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Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? #4657873
02/06/18 11:04 AM
02/06/18 11:04 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 506
Joplin
Cressida Offline OP
Cressida  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 506
Joplin
I have a house from the 1970's and have found that a long horizontal run of the copper hot water supply pipe is developing some pin hole leaks. I have had two leaks that have been repaired over the past couple of years and see the signs of more problems.

From reading forums this can be from small bit's of iron that come from the hot water tank that settle down on the copper (inside) and corrosion sets up. With enough time, you get a small greenish looking area and eventually a leak.

I can easily get to most of the horizontal run and plan to replace most of it (about 30-40 feet). I plan to have a plumber do the work but don't know if I should ask for copper pipe since all of the supply lines are copper; or let them splice in a long section of PEX, since that seems to be what many are doing now?

Also if you agree that it's OK to go with the PEX, anyone know of the best type of transition fitting to request b/t the copper and PEX? I know there are the "Sharkbits" that are commonly used because they are "cheap" and easy to install. However, I'm not sure they are the best, and most secure fitting and would like to do it right. What fittings should I request if we agree to splice in PEX ?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657874
02/06/18 11:07 AM
02/06/18 11:07 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,277
Phoenix
dishdude Offline
dishdude  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,277
Phoenix
I don't know for sure, but that never stopped me from replying! I think I'd go with PEX so that the line can bend and flex easily and use crimped fittings.


2018 Challenger SRT 392 PUP 0w-40 Wix 57899XP
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Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657879
02/06/18 11:17 AM
02/06/18 11:17 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,614
North Carolina
Rat407 Offline
Rat407  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,614
North Carolina
Pex is the way to go. Less joints because it can bend and if it is in a freezing are it will hold up better and not crack if water freezes in it.


2002 Silverado 5.3 0w-20 AMSOIL®
Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657883
02/06/18 11:18 AM
02/06/18 11:18 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,349
NoVA
Jimzz Offline
Jimzz  Offline
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,349
NoVA
Use the Pex, will work great and is cheaper. Use the cinch install method with the stainless steel rings. 1 tool will work with the 3 most common sizes.

And don't use Snakebites in any place you can't get to easily to inspect and/or replace. Do it right the first time so there is no 2nd time. Solder on a copper to Pex fitting. Use copper stubs for your lines to the toilet and sinks.


yup
Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657894
02/06/18 11:32 AM
02/06/18 11:32 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,592
USA
mk378 Offline
mk378  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,592
USA
PEX is the material of choice. If your water is acidic enough to attack copper pipe you should phase out using copper pipe. This happens with well water.

Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657904
02/06/18 11:39 AM
02/06/18 11:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 2,987
SE British Columbia, Canada
Snagglefoot Offline
Snagglefoot  Offline
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 2,987
SE British Columbia, Canada
Had an old mobile home I used as a cabin. Same phenomenon. The copper pipes were so leaky, the mice were drinking from it. Ripped it all out and went to Pex. The crossovers are no big deal. Ask the plumber what he recommends and don't force him to do something he doesn't recommend. That would be my two cents.

SF


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657905
02/06/18 11:39 AM
02/06/18 11:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,018
Canuck living in California
KrisZ Online content
KrisZ  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,018
Canuck living in California
PEX should be fine and it's easier to work with in tight spots. Nothing wrong with copper either.


2015 Dodge Grand Caravan-27k miles.
2006 Mazda 3-163k miles
Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657919
02/06/18 11:48 AM
02/06/18 11:48 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 1,416
Grand Rapids, MI
WishIhadatruck Offline
WishIhadatruck  Offline
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 1,416
Grand Rapids, MI
I've replaced a lot of my copper with PEX. Not because of an issue with my copper, but because of moving my hot water heater, moving my water softener, adding a bathroom, etc. Sharkbite fittings or similar ones from other brands are easy, but definitely not cheap. I also think there is more risk of a leak down the road due to the o-ring seals. They may outlast the copper however? Nobody really knows. It is much cheaper and would seem more reliable to do what Jimzz said, solder on PEX fittings to the ends of the copper you are leaving in place and then use the crimp rings to hold the PEX to the copper fitting. They are cheap, reliable, and easy if you can solder. If you are hiring a plumber, I would think that is what they will do. I'd ask as I got quotes how they plan to do it. As a do it yourself-er, I prefer the SS crimp rings also because one tool does all the sizes. The tool only needs to access one side of the fitting as well so they work well in tighter spots.


1996 Buick Roadmaster Wagon
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Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657923
02/06/18 11:51 AM
02/06/18 11:51 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,475
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,475
NJ
I've had several of those pin hole leaks in my copper water lines. PITA. Had to open up wall and a ceiling to repair. I just spliced in Sharkbites and copper pipe. Never had a pinhole in my basement where I can easily change out the piping.

Copper pipe was extremely expensive a few years ago. Don't know if that's still the case.

You should consider doing the job yourself. Other than about 10 trips back and forth to Home Depot or the plumbing supply shop to get the correct fittings, you should be fine.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
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Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657933
02/06/18 11:55 AM
02/06/18 11:55 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
Reddy45 Offline
Reddy45  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
How about the ProPex expansion type fitting?

Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657947
02/06/18 12:05 PM
02/06/18 12:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,490
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,490
...
Tell your plumber in advance what you want. He just might show up with copper and then gripe about having to go buy PEX.

I agree with going the PEX route.


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657955
02/06/18 12:23 PM
02/06/18 12:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,505
Arkansas
Win Offline
Win  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,505
Arkansas
I have specified PEX where practical for all of the commercial work I have had done recently, with crimp ring transitions from copper to PEX. None of this has given any trouble, but none of it is very old.

I had an irritating problem with a plumbing inspector who, after the fact, required some sort of bushing around the PEX where it ran through any type of framing material.


09 Torrent 3.6 V6 M1 0/30
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Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: PimTac] #4657958
02/06/18 12:27 PM
02/06/18 12:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,977
VW Fanboy Island
maxdustington Offline
maxdustington  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,977
VW Fanboy Island
If you want the best, get Uponor fittings. They make ones that are strong enough to be mounted underground.

If it was DIY I would say just solder a new copper pipe on but a pro will have the crimpers so terminate pex so you might as well.


03 Jetta AWP/09A 205k kms
Edge 0W40 + Mann 719/30
Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657963
02/06/18 12:30 PM
02/06/18 12:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 258
Huntington WV
dbias Online content
dbias  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 258
Huntington WV
i would go with PEX all the way. I used to have 2 Fourplex apartment buildings with the old Galvinized water pipe in them. Needless to say the day came to replace the water lines in both buildings. i made an access hole cut behind each shower in the bedroom closets, cut the galvanized loose and attached the pex to it with a chinese handcuff clamp, went to the basement and cut the galvanized loose there and began dropping the old pipe and cutting it 5 foot at a time and pulling the pex down with it and once the pex appeared in the basement i simply grabbed it and walked across the basement with it and set it into the water manifolds i set for each apartment. I never dreamed it would pull down from the second floor apartment into the basement so easy but it took about 45 minutes per apartment. After the initial outlay for the compression tool and some compression bands and fittings it was way cheaper and easier than copper. At the time the pex was 1/10th the cost of copper so i was able to do all 8 units for less than the cost of doing 1 in copper.... one note make sure you have about an 18 inch copper section coming out of the water heater on the hot side to protect the pex from the inital blast of hot water.


2011 VW JETTA Castrol Edge 0W-40
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Re: Replace copper supply line with copper or PEX ? [Re: Cressida] #4657967
02/06/18 12:33 PM
02/06/18 12:33 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 7,211
Leamington, ON, Canada ..... r...
Papa Bear Offline
Papa Bear  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 7,211
Leamington, ON, Canada ..... r...
I'm old enough to have seen all sorts of problems with plastic plumbing pipe/fittings over the decades (We won't discuss aluminum wiring ... )
Expensive recalls and retrofits.

Type "M" copper would last you another 40 yrs and if you want longer lasting go with "L"


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