1. Malibu Jim

    Malibu Jim New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    California
    I am currently starting to remodel our kitchen, with the bathrooms to follow. Our house is 35 years old, and still has the original galv pipes. I guess it would be nice to do the remodel and repipe together, but it's not going to happen. Talking about the repiping with my son, an electrician, we were wondering about the location of the pipes. The original, all are in the walls, and we were wondering if we repiped it ourselves with copper, it would be very hard to get the galvanized out and put the copper in its place. Is it legal and proper to run copper up through the floor (but still against the wall) inside the kitchen sink cabinet and the bathroom vanities? Don't know for sure if I'll do it myself, but I'm retired with nothing else pressing.
  2. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Webster Ma.
    I would do it that way. My kitchen sink pipes come through the floor and not the wall.
  3. Jim,
    Have you considered replumbing with PEX?
    That's what all of the pro plumbers are going with around here.
    It's much less expensive than copper, much easier to install, etc.
    Mike
  4. Malibu Jim

    Malibu Jim New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    California
    Mike,
    I really haven't thought much about PEX, but I have done some research on CPVC. Trouble is, these are so new or else not used in our area, SF Bay Area, that when I mention them to people , they look at me like I'm nuts. These are people in the trades, but not plumbing.
  5. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Here in the midwest, I have used CPVC to replace all of the galvanized in our old house and I believe that is the way to go. Pex would be a little easier -- no elbows at turns, and so on -- if you want to use a manifold feeding single runs to each faucet or fixture, but I believe CPVC is much less expensive and no special tools are required. In my own opinion: Copper is best, then CPVC, then whatever else is being used now that "mobile home supplies" have found their ways into residential construction and remodeling.
  6. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    I wouldn't use cpvc. It is a cheap home owner product. Repairs require long shut downs of water, unless you start adding compression or push style fittings, the plastic valves never work and if you try installing a good brass valve in the system, it will start to leak at the threads because of pipe movement. If it is damaged it will usually crack the entire length of a run and it is damaged easily. Nothing to worry about in your case, but it hates freezing temps and will break.

    Copper and PEX are the professional ways to go. Wirsbo expansion style PEX is top brand. With copper watch the use of flux, you may be required to use the water soluable type, which is difficult.
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Copper an PEX are pretty much the standard here with CPVC being the choice of the "Handyman" Oh Boy! I realize that a pro can do a nice job with CPVC a I have seen some nice work pics by others...

    Mexifornia has some open ended code applying to PEX. In some areas its okay and in others its not. As I understand in the next code revision it is probably going to be approved statewide. I recently read somewhere that they are currently doing the environmental impact study on it in preparation for its approval... I wonder what the California warning label will say....

    PEX lends itself very well to a repipe situation and propably could be compared to rewiring a house with BX vs. Conduit. As with any material the innstallation craftmanship can vary widely. Ranging from bundles of spaggetti everywhere to a simple neat installation. I am not a fan of the home run installation as every fixture gets spaggetti from the source and each fixture has a hot line that you have to wait for the hot water to arrive at. I would instead size the tubing correctly and run it similar to the copper or, in a large home but individual bathromm groups on small manifolds making hot water recirculation loops possible which is not possible on homeruns.

    As far as what to use there are quite a few out there. I would say that Wirsbro/Uphonor is the best, but, the tool is expensive and probably not worth it for anyone other than a plumber doing new construction. I am a repair plumber and am faced with working with whatever the customer has installed. The Wirsbro system is not compatable with all the other systems. My choice rather than carry multiple systems was to go with one that was relatively inexpensive yet could work with any system. This is the system I selected.
    http://www.watts.com/pro/divisions/potablepexplumbing/learnabout/learnabout_cinchclamp.asp
    The one tool does any size and any type of PEX so it works well in my application.

    Check with your local authorities to see if PEX is approved in your local area.

    A note on PEX: There are 2 Class Action Lawsuits against 2 separate manufacturers. Both suits involve failures of fittings.
    Kitec's suit involved dissimilar metals in that there is an aluminum layer in their tubing that came in contact with the fitting and under aggressive water conditions corroded the fittings causing them to fail. As an electrician I'm sure you recall some problems involving aluminum wiring... Aluminum worked it just had to be done right!
    Zurn's suit involves a fitting failure in a cheap casting, machined too thin, at too high a speed that breaks. Made in China go figure!

    These suits in turn bring out statements that I'm sure were common as the materials used shifted from Knob & Tube to BX, and later to Romex... I'm sure that more than a few "old school guys" fell behind as they waited too long to adapt to the new methods and some of the "new school guys" got burned on things that had developmental problems like the aluminum wire. Our trade has had these same problems in the 80's we went with a plastic tube called Polybutylene only to discover that Chlorine in the water had some disasterous effects on the system... Oh Boy! The rest of the world went with PEX and it does have a good track record and now its new to us. The guys who got burned on Polybutylene are hesitant to go with PEX and cite every problem as gloom and doom. Will they turn out to be the dinosaurs of the trade or, will they be the lucky ones that avoided a wrong turn? Time will tell!
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  8. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Said otherwise: CPVC is an easily-afforded product just about anybody can install successfully.

    I have yet to have to do any repairs, but I have been able to turn the water back on in as few as 30 minutes after doing new work even though I usually do force myself to wait at least an hour or so.

    All of mine work just fine.

    I have yet to ever have any such problem.

    That is one of CPVC's drawbacks.

    There are versions of CPVC that supposedly do a little better than others along that line, but I did not spend the extra money to use any.

    I certainly agree as to copper, but professionals using PEX does not make PEX "professional". I grew up in an RV factory, and that stuff reminds me of people no longer even knowing how to flare copper.
  9. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    Like it or not PEX is a product used by professionals world wide. It's ease of use also makes it a great product for DIYers.

    I know I am not alone when I say cpvc sucks.
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