Hot water radiation/new homeowner is lost!!


Old 09-01-16, 10:34 PM
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Hot water radiation/new homeowner is lost!!

Hi, we just bought our own home!? So recently that we haven't even moved in yet!! It has hot water radiation heating. It looks like the previous owners had lots of leaks because there are lots of little pieces of pex piping hooked up in between copper piping (as in, the copper pipe going from the furnace to the heater will be all copper except 1 piece somewhere in the middle about 6 inches long or so that will be pex piping instead)

Now, I'm a new home owner, I'm not a DIYer and I'm a girl (yes, I know some girls are great at home repair but I am the stereotypical girl who barely know how to hammer a nail in straight!!!)

One of the copper pipes going from the furnace to a heater is leaking. I'm thinking that instead of replacing the little 6 inch part with pex it would make more sense to replace that whole pipe with pex and then I don't have to worry about that one leakin anymore. Our home inspector said that the copper is getting to the end of its life and that's why they have had so many leaks.

So, my questions are-
1. Is there a huge price for this pex?? I'm wondering if high cost is why they went with such small pieces
2. Can I run one long piece (assuming I don't need a joint because of a bend) or should it be cut and joined every so often anyway?,
3. Can I just use the shut off valve for that pipe, pull off the pipe and attach the new one or is it more to it than that?? My husband says that's the way to do it but I'm pretty sure I remember the inspector saying it needed to be vented or something for things like that. I'm thinking that replacing the pipin would put air into the system that should have only water in the pipes-not air and I don't know it that would just be okay when it got back to the furnace or if it could break or blow something by letting water in

Ps-my husband is worse than I am at repairs!!! We had a big hole in the gyprock of our rental for a YEAR that he was supposed to fix and I got excuses like: I can't find my tools, I don't have plaster, gyprock won't fit in the van etc. I went and got all the materials including gyprock and repaired it myself last month!!! Guess what!!! The gyprock DID fit in the van!!! 😤😤😤
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Old 09-02-16, 10:04 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

It would be helpful if you could post a few pictures of what you're working with there.
Old 09-03-16, 06:24 AM
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To answer your questions,

1. No, pex is relatively inexpensive, especially compared to copper. I would try to buy it from a plumbing/industrial supply store (Ferguson's, Grainger, etc.) rather than Home Depot. The quality of pex can vary greatly and I've not had the best luck with the pex Home Depot sells (leaks at joints).

2. It's preferable to use as few joints as possible and instead like you said, bend the pipe when necessary and able to. The joints are the weak spots and most likely to leak.

3. Not entirely sure but I would assume you're both right. Yes, if the valve appears to be in good condition you can just shut it and run the new pipe from there. Yes, there is probably an auto-vent that could be installed on the line to relieve air. But the other option is to add a (bleeder) valve near the return and just flow water through the line and out the valve until you get a solid stream. It's not a perfect solution but would remove most of the air and there probably is an auto vent installed near your boiler anyway to vent the remaining air over time.

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