Sanitize pipe and fittings before install?


Old 03-09-20, 08:04 PM
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Sanitize pipe and fittings before install?

This may be a dumb question but I need to replace about a 13 in section of 3/4 in pex pipe and don't know if the pipe needs cleaned first. It is after the water enters my garage right after shutoff before any branching.

So do I somehow sanitize the brass fittings and length of pex tube before installing? I mean the pipe was just sitting on a shelf at Lowe's.

Again maybe dumb but thanks for the advice in advance.
Old 03-09-20, 09:41 PM
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Interesting question..... dumb no.

I have never pre-cleaned/sanitized the inside of a pipe or a fitting.
CasualJoe voted this post useful.
Old 03-10-20, 01:26 AM
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You have to consider, every business, every home, every well, every municipal water line ever installed has never had any type of a "sanitize" procedure other than the flushing of the line.

Water itself is the universal solvent so in fact you are doing so just by using!
Old 03-10-20, 05:31 AM
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Could you sanitize the pipe, yes. Is it ever done... no. If you are on city water it's difficult for you to do much. Since you are dealing with a small piece you could wash off the fittings and pipe and even give them a soak in a mild chlorine bleach solution before installation. But if you've ever seen a city street dug up while they work on the water main or you've opened the tap and get a shot of muddy water you'll realize that it's sort of pointless. The good news is the pathogens that can harm humans can't live for long on dry pipe and fittings or even in the soil. So, for the most part Mother Nature is looking out for you.

If you are in the county and on a well then you could shock your well. Then recirculate that water through the house to distribute the chlorine in the pipes and let it sit overnight or while at work. This is commonly done with new wells or when the well pipe or pump must be brought to the surface for work.
Old 03-10-20, 07:57 AM
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I have pre-sanitized a pipe/tube once; but for a very unusual install. a tank and siphon through a plastic water tube feeding a workshop fridge so that the water dispenser & ice maker worked.

The workshop had no water supply, so a 10 gallon sports drink dispenser / cooler was set on top of the fridge. You could reach up and dispense room-temp water through the usual push-to-dispense-spout.

The water supply to the fridge was fed by a siphon from the 10 gallon cooler. A small plastic hose ran from the bottom of the water cooler, up through the center of the water cooler lid, and then down to the water inlet at the base of the fridge.

Since the only easy way to start the siphon was mouth-pipette, I started it from a bottle of cheap vodka, let that fill and flush out the water system in the fridge; then removed the bottle and filled the water cooler from a garden hose.

So, for the first two cycles, I had a "Russian" workshop fridge that dispensed ice cold vodka shots.
Old 03-11-20, 05:46 AM
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In commercial settings it is often done but for residential repairs the chlorine that is norrmally in the water is more than enough.
Plumbing firms that work with public water systems want to make sure they are not responsible for introducing any pathogens into the water.

If on municipal water flush the line and do not drink it for a few hours to allow for contact time,
Old 03-11-20, 07:05 AM
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Sorry to be contrary here,but one of the knocks on Pex is that it is not microbe-biologically clean as copper or most other plastics are, once they are sanitized. Once they are clean, they do not support microbe growth. The same cannot be said for Pex, but admittedly, I'm not a fan of Pex. In commercial and municipal settings, powdered chlorine is put in each few lengths as the line is being put together just for that purpose.Whether the main is cast, copper or PVC, it IS done. Your better home builders used to do that, also, when installing copper. You would be flushing forever otherwise. There isn't enough chlorination added to water to do much more than help maintain a sanitary condition.
You're only replacing a short piece, I wouldn't worry. On the other hand, it certainly wouldn't hurt.

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