Need advice on which pipe/fittings to use

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Dave3

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Hi Guys,

I'm replacing a shower and tub valve and was hoping to get some advice on which type of pipe to go with PEX or copper. The valve I'm installing is a Delta 10000-UNBX.

I would like to get the best pressure and flow rate possible but the valve is also in a tight and awkward area to access. My initial thought, just to make life easier, was to go with 1/2" PEX but after I did some research it seems the ID on 1/2" PEX is smaller then that of copper. Not wanting to buy any special tools for crimping or expanding I was thinking of doing sharkbite the whole way through. I know the majority of the flow loss with PEX occurs because of the crimp fittings being so much smaller so I was wondering if using the sharkbite fittings would negate much of that loss.

I could also go with copper but that will be a bit more of a pain. I have to replace the pipes down to the basement because the way they did it is terrible and I think it's part of why we have such poor flow at the tub. The hot water line goes through 6 elbows and 2 couplings in between the main line and the valve. Using copper I could knock that down to just 3 elbows and 1 coupling by re-routing the pipe. With PEX I could eliminate them all together.

So I guess the question is, which would yield the best results, copper or PEX with sharkbite?
 

Jeff H Young

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Assuming you don't solder put a brass coupling and 6 inch nipple and 90 for tub spout. if that valve is like the monitor 13 14 series it wont flow very fast for tub regardless in my opinion. for shower I'm thinking PEX might be ok. You could increase pipe size to 3/4
The feeds coming from basement , I think 1/2 is ok it just depends on your wants
 

Dave3

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Hi Jeff,

I was planning on doing a standard 1/2" soldered copper line to a drop ear for the spout and a 2" nipple as it says specifically not to use PEX for that.

I had thought of doing 3/4 PEX but I can't find any 1/2" FIP x 3/4 push fittings to attach to the valve. I'm starting to think just doing copper and soldering it would be best but man it's going to be a pain, cheaper though.

One thing I noticed about that valve, the port that goes up to the shower is very restricted, I think it's restricted down to 3/8 or maybe ever 5/16. Is this normal for shower valves? I don't want a trickle coming out of the shower.

Also, if I were to go copper, would I do type M or L? I'm in Ontario and I think code only calls for M but there seems to be a lot of debate of which to use. Type L is more than twice the price though.
 
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Jeff H Young

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10 ft of l 14 bucks m is 1o price difference is 40 percent according to my guesstimate save 5 bucks run m if you want to do it on the cheap. We used to slam houses in the 80s never using L above ground . But I quit M a long time ago
I figured you didn't want to solder that's why I suggested the threaded for spout . DONT use PEX for tub spout. They port the valves as you noted so that water doesn't come out of shower and tub at same time.
 

Dave3

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Here 12' of M is ~$15 depending where you go and L is $30 so it's a significant difference. With the cost of the valve and the trim kit we are already pushing the budget. Pex would be much cheaper if it wasn't for the sharkbite connectors being so expensive.

Is there any way to do pex without any special tools? (less sharkbite, of course)
 
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