PEX vs copper: Is the true price difference double for copper?

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JG plumbing

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Out of curiosity, why is that?
Despite what people think, copper is a superior material and professional designers still prefer it.

As long as the water quality is good copper lasts over 50 years and it's a more rigid material. Plus it looks better.
 

Ars Glonalin

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Good quality workmanship and materials- solder amd forget. It's an entirely proven system.

PEX is inexpensive and convenient. I predict there will be a lot if rework and repairs in 25 to 30 years.
 

JG plumbing

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Good quality workmanship and materials- solder amd forget. It's an entirely proven system.

PEX is inexpensive and convenient. I predict there will be a lot if rework and repairs in 25 to 30 years.
Agree.

People think because the companies that make pex tell its it'll last forever, that it'll last forever. I believe it's like other plastics. They don't go away, but they do lose their plasticity and become unusable in their intended form,over time.
 

Arby

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Something I didn't mention before is the taste. I have persnickety taste buds and sense of smell. I never liked the taste and odor that plastic imparted to water. I noticed it as a young child. Some people don't notice and think I'm crazy. Others know what I'm talking about. Then...when the leaching of questionable chemicals from plastic became known, my taste buds felt vindicated and I avoided plastic to every extent I could.

At any rate, given the price difference the local plumbers gave me, I couldn't help myself from taking a closer look at PEX. Right off the bat I found a study from Purdue that found chemicals that leaches out of PEX...at high concentrations. There's the possibility of filtering but it's only a guess how long the filters will last with the concentrations found.

So, there's my taste buds and sniffer, the fact PEX leaches junk, the uncertainties of longevity....and, my old fashioned self that just prefers metal to plastic. I miss the days when cars came with steel bumpers. Now everything is this cheap feeling/looking plastic....including plumbing.

Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I appreciate them all.
 

Arby

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True. Although cars do last a lot longer and run better than they used to. They are uglier for sure though.
I'm a sucker for nostalgia. Might be the reason I still drive an old Ford truck with steel bumpers. On the other hand, I do understand what you're saying. We have a new car that runs great, and is really fun to drive.
 

Arby

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Good quality workmanship and materials- solder amd forget. It's an entirely proven system.

PEX is inexpensive and convenient. I predict there will be a lot if rework and repairs in 25 to 30 years.
I don't remember if I mentioned this or not but, my plumbing will be buried in a slab on grade concrete floor. So...I'm hoping for a plumbing job that won't need repair work for a while...o_O
 

Arby

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I sure hope you sleeve it and not direct burial...
I needed the concrete for thermal mass due to the house being passive solar. Quite a few homes around here with concrete floors... though it's not due to the solar need but to save money. My current house has a slab...built in 1980.

To clarify, the plumbing will be under the concrete...but coming up through it of course.

Anyway, I haven't heard of anyone sleeving their plumbing. Can you tell me more?
 

JG plumbing

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All plumbing penetrations through concrete or block need to be sleeved.

Basically your pipe passes through another (larger) pipe instead of passing directly through the concrete. People use plastic if they can, to soften any contact. Designers usually want you to use metal sleeves which is kind of dumb, unless it's passing through a load bearing structure that could break or settle and cause stress, that makes more sense to me.
 
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Mitchell-DIY-Guy

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Even if you are going UNDER the slab, a sleeve makes sense. This is so you can access and or replace piping without busting up concrete or finished floors. Call it a sleeve or a chase, or whatever.

When they install fiber optic cables around here, they use directional boring machines, and pull a 4" pipe through the hole, then they use the 4" pipe as a sleeve for the small and thin fiber cables. They can then add or remove cables as needed w/o further digging. They pull from a termination point.

Making sense?
 

JG plumbing

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Even if you are going UNDER the slab, a sleeve makes sense. This is so you can access and or replace piping without busting up concrete or finished floors. Call it a sleeve or a chase, or whatever.

When they install fiber optic cables around here, they use directional boring machines, and pull a 4" pipe through the hole, then they use the 4" pipe as a sleeve for the small and thin fiber cables. They can then add or remove cables as needed w/o further digging. They pull from a termination point.

Making sense?
Conduit?
 

JG plumbing

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I can't say I've seen copper pipe being buried in conduit. Pex I have seen it. But any corners and your f-ed.
 

Arby

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Even if you are going UNDER the slab, a sleeve makes sense. This is so you can access and or replace piping without busting up concrete or finished floors. Call it a sleeve or a chase, or whatever.

When they install fiber optic cables around here, they use directional boring machines, and pull a 4" pipe through the hole, then they use the 4" pipe as a sleeve for the small and thin fiber cables. They can then add or remove cables as needed w/o further digging. They pull from a termination point.

Making sense?
Thanks, guys! Yeah, it makes sense. I think. Just never heard of it nor have I speced it or the architectural firm I worked for.

I do have a question though. If copper is ran through a sleeve, and there's a problem....how does one fish a rigid copper pipe replacement through a sleeve?
 

JG plumbing

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Thanks, guys! Yeah, it makes sense. I think. Just never heard of it nor have I speced it or the architectural firm I worked for.

I do have a question though. If copper is ran through a sleeve, and there's a problem....how does one fish a rigid copper pipe replacement through a sleeve?
That's the point I was making. Unless it's a straight run and you really planned it I don't think you could.

I would just wrap the copper waterproof insulation. And call it good. Go deep enough no one hits it but not so deep as to make unforseen repairs a huge inconvenience.

I also wouldn't plan on things never freezing. No matter where you live.
 

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