PEX: Is it DIY?


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Old 01-21-07, 10:55 AM
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PEX: Is it DIY?

Hello All,

Maybe this sounds weird, but I am obsessed with PEX and plumbing! It seems like one of the coolest ideas to come around in a long time and I would like to try it myself. Currently our kitchen and laundry area have a sloppy jumble of copper pipes with various shut off valves here and there as if put in by someone without a plan (hack job in a 95 year old house). We are going to be building a new laundry area, possibly adding a fridge with a ice maker, some day a new bathroom in the basement and it just all seems to be crying out for a redo using PEX to build a versatile plumbing network. I have spent a fair amount of time at the various stores and web looking up information about PEX and I have even started planning out the lines, a manifold, hangers and code. My wife however, thinks I am nuts, but she is always way too cautious.

So, a relatively open ended question please: What tips or advise does anyone have on a DIY PEX project? Does anyone have any good learning resources - books or online? How about recommendations on which type or brand of connectors and tools are best?

FYI, I have sweated pipes and valves in my life and it worked out well. I feel pretty comfortable with tools and am the kind of person to do a lot of research on most projects.
 
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Old 01-21-07, 12:39 PM
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Pex

Achilles Heel seems to be the crimp fittings from what I've been reading. Have to be done right, or they will corrode and fail. Just an observation from a NON pro.

Pete
 
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Old 01-21-07, 04:00 PM
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Search the archives here, deke; there have been a number of lengthy discussions on the pros & con's.
 
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Old 01-21-07, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy
Search the archives here, deke; there have been a number of lengthy discussions on the pros & con's.
I figured there were, but searching on "PEX" results in zero results. Sorry to be a pest - do you have any search recommendations?
 
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Old 01-21-07, 06:26 PM
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search doesn't seem to work ,I wonder if its disabled also

heres a few

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=291227

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=290406

and heres a video

http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/pages/hvt073.asp
 
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Old 01-21-07, 08:14 PM
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Invest first in the PEX crimping tool (about $120) and some pipe and crimp rings. Then practice the crimping. This will give you an indication as to whether or not it would be your thing.
 
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Old 01-21-07, 08:32 PM
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Wink

Well for a DIY yes you can do it. BUT BUT like said the cost of the tools . For a one time job is to much. Then that
manifold set up. I know here they have stoped useing it.They run a 3/4" and branch off with 1/2" in PEX. Just like you would do with copper. I asked why and was told that all that pipe from the manifold to each outlet cost to much.

My .02 cents ED
 
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Old 01-22-07, 05:33 AM
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the beauty of ebay is you can buy the tool for a job like this and sell it for cost or close to it when your done

ive done it for a lot of specialty jobs
 
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Old 01-22-07, 05:54 AM
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I agree with Mango Man. But - I used an expander tool for the tubing expansion method of connections, rather than a crimping connection method - and it worked beautifully. After two years, it's still watertight and clean as a whistle. I bought the expander tool and all the fittings/tubing online as my local supply house didn't carry it. I plumbed a new bathroom and wet bar in my basement remodeling - it took 1/4th the time of copper - and, as each line was a home run to the manifold - I get hot water much more quickly - with no pressure drops between fixtures. I sold the tool on E-bay for more than I paid for it new. Great experience for this DIYer.
 
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Old 01-22-07, 06:33 AM
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I don't think I'm allowed to link but I just read this response at breaktime thought it was pretty good
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm just finishing up on the pex with my loft project... 20 units in an old warehouse...

there are many but let me point to a few reasons to use pex... (i'm factory certified upnor/ wirsbo installer) and have only used the wirsbo system..

1.. comes in 20ft or up to 300ft rolls... less joints...

2... it bends twists turns all without fittings

3... fewer turns & fittings = less cost in materials and labor and better flow

4... comes in white, blue, red... we use white for main supply 1 1/2" & 1" and blue for cold feeds and red for hot.... equals alot less thinking and fewer screwups...

5... really no such thing as a bad joint... or a joint that wasn't sweated or missed... just very hard for it to happen

6... you can run it without manifolds just as you would a copper system

7... cost... we can do pex for about 25% of copper

8... they don't steal pex out of your walls like they do copper for scrap

9... it can freeze for a long time and not split

10... very forgiving in 100 different ways... it's just user friendly...

11... forget going to the gym if you've been expanding pex for fittings all day... you'll be able to arm wresel the rock hangers in no time...

12... I believe it will out last copper...
 
 

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