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Old 12-13-2013, 12:53 AM   #1
countryboy26047
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Default Don't mean to 'beat a dead horse'... interior water line choices..

Well, as I had said in my introduction thread, I already had some questions lined up to ask around so I guess it's time to start....

So here goes, we purchased our home almost 10yrs ago here in northern WV. The entire time we have lived here, we have had piss-poor water pressure, along with everyone else in our "neighborhood" (a total of around maybe 30 homes that are spread out pretty far). We are at the end of the line as far as city water supply goes (out in the sticks but still have access to it!). We have gone rounds with the water dept. through the years to no avail.

With that bit of background, on to my current 'predicament'... I have been toying with the idea of installing a pump/pressure vessel for a while now in an attempt to get somewhat decent pressure.... HOWEVER, (I HATE using that word in this context) the other big issue I have is the fact that when my house was built in '80, they used the crappy Qest water lines all through the house. It is all run in an unfinished basement/garage so access is no issue at all. I have been wanting to re-pipe my entire house since we moved in, but the issue as always is money. I have been planning on running new lines parallel to the old ones so that I didn't have to do it all in one shot.

After all this long-winded b.s., I guess in an effort to do this the smart way, I should first re-plumb my entire house before I install the pump/vessel, correct? With this also comes the time for me to beat a dead horse..... IMHO, copper w/sweated joints is the best way to go, however, is it financially (and time-wise due to buying a few pieces here and there) worth it to use all copper vs. something like PEX or CPVC? The basement where the lines are is fully heated so even though our winters can occasionally get brutal, that really isn't an issue.

Again, sorry for getting so long winded on this but I prefer to just provide all my info right up front in an attempt to make things a little easier. I have no preference on product type/brand here at all so I'm open to any and all suggestions/opinions. Thanks for sticking with me through this novel! lol



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Old 12-14-2013, 01:03 PM   #2
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Copper is a good choice for many situations, but it does have drawbacks.

Bad water can be absolutely brutal on it, there are municipalities around here with water that can eat copper pipe in less than 5 years. A filtering system can solve this problem, but then you have the added upfront expense, and the maintenance that will be required.

Copper is very expensive relative to the plastic options.

The only realistic option of joining copper for a homeowner is a torch and solder, which requires a small degree of skill, adds a risk of fire, and takes a little more time.

Transition to your current piping would be with either a SharkByte type fitting or a Quest compression fitting.

CPVC is a rigid pipe, so it is easier to make it look nice and neat if you try just a little bit, while PEX takes some effort to produce a nice job.

There does seem to be some longevity issues with CPVC, many service plumbers hate it because of all the problems they see with it. Just last week I had to cut into some 13 year old CPVC in an attic to add in supply lines for a sink, and it was definitely getting brittle. On the flip side, I have seem some that was approaching 20 years old, that was relatively soft, held 300 PSI, and to all appearances seemed to be perfectly serviceable.

The solvent cement (glue) joints require some time to dry, especially on the hot side, so you would need to plan more down time for each shut down. Also, while the joints aren't very hard to make up properly, that process isn't quite as fool proof as a PEX joint.

CPVC is probably the cheapest option cost wise.

Once again, transition to your current piping would be with a SharkByte or a Quest compression fitting.

PEX is a flexible pipe, so requires less fittings, and is easier to snake through and down walls. Less fittings cuts down on installation time, and the crimp system you would likely use requires no dry whatsoever, crimp it, set your tool down, then turn on the water.

PEX pipe and fittings are more expensive than CPVC, and require a crimper to crimp the rings. A 3/4"-1/2" crimper is available at Home Depot for less than $100 around here. You need to check the crimps with the gauge that comes with the crimp tool, to make sure that it is in adjustment.

There have been some problems with PEX, mainly related to a specific brand of pipe that I don't believe is on the market anymore. I have also heard of some very, very isolated instances of the fittings failing, but not the pipe, other than the one brand I mentioned.

Crimp fittings do have a smaller inside diameter than the pipe, as they slide inside of the pipe itself, so you would want to be careful with how many fixtures you attach to what size pipe. I generally feed a 3 fixture bath with 1/2" hot and 3/4" cold, only dropping the cold to 1/2" after I tie in the shower/tub valve.

There is a transition coupling available to adapt the PEX to the pipe you currently have, which would allow you to repipe sections of your house at a time, which use the same crimpers as the PEX.

Overall, I would say that the best option for your situation would be PEX with crimp fittings. It needs plenty of support, every 30" by code. Don't bend the pipe so sharply that it kinks, that will reduce flow and eventually cause a pipe failure at the kink.



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Old 12-14-2013, 01:24 PM   #3
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Thanks for all your insight on this phish. First and foremost, I just realized that, even with my finger-cramping length of a post, I did leave out a little detail on my plans... What I intend to do once I get the supplies to start is this:

Pick up two 100' rolls of red and 2 of blue 1/2" for my interior homeruns... if money allows at that time go ahead and get the manifold as well... Mount the manifold, and start running all my home-runs from the manifold to the locations where I will be running copper stub-outs through the floors where my fixtures are located. (I remodeled my bathroom this past spring and at that time I ran copper stub-outs through the floor and used shark-bite connectors to tie in to the qwest lines in the basement so those are already done)..

Once I get that done, and more money frees up, I will go purchase the crimping tool kit ($79 at the local Lowes) and the crimp fittings I need then do my final main-line (3/4") tie-ins

Basically, if I made no sense with all that lol, I'm going to do it in phases while leaving all the old crap in place until I do my final cut-over in an attempt to 1) do the work as money becomes free'd up to buy the supplies and 2)HOPEFULLY (and given my past luck with virtually EVERY project I ever take on, I cannot stress this part enough) minimize my actual downtime.

Anyhow, at least for right now, my mind is made up that I'm going to go with a PEX manifold system as opposed to copper/cpvc main/branch set-up. I plan on doing some remodeling of my house in the "near" future where I'll be adding on a master bedroom w/bath, as well as a 1/2 bath in my basement which will serve as my "stop pi$$ing off the wife by using the upstairs bath to wash grease, dirt etc. off myself after doing work" bathroom.. lmao So I definitely like the fact of how easy it will be to add in additional lines down the road with the manifold as opposed to having to cut & extend a 'trunk' line and all that fun stuff.

Anyone have any experience with either Apollo PEX or Sharkbite brand? Both are very similar in price, one sold at Lowe's and the other at HD

*edit* Also, do you recommend using hangers to attach the PEX tubing to my joists, or getting my large paddle bits out and drilling through every joist to run the lines through?? I realize running them through the joists would look a little cleaner, but at the same time with my "perfectionist" mind-set, I can typically make any type of set-up look pretty good by just taking the time to pre-plan and all that jazz...

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Old 12-14-2013, 01:44 PM   #4
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Apollo pipe, at least what I have seen of it, is made in China. Not saying that is necessarily a bad thing, but when I install pressure pipe, I want the best I can get, leaks cost lots of time and money. Design and quality control on the Chinese made plumbing fixtures and faucets I have seen tends to be pretty bad. I am not sure on where SharkByte is manufactured.

I would use plastic tubing straps to attach to the joists. I try to avoid drilling through joists when and where I can, as I don't want to affect the strength of structural members needlessly.

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Old 12-14-2013, 02:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phishfood View Post
Apollo pipe, at least what I have seen of it, is made in China. Not saying that is necessarily a bad thing, but when I install pressure pipe, I want the best I can get, leaks cost lots of time and money. Design and quality control on the Chinese made plumbing fixtures and faucets I have seen tends to be pretty bad. I am not sure on where SharkByte is manufactured.

I would use plastic tubing straps to attach to the joists. I try to avoid drilling through joists when and where I can, as I don't want to affect the strength of structural members needlessly.
Hmmm... well, the first part of your reply brings up another question... Since my local hardware stores only stock these two manufacturers, would I be better off to spend a little more and order the supplies from an internet supplier?? Money is typically a little tight around here (only for the simple fact I like to keep a nice sum in a savings acct. as a just in case measure).. however, when I take on a project such as this that I intend to be permanent and not redoing it for a very very long time, if ever.. I don't mind spending the extra dime to make sure it's done right and with good supplies the first time around.

I was thinking along the same lines as far as drilling through the joists considering how many and how large the holes would be... Another concern I have that I think would go with along with this specific subject.. my floor joists run opposite of the direction my piping will be run, which means once I get the line to the location where I will be taking it up to the stub-outs, I can't just run it to that exact spot and up as this would cause me to have an extreme bend in them... I hate to leave the 'slack' it would take to make a long flowing bend so way I see it is I have two options.. either Run them in such a way that once I get to the right cavity, I would have to run the tubing parallel to those joists for a few feet so as to make a sweeping bend without leaving the ugly excess slack... or, run them straight to the spot where the stub-outs are, and put elbows in, would make it look cleaner, but that is just one more location prone to leaks... uggh....
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:10 PM   #6
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Crimp fittings are not very prone to leaks, flow restriction and cost is the only real reason not to use a fitting.

Why are you wanting to use a manifold?

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Old 12-14-2013, 05:24 PM   #7
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Well, keep in mind I'm only becoming educated on PEX as of recently... with that being said, it is my understanding that with a manifold system, you have less volume loss throughout the system when multiple fixtures are in use at the same time as opposed to a trunk & branch set-up.. Also, I like the idea of when I add-on to my house in the future (building a master bedroom and bath) It will be very simple to run the lines to said bathroom as opposed to having to tie into an existing trunk line, therefore reducing my flow-rates even further. Then the simple fact that with a manifold system comes the fact that I wouldn't be using a bunch of T connectors which, I feel anyway, is a pretty big advantage.

Like I said, feel free to pick apart anything I have stated and if I'm wrong about anything tell me lol. I'd rather be publicly told I'm wrong, than privately find out the hard way! haha



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