussions and posts have nothing I can put straight to use it's all being filed away for future reference, when I have a proper house.
Keep up the good work guys (and gals!)
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Agreed.
PoP
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On Sat, 25 Oct 2003 18:12:51 +0100, "David"

Manufacturers of plastic systems are guaranteeing against defects in manufacturing or materials for 50 years based on 20 years of actual operational experience and probably accelerated life testing.
e.g.
http://www.hepworthplumbing.co.uk/BiTitesguide03.html
Manufacturers of copper products do not seem to do that but probably because they do not feel a need to do so since the perception is that they will have a very long lifetime.
In neither case do the manufacturers guarantee against defective installation, and it is likely that this is the most common cause of failure in both cases.
Plastic is generally rather quicker to install and the flexibility of the pipe to bend through awkward places is helpful. It is more expensive to buy than copper products, but the time saved may well justify it.

It really depends on who you are and how adept you are. Plastic pipes are joined with couplers in the same way as copper pipes are.
With plastic, they are quick push fit fittings which require only the proper pipe cutter to do a good job.
With copper, you have the choice of soldered copper in either end feed (cheapest) or solder ring types; push fit or compression fittings.
For most people, learning to solder pipe fittings is not that difficult and once a few have been done it is reasonably quick. Most of the time is in cutting, bending and fitting the pipe. Compression fittings are easy to work with but cost rather more.
As to trustworthiness, all types of joints are in essence mechanical in nature, but implemented in different ways. The plastic system manufacturers will argue that properly installed and under normal operating conditions and with some margin, their fittings will stand the test of time. The guarantees offered would tend to suggest that they have done their homework. With the correct temperature and pressure safety devices in place, plastic pipes will not be subjected to conditions near their maximum ratings.

When hot water is carried, the plastic pipes do need to be supported at more frequent positions or they will tend to sag.
I have not noticed that there is any appreciable difference as far as noise is concerned.

There is about 20 years experience, which appears to be enough to make manufacturers comfortable in offering 50 year guarantees. It would be somewhat foolhardy to do that if they were not comfortable with the supporting data.
It then depends on whether people are prepared to accept that and the results of accelerated life tests or prefer to wait to see actual operational experience.
As always, the likely deciders are going to be overall cost of implementation by professional purchasers of the products.

.andy
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Andy, Been away from my PC all weekend so just seen your post. Very valuable. Many thanks. Dave

hasn't
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