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Thread: Need Help working with PEX

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  1. #1

    Default Need Help working with PEX

    Hi:

    Iím thinking of re-plumbing my potable water needs with a PEX system. I have a slightly aggressive water condition (although safe for consumption)that is pitting my copper pipes (22 year old home), plus my water pressure isnít the greatest. Iím currently afraid to try and increase the pressure with thin (schedule M) pipes that tends to pit as it is.)

    My plumbing skills are limited- I can solder, however if Iím going to replace the copper- I donít want to use copper again even with a better (thicker) pipe since eventually they will leak again- plus, I donít relish the thought of soldering in tight places.

    Everything Iíve read about PEX seems to work for me. It will not be affected by the aggressive water, and can be easily installed. (I do have some concerns about mice eating at the PEX??)

    My first set of questions regard the different methods for joining the tubing to connections. Itís my understanding that the different systems are unique and must be used consistently. I was thinking of using the Wisbro system of compression and expansion. Does one tool do both? Can it be used in relatively tight spaces (under sinks)? Do I have to get special PEX tubing for this system?

    My current game plan is to modify my current copper plumbing with PEX. I have a two story home with an exposed basement ceiling. I can clearly trace where the ĹĒ copper pipes branch off the ĺĒ main to the separate sites of the kitchen and Ĺ bath above on the first floor. I am considering disconnecting and sealing off the current ĹĒ pipes that feed to the kitchen and re plumb PEX from a manifold to each fixture. The ĺĒ copper would then be connected as a separate line in the manifold as well to continue to supply water to the second floor.

    The reason Iím not thinking of redoing the 2nd floor plumbing immediately is because it presents some major obstacles for my limited plumbing and carpentry skills. The current pipes are hidden in the walls and ceilings, and I donít know exactly where they are. (Ideally if I knew where they were I could cut them out and replace them with PEX tubing, fishing them through the same holes in the walls and joists. Instead Iím considering a new route maybe through closets etc. to reach the upstairs fixtures.

    I'm not concerned with the copper terminations on a pex system failing for many reasons, primarily because the copper failures that I have experienced are never on vertical members, only on the horizontal pipe.

    Any thoughts or comments are most welcome.

    Thanks,
    Don

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Other than the obvious pin hole leaks in copper, acidic/aggressive water eats all metals and adds them to the water. If you ingest the water, that's not healthy.

    So you should treat your water to prevent the corrosion in the entire system including any new (expensive) copper stub outs you'll prevent adding metals to the water.

    I suggest a correctly sized for the SFR your house and family size requires, backwashed acid neutralizing (AN) filter with a Clack WS-1 control valve.

    If you install one, then you can take your time replacing the old copper one piece at a time.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    Other than the obvious pin hole leaks in copper, acidic/aggressive water eats all metals and adds them to the water. If you ingest the water, that's not healthy.
    Gary:

    Thanks, I'll Triple check on the safety of the water, but my town health official, and all others involved in this process have told me that the water is safe to consume. BTW the water is not acidic, in fact it's about a 7.4 ph

    Can you give me any help with the questions I raised about the Wisbro tool, or about my plan in general?

    Thanks
    Don

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Making the connection with the Wirsbo (Uphonor) system...you slide a pex collar over the end of the cut tubing. Slide in the expander tool...expand the tubing and the collar, slide the now bigger opening over the fiting, hold for a moment until the tubing contracts back to its original size making the connection and you're done. There is no crimping with this system.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua
    Making the connection with the Wirsbo (Uphonor) system...you slide a pex collar over the end of the cut tubing. Slide in the expander tool...expand the tubing and the collar, slide the now bigger opening over the fiting, hold for a moment until the tubing contracts back to its original size making the connection and you're done. There is no crimping with this system.
    So this is the only tool I need?

    http://www.pexsupply.com/categories....D=559&brandid=

    Can you send me a link to these collars, because I don't see them on the Pex Supply site

    Thanks
    Don
    Last edited by DonM; 10-17-2007 at 03:29 PM.

  6. #6
    Plumber BAPlumber's Avatar
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    http://www.pexsupply.com/CategoryPre...D=526&brandid=

    the expander tool with the appropraite heads and a tubing cutter that will cut the pex square are pretty much all you need.
    Brent

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