Replumbing Entire House W/ CPVC

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  #1  
Old 08-31-03, 03:24 AM
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Replumbing Entire House W/ CPVC

Well, the time has finally come. The 37 year old galv. steel pipes in my home are screaming for replacement. I'll be using CPVC in the attic, since my concrete slab foundation eternally entombs the old pipe.

Are there any special precautions I should take when assembling the CPVC in my attic? I'll be using Floguard Gold 3/4" for the main hot and cold supply lines, with 3/4" x 3/4" x 1/4" connecting tees to provide the outlets for feeding all the fixtures. I'm aware CPVC can expand in theory, and the entire length of my one story ranch style house is about 80 ft, but in practice how much of a concern should I have about this?

Basically I was just going to start at one end of the house with the 3/4" cold supply coming into the house and work my way down the house dropping in the 1/4" tees where service is needed. Then, turn around and do the same thing with the hot water (for some reason my water heater is located on the opposite end of the house from where the water comes in).

Any special tips offered my way would be most helpful. One thing I've already learned is that PVC Rachet Scissors provide the cleanest most efficient cut, and saves a ton of time over sawing and de-burring the pipe.

Ok. Better get back to work. Talk to you guys later.
 
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Old 08-31-03, 04:58 AM
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Cool

3/4 X 3/4 X 1/4?
Why aren't you running 1/2" to each fixture shut-off, and then down to 3/8" flex supply lines?
1/4" will significantly reduce the volume.
 
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Old 08-31-03, 06:17 AM
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Oldguy,

You are absolutely correct, and I misspoke! I meant to say 1/2", not 1/4"!

Do you think I should install water hammers in the new system? Some sources indicate CPVC reduces water hammer problems. If I should install the water hammers, where is the best place to install them?

And thanks for the heads up!
 
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Old 08-31-03, 07:19 AM
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Water hammer is only needed if you have problem with high water pressure and is associated with fast closing valves.
 
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Old 08-31-03, 06:46 PM
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Make sure you check the water pressure at the main or at the meter to check to see if it is over 80 psi. Most states require a prv at main to protect house water system with an expansion tank at the water heater.
 
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Old 08-31-03, 06:57 PM
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Some cities require the use of air chambers. I always put them simply because (especially with PVC) it doesn't take long to do it.

Typically though washing machines and dishwashers are the most prone to causing water hammer as they use high volume/quick acting water valves.
 
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Old 08-31-03, 11:32 PM
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Re: Replumbing Entire House W/ CPVC

Don't forget to use transition unions on your water heater or where your hot water line connects to any metal fixture that requires a male adaptor.

Robert
 
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Old 09-01-03, 03:56 AM
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An Update

Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to post your thoughts.

Well, it's pretty slow going, I've been at it for two days. The bulk of the time is spent imagining/devising how the new supply lines will find their way through the walls of the house, which is concrete block along the perimeter and creates its own problems with weaving pipes in the wall (it aint gonna happen so think of another way). In some places, I only have 6-12 inches of dusty crawspace to work with, so it's a little tricky sometimes. But I'm almost done with the 1/2". Most supply lines only need to be connected in the attic now to the 3/4".

I've found the 45 degree angle coupling to be particularly helpful in tight spaces. In some places I've had to bore 45 deg holes in the top of the wall frames to navigate around the bulky air ducts directly above in the attic. Lots of little stuff like this. I'm sure you guys know what I mean.

I was thinking of using "Great Stuff" spray insulation foam around the holes where the 1/2" enters the attic. Seal and somewhat anchor, although the other anchors I've put in should be sufficient. Does anyone know if the spray insulation can adversly affect the CPVC?

I also plan to insulate the pipes in the attic to reduce heat absorbsion during the hot day, and I'll probably just leave the hot supply uninsulated.

My whole body is pretty sore from walking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame in the attic all day. Hopefully, this will be the last day of extended attic work.

How ironic that it's Labor Day Weekend.
 
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Old 09-01-03, 07:17 AM
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That spray foam should not affect the piping due to it's quick curing process of foam.


I would suggest not foaming these lines until water lines have been tested for leaks.



Firestop caulk is what I use for these openings. Just a little more protection but my customers are impressed that I am willing to spend $14 a tube to follow industry standards. It works!
 
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Old 10-01-03, 07:58 AM
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Ok, I finally finished the project last Sunday. Lots of work, that's for sure and I'm pretty tired from working in the attic for over three weeks. I was severely limited in the amount of work I could accomplish each day because it got too hot to work at noon! Little nervous when I turned on the water, but it worked out fine with hardly a leak!! The only leak was found at a Brass-CPVC transition union at the washer hot water hookup not bad though, just a water bead around the threads and no actual dripping; also, the galvanized nipples at the water heater had a bead of water around the threads. Kind of surprising since I liberally applied blue pipe dope and thought I cranked down hard enough; is it advisable to use both pipe dope and teflon tape in these situations? Apparently I just didn't crank them hard enough! I couldn't turn the Brass-CPVC transition at the washer hot water hook up because it was already glued. I therefore resigned to the fact I'd be cutting the pipe and repairing it with major cranking this time around. But I woke up this morning and everything was dry. No leaks!!! Should I be concerned any longer? Or is it OK to seal up the walls and move on???

Thanks to everyone for the help!
 
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Old 10-01-03, 04:30 PM
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At times I will use teflon tape and pipe dope together, as far as the leaks, if there are none and the joints all look good, then that would satisfy most plumbers.
 
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Old 10-01-03, 06:41 PM
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Thanks, 2000.

PS to All:

CPVC will have a chemical taste to it at first; this I can testify to! In the first day, the water might actually smell like its taste. The smell quickly disappates, but the taste will linger. For how long, I don't know. Maybe 6 months is the word on the street, at which time, if your city water is rated well, drink up!

As for me and my family, with the water filters we all use for our drinking water, taste has become a moot issue with CPVC and city water.

Very thankful to have fresh water in my house, however.

I still can't believe I took on such a project though!
 
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Old 10-02-03, 01:16 PM
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Plumbers do this everyday.

Not as easy as you think it would be huh.
 
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