PEX vs. PVC in South Alabama


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Old 08-13-09, 09:39 AM
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PEX vs. PVC in South Alabama

I hear that PEX is better than PVC because it will not freeze burst. My copper pipes were stolen and i need to do a complete plumbing job. The best PEX price i got was $1200 but a friend said he would put the PVC in for $500. That is less than half the price of PEX.

I love the idea of having the latest and best technology. But is PEX really worth the extra $700?

I hear that i cannot use PEX outside. So does that mean i can't use it under my house? I have piers about 2 ft high.
 

Last edited by jacobpressures; 08-13-09 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 08-13-09, 10:57 AM
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PEX is more burst resistant than other plumbing types, but certainly is not freeze/burst proof. They are both pretty easy to install, in a lot of ways, PEX is actually easier.

Is the price differential due to a friend doing the PVC install versus a professional doing the PEX install? The problem with "friend" installs in general is that the quality of the installation and the final product depends a lot on how much they know. While almost anyone can run a pipe from one place to another, it takes a lot more knowledge and experience to properly size and run piping.

Also, when you mention PVC, I assume you mean CPVC. PVC can't be used on hot water runs.
 
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Old 08-13-09, 12:40 PM
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Don't know if the post that said this will show up after the spam/advertising report..but this was one quote he put in.

"PEX is a impermeable membrane which can be penetrated by pollutants and
lead to contamination of water"

So how can something thats impermeable be penetrated? Does that make any sense?
 
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Old 08-13-09, 01:14 PM
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Disadvantages of Cross Linked Polyethylene (PEX) Pipes
Some types of PEX pipes do not provide an impermeable membrane, allowing for the possibility of contamination. Be sure to purchase PEX pipes that hare guaranteed impermeable. In addition, PEX pipes may be damaged by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation.


Found on another site.Seems pex comes both ways and the UV issue is probably why it can't be used outside.
 
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Old 08-13-09, 01:54 PM
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I as stumbling over the "impermeable" statement as well.

So if they can't be used outside then i can't use them anyway in my crawl space. So they are out of the question anyway. It seems.
 
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Old 08-13-09, 01:57 PM
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Friend vs. Professional. Well at first i was told that the person who teaches plumbing would do it for me. Then it changed to some other guy. PEX was probably the biggest reason i was going to dump him but the price is tempting.
 
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Old 08-13-09, 02:24 PM
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Oh no...you misunderstood. Crawlspace is fine....just not outside as in exposed to the weather and sun. Of course..I don't think CPVC or PVC can be exposed to the sun either. The UV breaks it down as david said.
 
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Old 08-13-09, 02:32 PM
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Thanks for the clarification. I'm going to look into it further.
 
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Old 08-14-09, 04:20 PM
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FYI, PEX is approved for underground plumbing (or under-house for that matter). As stated, the UV breaks down the plastic over time, so it's not approved for anywhere that sees the light of day.

(I wouldn't worry about the window in the basement that lets a bit of sunlight in or anything like that though...)
 
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Old 08-14-09, 04:53 PM
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I hear that PEX has a shorter lifespan than does CPVC and copper. I'm sure that CPVC is shorter than copper as well. That doesn't make it significant. Should i be concerned about the lifespan of PEX?
 
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Old 08-14-09, 05:37 PM
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Just to add a point I have seen CPVC used on both the hot and cold side but CPVC is more expensive then PVC so you save money using PVC where you can.
 
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Old 08-15-09, 02:56 PM
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the non-license plumber guy said he has been doing this for 30 years. He was never licensed but me has been keeping up with the codes. He worked for the Air Force and at a shipyard from which he retired. He said he had been certified through some agency. So i don't know what the think. He doesn't do PEX which is where i'm leaning. But he can save me about $700 with CPVC. Any comments?
 
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Old 08-15-09, 03:10 PM
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Heres my thought.....if you need to make a repair or addition with PEX..do you have the required tools? Or will you have to call someone?

I think PEX has its place...and hopefully it turns out that its a great product that will last for years..but they prob thought that about lead pipes, galvanized, and polybutylene pipes as well.

CPVC has been around for quite a while, is well accepted, commonly available everywhere, and easy to work with.

The one thing I would try to do is stub out all connections with copper. I'm not a plumber and don't pretend to be.., but you have many more options for repair and such when the last few inches are copper. Much less chance of cracking or breaking something when doing work as well....at least to my mind.
 
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Old 08-15-09, 04:11 PM
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The one thing I would try to do is stub out all connections with copper. I'm not a plumber and don't pretend to be.., but you have many more options for repair and such when the last few inches are copper. Much less chance of cracking or breaking something when doing work as well....at least to my mind.
Very good Idea. Being old school I actually stub out with galvanized for the last foot. I run about a 1 foot nipple down the stud secured by two straps then come out of the wall with a galvanized nipple. Galvanized has it's problems but IMHO is stronger then copper and easier to work with.
 
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Old 08-30-09, 09:22 PM
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PEX user- My 2 cents worth

Seems there is a lot of information here about PEX from a lot of folks. I would suggest that the best place to obtain the proper information and data is the PEX site. I have been using it for 4 or 5 years and I was VERY skeptical before I researched it to death. I have also been using Sharkbite fittings since there were approved for all uses. I actually had to have my local hardware buyer search for both products since they were not commonly available when I decide to give them a try. I HAVE used both and I am currently remodeling a 3500 sq ft. home in Fla as my residence and I am doing the entire house in PEX. I did not even consider using anything else. Particularly since the CPVC and PVC that were used in the house broke apart while I was removing them. CPVC will actually shatter like glass after a few years. Try cutting it with a PVC cutter. DO make sure you wear safety glasses. I have been remodeling homes for most of my life and I am NOT a registered plumber, but I have done a lot of repair and update work using both PEX and Sharkbites. I am still waiting for my first complaint or call back in any of the plumbing jobs I have done. One thing I will tell you, there is absolutely no need to hire anyone to do re-plumbing if you have any DIY skills at all. The other side of the spectrum is that if there is any kind of restructuring or rerouting to do, then you are a fool to do it yourself. THAT is when the Pros earn their money. I don't mean to sound as if anybody can be a plumber, the skills that they have can not be duplicated by a homeowner or a handyman. But, simple repairs and replacements are tasks that require more common sense than plumbing skills. As an example, I re-plumbed my entire house (3500 sq ft w/5 full baths, laundry and kitchen) with PEX in 3 days with one helper. Common sense, a little research and a lot of sweat provides a whole lot more satisfaction that writing a check,lol.

As for the fact that PEX is not approved for outside use (as mentioned before on a couple of posts), that fact is noted on the PEX site. About the only thing that is logical for above ground outside use is galvanized piping. Anything else, including copper, is subject to rust and corrosion and will eventually fail anyhow. PEX can be buried and they claim that it will not deteriorate, but that is their claim, not mine. I use galvanized where that situation can arise.
 
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Old 08-30-09, 09:27 PM
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OPPS forgot the reason I responded

Sorry, I forgot to add what I originally intended to submit. As for stubouts, PEX drob ear elbow fittings are available that allows pex to be run directly to the elbow and a solid- copper, brass, galvanized- nipple can be used to extend through the wall to the shut off valve.
 
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Old 05-24-10, 02:39 PM
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Plumbing PEX

I installed a plumbing system in a home this is now eight years old. This is slab construction. A leak recently occurred. The plumber reported to the insurance company "Plumbing pipes which are clear pex that were installed did not have UL rating and had been damaged by sun prior to installation in the home" I am the contractor and the insurance company is asking that I pay for the damages.
Are all pex pipes UL approved?

I do not know is the pipes are actually PEX. Any advice.?
 
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Old 05-24-10, 09:18 PM
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First off, best to start a new thread instead of continuing one almost a year old. A moderator will likely move it to a new thread for you.

Was pex available (readily available?) 8 years ago? I only started seeing it ~2-3 years ago. Granted, I'm not a professional, but still.

As for UL listing, I grabbed this nugget from PEX Products - FAQ
All PEX that has been tested and certified for potable applications carries the mark(s) of nationally recognized third-party certification agencies such as NSF, IAPMO, ICBO-ES, Warnock Hersey or UL.
So it sounds like it may not be UL listed, but may be NSF listed.

You should recommend your insurance company get pictures of the pipes including the printing on the side of the pipe. It should include the manufacturer, type, listing, and possibly manufacture date.
 
 

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