Pex vs FlowGuard Gold

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Earnie, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Earnie

    Earnie New Member

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    I am looking into replacing the gray polybutylene plumbing in my house. This will be a DIY job since 95% of the pipe is easily accessable through a crawl space and wall hatch-ways.

    My question is, which is the better product, Pex or FlowGuard Gold CPVC? Labor cost and time are not issues. I am more concerned with material quality, longevity and joint connection strength.

    Thank you for your valued input.
  2. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    Where are you located?
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Better product on what basis of comparison? They are two very different types of products so a comparison isn't going to be fair to either.

    Any joint or material is as good as the next as long as both are done right. Except for copper that later is damaged by water quality issues. Is your PB leaking, and look how old it is and it probably has crimped fittings.

    But since you will probably not be using a manifold system, I would go with 3/4" CPVC (if it will deliver the gpm you need) but, pulling PB out as you use it to pull PEX in is real slick and saves a lot of time and effort and more importantly, you have minimal fittings (one on each end) and none inside walls.
  4. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    Earnie, it's not so much a question of better. Both products have their uses, though if you live somewhere where freezing is a problem I would stay away from cpvc. Pex is more expensive but has a better track record for reliability. Pex is also easier and faster to install and requires no messy glue. However, you need a special tool to install pex. In new england, hardly anyone up here uses cpvc. It's either copper or pex. However, properly installed, either product will suit your needs.
  5. Earnie

    Earnie New Member

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    Thanks for the reply guys.

    I'm located in central North Carolina. Yes it does get cold enough to freeze here but the plumbing is in the crawl space and from there up the central walls of the house. No outside walls have any plumbing, plus the existing PolyB is covered with foam insulation. New pipe will also have the insulation on both hot and cold.

    The house is on well water with both an iron/sulphur tank and a softener tank. Also filtered with a 5/50 micron filter prior to the expansion tank.

    I guess ease of installation would be a plus. I have worked with regular pvc so I am aware of the primer and glue mess. The cost of purchasing a Pex crimp tool for a one time use is an issue unless I can rent one at the local rental store.

    My plan is to continue with 1" pipe from the softener tanks (1" pipe from well to softener) and then branch off with 3/4". I do realize that will have to drop to 1/2" at faucets.

    PolyB was installed in 1992. No current leaks. I want to keep it that way hence the swap out plan.

    I guess I'm a bit skeptical of the Pex since in my mind its similar to the PolyB with those crimp fittings.
  6. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

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    I would go with the PEX. We are starting to see CPVC hot water lines becoming brittle, in homes that are not that old. When trying to cut into these lines the pipe cracks. In time I am afraid this will become a problem.

    John
  7. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    John, there have also been problems with the glue causing the pipe to become brittle near the joint intersection if not rpoperly removed. Over time the build up of glue makes the pipe brittle. I have several pictures of it.
  8. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

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    This is not near glue joints. One that sticks to mind is we were cutting tees in a 3/4" line for a laundry tub no where near any fittings. The worst I have seen was replacing a water heater. We had to re pipe the recirculating line that line was like glass.

    John
  9. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    Get a lot of that same thing under mobile homes also.
  10. Earnie

    Earnie New Member

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    What I comprehend from the replies, Pex is the preferred material.

    Do most use the standard white Pex or is there any benefit to using blue for cold and red for hot. Other than ease of identification.

    One other question. I read a lot about Pex being more forgiving in a freeze condition. I take that to be a plus but what about the fittings? Aren't the brass elbows, tees, and couplers more likely to freeze up than the Pex pipe?
  11. Kelly Lawrence

    Kelly Lawrence New Member

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    CPVC vs PEX

    Hi Earnie,

    I am with FBC Building Solutions, the manufacturer of both FlowGuard Gold® CPVC and FlowGuard™ Flex PEX pipe. Each material has different advantages. FlowGuard Gold is a rigid material that will not pit, scale or corrode. Since it is CPVC, it is also resistant to chlorine, which is important if you are using a public water supply. FlowGuard Flex PEX pipe can be installed with the fitting style of your choice. The superior flexibility of FlowGuard Flex PEX pipe enables an easy installation. We would like to assist you in selecting the best material for this application. Scott Graham is your FBC Building Solutions Technical Support Specialist for the Carolinas. Please email your contact information to me at fbcbuildingsolutions@lubrizol.com and I will have him contact you directly.

    Kelly Lawrence
  12. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    Donate a thousand feet of 1/2" and a pile of fittings to my classroom and we can be buddies :D

    Shameless begging
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  13. Earnie

    Earnie New Member

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    Thank you for the contact Kelly.
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