Re: PEX vs. PE for water service from meter to house
Posted by Ben Hong on March 20, 1999 at 14:47:48:
In response to Re: PEX vs. PE for water service from meter to house
: : We have a bid from a plumbing company to replace our water service from meter to house. The bid is to use polyethylene tubing rated at 160 PSI. The diameter wasn't specified. Not knowing anything about this, I checked and other places and read that cross-linked polyethylene, or PEX, is great stuff. I don't think the product being proposed is PEX; it's from Wesflex and the literature the plumber left me doesn't mention "cross-linked." Is PEX better for the main service, or is regular polyethylene good enough?

: : Also, the proposal is to not trench but use a device that burrows underground, requiring just a few holes to be dug. Our run is over 150' and goes under brick sidewalk, flower bed, driveway, and shallow-rooted mature camellias, so not trenching sounds great. However, I never heard of this technology. Does it work, or will they just wind up trenching anyway?

: : The bid is around $5000. Does this sound like the right price?

: : Finally, I had always thought copper was the way to go. Is this incompatible with the burrowing technique because copper isn't flexible enough to feed through? If I don't want plastic of any kind because of health concerns, am I stuck with trenching?

: : Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions.

: ben, the method the plumberis useing is called boreing or he may wash it with water. but the price? wow he should put gold pipe in for that. do you live in a high richy area? well whatever, pex pipeing is excellant but don't put in less than 1" pipe. if it is connected to a sprinkler system don't put in less than 1 1/4". try and get another bid to keep this plumber honest.3 is better.copper is excellant also,what kind of pipe is he replaceing?good luck. Dale

Dale, thanks for your comments. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area (N. Oakland), which I guess is somewhat high-price. We though the high amount was due to the long run (we're on a back lot). We did get one other bid, who proposed trenching and using 1" copper. His bid was in the same ballpark, about $4600 (the other bid was actually closer to $5300). However, trenching through our camellia bed would probably kill off 5 prized, mature plants. That's why I wondered whether you could "bore" and use copper too instead of plastic pipe.

The old service is galv pipe (size unknown), and probably over 60 years old. We've lost volume over the past 5 years, and the consensus seems to be the old pipe is so corroded it should be replaced. Thus our dilemma.

What did you mean by "wash it with water"? Also, as I mentioned, I don't think the proposal is to use PEX but regular PE, and I was wondering if there's a big difference, or if I should insist on PEX.

Thanks again for your help.


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