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Thread: cpvc vs. pex

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member KawyneL's Avatar
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    Default cpvc vs. pex

    I live in W.WA state in 100 yr+ Victorian. I am replumbing as I start my remodel in the upstairs bath, which is down to the studs. I still have a fair amount of lath [sp?] & plaster. Question: my current plumber wants to put cpvc in the house, where other plumbers in the area seem to strongly recommend Pex and against cpvc. My plumber tells me much more expensive, primarily in labor in having to open up more wall space given Pex is less rigid and needs help being "threaded" through assorted areas. However, my research seems to indicate that cpvc [at least at joints] can become brittle over time and increase chances of leaks. As you can imagine, I'm quite concerned. This is contemplated to be a complete home re-plumb, so I need it to be as durable/reliable as possible w/o horrible cost. He is also extending some gas lines for me, and the total bid is $7K. Just FYI.

    Lastly, I hope/presume that cpvc is still acceptable outside for the line from the meter into the home??

    All guidance/ comments appreciated! The plumber is a friend and I know he believes what he is telling me, I'm just uncertain it's the best product given the nature of my home.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pipe

    I have not used either PEX or CPVC, but since PEX is similar to soft copper, and CPVC like hard copper, I would use my experience with copper as a reference. I ALWAYS use soft copper down the walls, because there is seldom enough head room to drop a rigid pipe down a wall without making at least one joint in it. In the attic, or basement if you have one, you can either use the straight PEX which looks neater, or the flexible and secure it good. It should reguire less time than CPVC because you should have fewer connections to make.

  3. #3
    Retired prof. engr. gator37's Avatar
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    Default CPVC or

    CPVC or PEX is acceptable by the International Plumbing Code for running from the water meter to the house.

    Note that both have to be protected from
    UV all the time.

  4. #4
    Journeyman/Inspector Inspektor Ludwig's Avatar
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    Default

    I have no problem with cpvc. It's been around for a long time and I don't ever recall seeing any recalls or lawsuits like the PB fiasco years ago. I would do a google search on PEX problems and see what you come up with. Pex systems differ from manufacturers, while the pipe may be the same the fittings are different. I've heard of a lawsuit on Zurn Pex because of something to do with the brass fittings failing do to "zinctification" (is that a word?). I've also heard of lawsuits against pex in California. I'd check it out first.

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