I am installing a humidifier in my house, and I need to tap into the water
line. My builder used PEX plumbing and, of course, I don't have any of the
crimping tools necessary for working on PEX. But, there is a length 3/4"
copper pipe that goes between my water heater intake and the main PEX water
line above. The total length of this copper is only about 2 or 3 feet. I
would like to solder in a tap for the humidfier connection into this copper
section, but I am concerned about the PEX that this pipe is connected to.
Does anyone know how far I have to be away from the PEX connection before I
can safely sweat a fitting into the copper pipe? If I just wrap a wet towel
near the PEX connection (between the crimp and the joint to be soldered),
will this be an adequate heat sink to avoid damage to it?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
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I know a tobacco chewing plumber friend who once told me he'd never use anything
but copper. Well he's changed his mind. The tools needed aren't that costly,
about the same as a good torch & pipe cutters. Anyway, thanks for the info that
I picked up. Soldering next to pex pipe doesn't look like a wise thing to
do.........just hate copper compression fittings though.
I'd guess you are OK but if you want to be sure, wrap a couple of wet rag
around the copper away from where you will solder. That will make a heat
I'd look at using compression fittings made for pex tubing. My local
hardware store carries them.
I am going to ask YOU a question.
I just saw that PEX being installed on one of the TV home improvement
shows. I can see that the tools are probably costly. But my question
Is that stuff solidly installable. In other words, does it sag
between hangers? Can it be used on HOT water? Is there any advantage
over PVC pipe?
Personally, I was not highly impressed with what I saw. The stuff
looks flimsy, probably has a relatively short life expectancy, and
seems easy to damage. Not to mention the need for special tools. It
also appears that the fittings can not be taken apart. Just
Personally I will only use metallic pipe as in copper, or galv. steel.
I dont care for house floods, and expect my plumbing to last at least
30 years. I have never been impressed with PVC for water supply
either (it's great for drainage and sewer). But the PEX looks even
less durable than PVC.
It is really kind of stiff although it can be bent eaier than soft copper
Can it be used on HOT water?
Yes, it is good to 180 degrees. I have a section in my baseboard heat as
I've had a problem wiht copper in a certain place twice.
Easier to install, less fittings as it come son long coils and can be run
around gentle bend and through walls with no spicing or fittings every 10
Not as flimsy as you think. Life span is over 100 years and not all that
readily damaged. You can puncture copper tubing with a nail just as easily.
It will take a bit of freezing and not split, an advantage over copper. Why
not handle a piece of it before you decide how strong or weak it may be?
Wirsbo PEX is durable, corrosion resistant and has a life expectancy of over
You can use compression fittings. You can easily splice into it. Right
now, the tools are expensive for the homeowner that may want to make a cut
in a line every five years, but then, compression fitting solve that. Tools
will become cheaper in the future just like everything else.
You are basing your assessment on what???? Time to open your mind and let
some new information in. I expect my plumbing to last much more than 30
years too. I'd definitely use pex in my next house
Like you, I'm also an old fart .
However, you need to get with the program.
Google up Wirsbo and check out their "WRITTEN" 25 year warranty on AquaPex.
Ever try and get a copper pipe or fitting mfg., to cover a defective piece?
Forget about it.
If you are indeed an old fart, 25 years is long enough. If the special tool
"an expander" is
too pricey at about $125.00, consider using another new fitting called a
Shark Bite from
Those two items alone will make your life a lot easier, I know they have
Well, (1) it took 30 years for the copper tubes in my concrete slab to
rot out. (2) Will AquaPex be around in 25.1 years? (3) will they
have assets so you can sue?
FWIW, I went through this decision in 2001 and came up with "Use Copper"
and chop slots in the slab to get passed doors.
And, check national, state and local building codes to see if PEX is
permitted for fresh water. If you're doing heating lines, you will
also want to do fresh water at the same time.
Pex is probably the best for that application. You won't have to be doing it
over in 30 years. Who did you sue for your copper replacement? Were they
willing to pay? Why would you replace copper with copper knowing it will
corrode again in 30 years, maybe less?
PEX has been used in England for over thirty years with no problems.
Most people who have never heard of it confuse it with the black tubing
used about 15 years ago that gave so much problems.
I saw a test done with PEX that convinced me. This person took a 12
inch piece and filled it up with water and then clamped off both ends
with the closed pex fittings. Then it was frozen. The PEX didn't bust
at all. Then it was allowed to thaw out and put under a propane torch
until it was scorced a bit. Still didn't leak. Then this piece was
opened and put in line under pressure of 100 PSI. Still didn't leak or
budge. I've seen copper develop pinhole leaks in the worst place but
this PEX is still going fine. Perhaps you too would need to see these
tests to believe it.
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