Re: water supply pipe size
Posted by Gary Slusser on January 20, 2003 at 10:33:12:
In response to Re: water supply pipe size
: Thank you Sir for your suggestions.

: I should clarify a few of my original points:

: In my area of Pennsylvania water meters are most commonly inside the basement of the structure. Therefore, in my situation, 3/4" type K currently runs from the main about 30 feet, penetrates the foundation, and connects to the meter just inside the basement. I'm trying to avoid excavation, retapping the main with a larger size and sealing the current tap.

: Also, we are not plumbers but are experienced remodelers with soldering experience. Copper also seems to be far and away the supply pipe of choice in this area, new construction included. Although PEX does seem interesting and may be perfectly fine with the inspectors, the learning curve would be large for us.

: Thanks again!

I�m in PA too, the Lewisburg area of central PA and yes copper is still the common choice but that�s changing. If you do some research on �copper tubing� + pinholes, or the other way around, you�ll find large damage claims for pinhole caused water damage all around the world but especially here on the east coast of the US. Your water may be acidic or otherwise aggressive and since the EPA reduced the acceptable pH range from 6.9-8.5 in 1991 to 6.5-8.5 when they implemented the Lead and Copper Rules (action level of 1.3 mg/l for copper and new construction less than 5 years old is not included in water company testing), the problem hasn�t gotten better. I�ve seen new construction have numerous pinholes just weeks apart in as few as 2.5 years. In the mean time you can have copper levels in the water above the MCL of 1.0 and that is a health issue.

Also, it�s not an issue of soldering experience or learning. PEX is installed like Romex which makes it much easier and with less �damage� to walls etc. in remodeling projects than using copper. You use crimped or compression fittings for the connections and run home runs from a manifold (in the basement) with a main line shut off before and after the manifold and each line valved to each fixture. No els etc. in most cases and you cut it with a $12 pair of plastic tubing cutters in less than 2 seconds. It is commonly stocked in sizes from 3/8� to 1�. It�s used for cold and hot water both and comes in colors to tell one type line from another without labels or guessing. It is used for hydronic heating such as under floor etc.. It also adds nothing to the water and by far is the material of choice in remodeling and potable water re-plumbing. The only resistance to changing from copper to PEX is existing �feelings� and codes, and codes have changed due to the NSF 61 standard in some states already. The others will change shortly.

By the way, I�m a water treatment and well pump dealer and that�s why I know about this stuff.

If you haven�t heard about PEX and/or pinhole leak problem with copper tubing before this, or don�t know much about them, you owe it to yourself to at least look into it before making the decision.

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