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Thread: Pex piping

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member lancejohnson1999's Avatar
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    Default Pex piping

    I ran 3/4" pex piping 100' between my house and garage. I did not use INSULATED pex pipe. I ran the pex pipe about 4' deep. Will it freeze during the winter months? Do I need to change it to insulated pex pipe? What can I do to prevent the pex pipe from freezing?

    Thanks for any response.
    Lance

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I've never heard of insulated PEX or any other normally used water line material. You add insulation to whatever you use but...

    If the 4' depth isn't going to prevent freezing you should bury it deeper; below the frost line for your area.

    3/4" PEX has the smallest ID of any 3/4" material you could use. A much better choice would have been 3/4" 160 psi rated PE pipe.
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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Your local plumbing inspector or water provider can clue you in on freeze depth in your area.
    It can vary, I've heard of five foot cover near Sun Valley Idaho and in Seattle we require two feet. Seattle is sandwiched between two bodies of water, which keeps things pretty even.

    And like Gary mentions, the Poly has a bigger inside dimension for outside use.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    As long as the pipe is below the frost line, it shouldn't freeze. Now, when it comes up into the structure, depending on how close it is to the foundation, outside of the heated areas, it could freeze there. Insulation won't help a lot, as it only slows the heat transfer, not stops it.
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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    That insulated PEX is not for underground or to keep water in it from freezing. It is used for heating systems.

    Here's a spec sheet.
    http://www.pexsupply.com/HydroPEX-CD...EX-Pipe-1-foot
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    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.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Tell me how to heat something with three inches of insulation around it?

    Do you put three inches of asbestos under your frying pan when making an egg?

    Its just insulated pipe, pick a use.

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You will lose a lot of flow with pipe that small over that distance. Inside diameter of PEX is considerable smaller than copper of the same size. As far as insulation is concerned, insulation does not provide heat. All it does is slow the transfer of heat. A "warm" coat provides zero heat, but it slows the transfer of your body heat so you will be warm. Insulated pipes will not prevent water from freezing if the water is not flowing and the ground freezes. I would venture a guess that in Delaware 4 feet is below normal frost level, but check to make sure. As others noted, if the pipe come up near the house, freezing would be possible at that point.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    True. We might assume that product is used by snow melt systems for areas that you do not want to waste heat on.

    And you can make it yourself for 1/4 the cost.

    As to size, 300' loops work fine for heating in 1/2 "

  10. #10
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    In Delaware, 48" should be more than adequate to keep it from freezing.

  11. #11
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Tell me how to heat something with three inches of insulation around it?

    Do you put three inches of asbestos under your frying pan when making an egg?

    Its just insulated pipe, pick a use.
    Used in heating systems (to keep the heat in the water inside the PEX inside the insulation) as in hot water baseboard or in/under floor radiant systems. You would use this insulated PEX for the runs from one baseboard unit or zone to the next to prevent heat loss between them. Or from a water heater to hot water fixtures. Then you would use naked copper/with fins (in the baseboard units) or PEX in the radiant zones to dissipate/transfer the heat into the air or floor .
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have not done too many radiant installs. Installers do not bother to use 20$ a foot product between zones because the heat loss still heats the house, and that loss is not a calculation of interest. If it is, simple pipe insulation suffices.

    Poly drain line with pex foamed into the center logically seems like something for exterior use between buildings, snowmelt supply lines, or for the brain dead ultra rich that have contractors that get a 20% upcharge on silly products they spec and install.

    If you used 25 feet of this from water heater to your first hot water fixture, the entire lifetime of the house heat loss savings would not recover its cost.

    PEX - .33 cents a foot + standard insulation = .59 cents a foot.

    Or this junk at 17 to 25$ a foot that cannot go through a joist or 2x4 wall.

    I think your use specification is faulty.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 12-06-2010 at 10:25 PM.

  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Sounds like you have not done too many radiant installs. Installers do not bother to use 20$ a foot product between zones because the heat loss still heats the house, and that loss is not a calculation of interest. If it is, simple pipe insulation suffices.

    Poly drain line with pex foamed into the center logically seems like something for exterior use between buildings, snowmelt supply lines, or for the brain dead ultra rich that have contractors that get a 20% upcharge on silly products they spec and install.

    If you used 25 feet of this from water heater to your first hot water fixture, the entire lifetime of the house heat loss savings would not recover its cost.

    PEX - .33 cents a foot + standard insulation = .59 cents a foot.

    Or this junk at 17 to 25$ a foot that cannot go through a joist or 2x4 wall.

    I think your use specification is faulty.
    And I think you don't know much about heating systems in cold freeze areas with a boiler for hot water heat systems in unheated basements or utility rooms.

    And if you want to debate the type of use, take it up with the manufacturer and lose the attitude with me; you've been banned here once before for that.

    I've put what the manufacturer says about the application in red for you.

    Specs

    Product Specs
    Size: 1"
    PEX Size: 1"
    Length: 1 ft.
    Outside Diameter: 3"
    Barrier Type: ?
    Barrier type describes the layer coating PEX tubing. Oxygen barrier and PEX-Al-PEX are used for heating applications, while non-barrier is used for plumbing applications.

    Oxygen Barrier
    Material: PEX
    Color: White
    Application: Heating
    Max PSI: ? Max PSI is the maximum amount of pressure per square inch that can be tolerated. 90 psi
    Grade: ? Grade describes the method in which the PEX tubing was created. Grade A is the highest quality PEX, followed by grade B, and then grade C. PEX-a
    Warranty: 1 Year
    Standards Met: ASTM F877
    ASTM F876
    NSF
    Max Temp (F): 200F
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    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.

  14. #14
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    http://www.oxfordplasticsinc.com/preinsulatedpipe.htm

    You mentioned that you never heard of preinsulated "normal pipe"


    gary wrote:
    I've never heard of insulated PEX or any other normally used water line material. You add insulation to whatever you use but...
    With age and thousands of installations comes knowledge, and so I have shared with you some of mine. You seem to be very familiar with PE pipe, so you should have this option in your bag of tools.

    I used this in Alaska, in Delta Junction, on a big contract I had years ago, one of the coldest places on earth.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 12-07-2010 at 10:22 PM.

  15. #15
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    You mentioned that you never heard of preinsulated "normal pipe"
    Not really but close enough.

    Here is what I said: I've never heard of insulated PEX or any other normally used water line material. You add insulation to whatever you use but...

    Take that in context to the OP questioning if he needed to replace the PEX he just installed with pre insulated PEX and there is no need for your link or reply.

    Raucina, you said you wouldn't normally use it and if need you'd add the insulation; me too and IMO most DIYers will also. And I will now delete his latest post whining about that post being deleted.

    Plus the fact that insulating a buried water line isn't going to stop water in it from freezing if the pipe depth is above the frost line for the area; unless you let water flow through it constantly and with sufficient flow to prevent freezing.

    So there was no reason for you to mention the pre insulated stuff except to point out that I was uninformed/incorrect/wrong. Yet my comment that I never heard of it (implying it not being used for the OP's use), is a true statement. And the reason I haven't heard of it is due to no one using it normally to run a water line to their garage, or from their well to their house.

    I deleted your personal attack off topic rant post mentioning my meds etc. and I deleted redwoods off topic reply with the picture.
    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.

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