Which type of water supply pipes would you choose?


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Old 04-15-06, 03:57 PM
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Question Which type of water supply pipes would you choose?

This question is aimed at anyone who knows about plumbing pipes....
If given a choice of any type of pipe available, and all were accepted as far as building codes etc., which type of piping would you go for and why?
Also, money would be no obstacle and it would be replacement of existing galvanized pipes.

I posted a while back about PEX pipes and your replies were very informative. I am just curious to see what pipes someone with experience would install.

We are at a point with our ancient plumbing in our house where it has to be replaced. So many suggestions have been told to us that it is hard to decide.

Any comments or ideas will be appreciated.

Thanks for reading.

nottyn
 
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Old 04-15-06, 05:11 PM
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Tell us a little more about your situation.

Is your water soft? Perhaps so if galvanized survived. Are spaces accessible to use a torch?

If you answered yes to these questions or if you need to use heat tape or have lines subject to freezing, your home is a good candidate for copper plumbing.

If your water is aggressive or it is too hard to access the wall spaces for using a torch, then CPVC is my usual recommendation.
Of course, money can correct both those problems, so that brings you back to copper.

I am not convinced that mice won't chew into PEX. I know that they chew the PVC jacket off NM electrical cable.
 
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Old 04-15-06, 08:51 PM
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Copper has been the "gold standard" for 50 years, but then there really wasn't anything else for most of that time.

Copper was such an enormous improvement in both labor and performance over galv, that no one likes to talk about the cases where copper fails to live up. It can be attacked by agressive water chemistry. It can be affected by too-high flow rated in the pipes. It definitely does not like to touch cement.

Polybutylene enjoyed a brief period of popularity, before the disasters struck.

PEX has been in use overeas for 30 years, so seems to have a track record. Some folks worry about mice chewing into it.

CPVC is durable, but some folks question the long-term reliability of a glued system. Also, some people tend to under-size it. Because of thick wall, 1/2 CPVC is really not equivalent to 1/2 copper.


Whats the best system? Welded stainless steel! Can you afford it? Not unless your name is Bill Gates.


I cannot give you a blanket opinion. You should do a lot of research in your local area and find out what works and what doesn't.
 
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Old 04-15-06, 09:53 PM
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> CPVC is durable, but some folks question the long-term reliability of a glued system.

I question anyone who calls it a "glued" system.
Have you ever seen properly welded CPVC come apart?
Getting a proper and clean weld in a house is not difficult.

The solvents (cleaner/primer and "glue") are the downside to this system.
Once it is installed, though, you don't have to deal with those.


> Whats the best system? Welded stainless steel!
If you are going the unconventional route, how about continuous-strand carbon fiber?
 
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Old 04-16-06, 09:13 AM
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Pipe

First, check with the local area to find out if there is any prob. with copper, if so you have to exclude. That leaves you with PEX and CPVC, with CPVC proper installation of the weld fittings is paramount, with PEX, the fittings are minimal. Bottom line is that I would go with the PEX. BTW mice will eat through both. Luck.
 
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Old 04-16-06, 10:28 AM
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I guess we do have soft water. Although, individual pipes that we have replaced in the past would be so caked with sediment inside that only a pinhole of light could be seen.

These pipes are all indoors and would have no exposure to sunlight or freezing temperatures. I keep hoping that we wont have to tear down the basement ceilings, but that is inevitable.

I would love to hire a plumber, but they usually run out of the house screaming after working a short time.

One thing that puzzles me is why mice would want to chew thru any of the plastic pipes. There is no food value there. I know they like to gnaw on stuff but I just don't see why they would go for plastic pipes.

I also was wondering about the crimp on connections for copper.
 
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Old 04-16-06, 11:05 AM
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> I would love to hire a plumber, but they usually run out of the house screaming after working a short time.

Shouldn't be a problem with a complete replacement.
Patching galvanized is a pain.


> One thing that puzzles me is why mice would want to chew thru any of the plastic pipes.
> There is no food value there.

Nor in most things they chew. I'll have to direct your question to the home rodents forum.


> I also was wondering about the crimp on connections for copper.

Very expensive and requires some skill that you would be acquiring at your own risk.
 
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Old 04-16-06, 03:25 PM
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By the way....
Happy Easter Everyone!
and thank you for taking time to reply on a holiday.
I have a house full of relatives myself, so I keep sneaking to my PC to read this forum.

You mentioned that the crimp-on copper requires some skill.
I suppose a special crimper tool too.
Is the crimp on copper pipe, if installed correctly, a better system to go with?
 
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Old 04-16-06, 04:56 PM
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> I suppose a special crimper tool too.

Yes. You may safely suppose expensive too.
Ridgid tools
cordless unit close up photo
You can even watch a video.


> Is the crimp on copper pipe, if installed correctly, a better system to go with?

The fitting manufacturers would have you believe this. It's faster and does not use fire.
I have no reason to think that it might be less good.
It makes sense where labor costs are high.
Presently, copper prices are pretty high but so are plastics which are synthesized from petroleum.
 
 

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