Please Help: PEX repipe Advice

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dollinger

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Hey everyone,

I'm facing a bit of a plumbing dilemma and could use some advice. Here's the situation: I've discovered several pinhole leaks in the copper pipes of our late 60’s built house. On top of that, my wife has been battling stage 4 cancer, undergoing grueling treatments, and subsequent surgeries to repair the damage caused by those treatments. Needless to say, she requires constant care, which has made it difficult for me to work consistently. We're really just hanging on at this point, financially speaking, so my only viable option is to replumb the house myself.

Fortunately, most of the piping is fairly accessible in the basement ceiling, running through an HVAC chase. The fixtures are concentrated in three main areas, where I plan to run ¾ inch lines and branch off to individual fixtures. Given the tight spaces in some areas, I'm leaning towards using expansion PEX, prioritizing quality materials since I won't s be able to tackle this projects again when I’m a little older.

In my research on PEX, I've come across various opinions and concerns about its reliability. Initially, I was set on using Uponor and I've stumbled upon an M12 tool with a quarter of the Uponor fittings needed for the job. So, here are my questions for you all:

What brand of pipe would you recommend and why? Because of the Uponor failures I'm currently considering Zurn non-barrier PEX B pipe with expansion fittings, but I'm having trouble getting quotes for Zurn materials. I've been quoted Jones Stephens pipe and fittings, which I believe is PEX A. Any thoughts on these brands or recommendations for others such as Soiux Chief?

What's your take on fittings: CR polymer vs. brass? I'm inclined towards Zurn CR fittings with Zurn pipe instead of Uponor fittings. Is it okay to mix expansion fittings, or is it better to stick with the pipe manufacturer's fittings?

Do you have any opinions on expansion vs. compression fittings for long-term durability?

I'm considering using 1” thin wall PVC pipe as a sleeve in a few tricky spots. Do you foresee any issues with running PEX through the PVC sleeve?

How careful do I need to be when pulling the pipe to avoid scuffing it?

I plan to wrap it in a black trash bag plastic in lighted areas for UV protection. Do you see any issues with this?

Are there any other issues or concerns you think I should know about?

Thanks so much for any insight and advice you can offer to help us out during this challenging time!
 

Breplum

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light is not a concern for indoor tubing. Pex thru pvc sleeve is fine. PEX tube is very durable and scuffing along wood is no issue.
I am Uponor trained for expansion PEX (love the M12 tools). Yes, have seen myriad failures on the first generation colored PEX, but Uponor has paid all cases that I personally know of or assisted with. From what I've read elsewhere they can be obstinate and mine is just limited experience.
Sticking with one mfrs system makes sense in case you had to make a claim down the road.
Sorry you are having such a tough time.
 

JohnCT

Still learning..slowly
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Hey everyone,

I'm facing a bit of a plumbing dilemma and could use some advice. Here's the situation: I've discovered several pinhole leaks in the copper pipes of our late 60’s built house. On top of that, my wife has been battling stage 4 cancer, undergoing grueling treatments, and subsequent surgeries to repair the damage caused by those treatments. Needless to say, she requires constant care, which has made it difficult for me to work consistently. We're really just hanging on at this point, financially speaking, so my only viable option is to replumb the house myself.

Fortunately, most of the piping is fairly accessible in the basement ceiling, running through an HVAC chase. The fixtures are concentrated in three main areas, where I plan to run ¾ inch lines and branch off to individual fixtures. Given the tight spaces in some areas, I'm leaning towards using expansion PEX, prioritizing quality materials since I won't s be able to tackle this projects again when I’m a little older.

In my research on PEX, I've come across various opinions and concerns about its reliability. Initially, I was set on using Uponor and I've stumbled upon an M12 tool with a quarter of the Uponor fittings needed for the job. So, here are my questions for you all:

What brand of pipe would you recommend and why? Because of the Uponor failures I'm currently considering Zurn non-barrier PEX B pipe with expansion fittings, but I'm having trouble getting quotes for Zurn materials. I've been quoted Jones Stephens pipe and fittings, which I believe is PEX A. Any thoughts on these brands or recommendations for others such as Soiux Chief?

What's your take on fittings: CR polymer vs. brass? I'm inclined towards Zurn CR fittings with Zurn pipe instead of Uponor fittings. Is it okay to mix expansion fittings, or is it better to stick with the pipe manufacturer's fittings?

Do you have any opinions on expansion vs. compression fittings for long-term durability?

I'm considering using 1” thin wall PVC pipe as a sleeve in a few tricky spots. Do you foresee any issues with running PEX through the PVC sleeve?

How careful do I need to be when pulling the pipe to avoid scuffing it?

I plan to wrap it in a black trash bag plastic in lighted areas for UV protection. Do you see any issues with this?

Are there any other issues or concerns you think I should know about?

Thanks so much for any insight and advice you can offer to help us out during this challenging time!

First, let me say I'm sorry for your wife's condition. I can't imagine the heartache you deal with day to day.

If you lived in anywhere but Georgia, I'd probably say just go with Uponor, but it seems (for reasons no one can explain) that Georgia is one of the hotbeds for Uponor failure. Is it the water, a localized storage issue with the pipe, the devil? I don't know, and if anyone knows, they aren't saying.

I'd probably go with one of the B pipes certified for expansion. Zurn and Sioux Chief are both certified as far as I know, and Legend certifies their PE-RT pipe as well.

I would probably go with the poly fittings over the brass.

As far as UV, indoor lighting can cause long term UV exposure as will any indirect outdoor light. Any pipe not covered after installation can be covered with those "pool noodle" type insulating sleeves. You get to block light and insulate at the same time, and those sleeves are pretty cheap.

Best of luck.

John
 
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