If you're talking of interior plumbing only, not buried, 40 yr
galvanized is pretty unlikely to be so bad as to be unworkable unless
you have extremely bad water conditions or other reasons for galvanic
corrosion. Signs to look out for would be if you're already having
random pinhole leaks, etc., frequently. If not, I'd say your chances
are quite good.
Of course, if it's that bad, rethreading really isn't likely going to
be an option anyway, as there isn't going to be enough left to thread
and have a sufficient wall thickness/strength to make a seal when you
try to thread on a new fitting.
It's doable. Whether you'll feel it was worth the money will probably
depend on how good access you have to what you need to get to and just
a general level of comfort w/ doing repair work...if it seems a stretch
to consider, chances are you may regret it. OTOH, if it's just not
being familiar w/ PEX itself and you do stuff routinely, it's just a
new skill to learn...
Your WAY better off repacing all the steel pipe.
Start by doing the hot, isolate it from the cold at the hot water tank,
this way you still have water for flushing.
Dont try to do everything in one day, do a couple runs and go from there
Yes, with some advance planning, you can do it. If you plan to do small
stages, yes, I can pretty much guarantee one fitting will be a problem. If
you plan ahead, lay out the manifolds, perhaps run the lines to the fixtures
in advance, you will have only once connection to worry about.
You can always rent them: when I replumbed my house more than a decade
ago, that's exactly what happened to me. I just ran down to the tool
rental place, got a couple dies, threaded the pipe and was on my way.
Just as McDonald\'s is where you go when you\'re hungry but don\'t really
care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
If I was going to do all that work, re-pipe the house First I would
replace all the pipe, Second I would use Copper not PEX even if Mice & Rats
like it. ( and they will chew threw it) It's just the new cheap housing
track way to do things. But what do I know I'm just a plumber.
Every material has its place. PEX is a great material in the right place.
It has been used in Europe for years. If it was up to union plumbers, we'd
still be using cast iron pipe. and all houses would be built from stone.
Fact is it just is not as good as copper you can sugar coated anyway you
want. It is cheaper, and faster to install. But now do the contractors pass
that savings on ? Now you bash the Unions what dose that have to do with the
quality of pipe. But are one of those people that think everybody but you
should make minimum wage, have no medical benefits, have no retirement. Even
Union wages aren't that much compared to cost of living anymore.
"Cheaper" and "faster" aren't _necessarily_ synonymous w/ "better".
I doubt Sacramento Dave has any real data to back up the contention but
is more stating an opinion/prejudice (which in some ways as noted below
The one thing against PEX at this point imo is that it doesn't have the
history behind it yet. We'll know in 20, 30, 50, 100 years how good it
_really_ is. Personally, my expectation is it won't be as durable for
the long run, but that's just one guy's guess. I have a prejudice
against it because it just looks cheap in my eye but that has
absolutely nothing to do w/ it's actual quality as a plumbing system.
And there's nothing wrong with that method of choosing what you use. I
agree with you, I feel that PEX does in fact look cheap, chintzy, and
half-assed but I'm still using it because it is so much easier to install.
The way I look at it, if the PEX I've installed lasts 20 years - which I
think is reasonable, it will still be a snap to correct it. How much time
does it take to install - it takes me less time to get over my fear of "what
lurks in the crawlspace" than it does to install it - an hour if I'm feeling
particularly jumpy? Will copper survive an earthquake? Quite possibly not,
PEX will no problem if done right. Earthquakes are not uncommon where I
For those experienced working with copper you all might feel the exact same
way. But I'm not experienced with copper, I'd have it installed then spend
the next day tryinig in vain to close all the leaky joints because the
silver solder didn't flow well. Or I'd spend the next week talking to the
insurance agent on why I burned my house down with a propane torch.
So unless I have about 1000+ to pay a plumber to do the job right, I do the
same thing every other homeowner does and spend 75 bucks and install PEX
(plus the cost of the crimper - if needed).
It's all a matter of what you are more comfortable with. As for my own
house. Copper from the meter to the first junction - PEX there on in.
Oh, you are so wrong about what you say. Never did I say unions cause poor
quality pipes. I have nothing against making a good wage and good benefits.
Tradesmen deserve a good wage.
What I did say was unions do not like to change and modernize. I've worked
in many areas where the unions are strong. It is not just about wages, but
they can resist change if less labor is involved. I've seen it up close and
personal in the Philadelphia area. I've seen unions destroy some very good
small businesses also.
Unions were great for the working man back in the 30's and 40's and even
into the 50's. But around the mid 60's they started to go to hell. Yes,
most unions today suck. Some of the smart ones are now changing and
realizing they must work with businesses to create jobs and train skilled
workers, not just demand more benefits. They must EARN them. I've been
involved with union negotiations and I've seen the leadership sell out the
employees for their personal gain.
FWIW, I pay my plumber $55.00/hour.
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