Whole house replumbing. What should I use?


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Old 05-23-10, 03:01 PM
M
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Whole house replumbing. What should I use?

Just had a water leak in attic. Destroyed the ceiling in one room and caused water damage in a couple others before it was detected.

Turns out the water lines run through the attic. I don't know if this is normal or not, but others acted surprised by it. I'm an electrician, not a plumber, though I've sweated my fair share of copper.

The neighbors have been telling me that this neighborhood (build in mid-80s) has seen lots of these leaks and that the type of plastic used was long ago taken off the market and there were class action law suits about it. We just bought the place in November, so I'm pretty sure we are on our own.

I know the rest of the house is just waiting for a good opportunity to leak in a more critical place at a more critical time, so I'm planning to replumb the entire house.

As an electrician, I know how to fish somewhat flexible things down walls. I also know how to use most tools, and am always looking for excuses to buy new tools anyway.

I'm guessing there is still a plastic on the market that is superior to work with and cost-effective, and noted for reliability. Or should I still be considering copper?

Can the experts direct me to what I need to know? Thanks!
 
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Old 05-23-10, 03:35 PM
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While copper is the old standby, you'll probably get most recommendations to use CPVC or PEX. CPVC is cut and cemented similar to PVC drain pipes (but is made so that it can withstand hot water which PVC can't). It's easy to install.

PEX is a bit newer and requires a specialized crimp tool. There are a couple threads on this forum that discuss the better/not-so-good brands of PEX fittings. PEX is easy since it's flexible, is usually run straight from the main line with no fittings until it hits the fixture. You'd fish it just like Romex
 
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Old 05-23-10, 08:10 PM
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Your climate determines whether or not water lines can be ran in the attic and outside walls. If it freezes hard during the winter months it's not a good idea. I would use PEX pipe with the crimp style fittings if it was me.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 09:44 PM
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What is this "freezing" you are talking about?
 
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Old 05-24-10, 10:29 AM
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I am not a plumber, nor do I have significant plumbing experience, so I can't contribute to the technical issues you are facing.

But I am an excellent and highly-qualified end-user In this respect, my recommendation is: you cannot have too many high-quality shut-off valves.

If you re-plumb your entire house, put a shut-off valve into every service line. I think current code requires that anyway, at least in some places and at least in certain situations, e.g., sillcocks. In fact, get a good manifold and place it in an easily accessible spot. That way, you can turn off sections of your plumbing to work on, if needed, without affecting the rest of the house.

Good luck! MM
 
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Old 05-24-10, 01:56 PM
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Yes! I was gonna do that. I hadn't thought of the manifold idea; I like that too!
 
 

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