PEX general questions

Old 02-28-07, 07:47 AM
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PEX general questions


I'm buying an 850 sqft house built in the 50's with a crawlspace. During my inspection yesterday, we found plumbing issues galore. It's a foreclosure, so I'm buying as-is (no options). Due to the simplicity of the plumbing arrangement and the accessibility, I am considering doing as much of the plumbing as possible (except for the water heater, which also needs to be replaced, oh joy).

Question 1: My home fix-it guys taked to be about using PEX. I read a bit about it, saw some pictures, and it looks wonderful and simple. What's the word on the street about it? Any reason I shouldn't use it and just stick wth copper? I'm in the south and I've been told that it's being used in all the new construction in my area.

Question 2: In a house this old, much of the plumbing isn't inside the walls (like, water heater supply and out lines, washing machine lines, etc). Should I use pex underneath the house and still have copper above the floorboard or can I just use pex all the way from the manifold, through the floor, to the closest connection to the faucet/sink/etc? Am I required to move the plumbing inside the walls since I'm replacing it?

Question 3: I saw pictures of pex systems with pex lines and then brass valves. I saw other pictures with pex lines and non-brass valves. Should I always aim to have brass valves?


Old 02-28-07, 03:24 PM
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Chris: If your North Carolina code people say it is ok, then it is a very good replacement item. It must be installed properly and the tool you use to compress the fittings needs to be calibrated to make sure the compression is at the correct pressure. The tool will cost about $120, but in doing your entire house, it will be a good investment. I would use the brass type fittings, as they seem to be a little more solid.
You'll have to get a permit, so check with them on what they expect of you before you begin.

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