PEX And Freezing Winter Temperatures

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Master Plumber Mark, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Location:
    NY Capital District
    Speaking as a customer paying T&M for some stupid inspector to require pretty joints with no drips in a location that doesn't show or doesn't really matter...I don't need such "protection". Safety and function are one thing, but a solder drip in my basement????????
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2007
  2. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Occupation:
    industrial service plumbing foreman
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    It takes the same amount of time to do sloppy or neat work.
     
  3. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    Not really. Doing neat work does take more time that is why some people don't do it. I can plumb faster if my copper isn't quite the right lenght and looks crooked but works and if the joints aren't wiped. I can change out an electric panel faster if the wires aren't coming in perfectly and have perfect 90 bends going to the breakers and wire bundles held neatly with zip ties.

    Neatness does take more time.
     
  4. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    getting over perfectioin.....

    CASS.... you can play mind games with yourself doing
    pooolumbing all day long if you so wish...

    I actually know a fellow that used to have "anxiety attacks" trying to make his work exrtra perfect....he would take it apart 4 or 5 times ....reroute the work over and over agian....

    you could also set up a lazer level if

    you really want perfect......and spend the whole

    week trying to make pex spagetti look perfect...

    (behind the water-heater) LOL

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    extra solder used was 'wasteful'

    all those repair joints could have been extra perfect

    with no drips or spots where solder had to be wiped off...


    but this is not the space shuttle either....

    its a mechanical room with a water heater in front of it....

    and it is not gong to leak in my lfetime

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Its all a futile effort because

    the funny thing is with most customers that bothers me

    is all they really care about is when they turn on the

    faucets hot comes out on the left and cold comes out on the right...

    and when they flush the toilets....

    the crap goes away and dont come back..


    they are not going to pat you on the head and tell you you are a good boy for all those level pipes.....


    95% dont even have a clue what they are looking at.....
    and dont even know wether they have a gas or electric water heater.....


    so its simply all a "personal best"
    thing you do for yourself...

    just dont get out the lazer level
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  5. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    Here's my take on "neatness"

    I treat every customer like they know as much as I do....and come to find out down the road that some have very good knowledge of the profession and know what to look out for.


    Never do I leave drips on copper piping and for numerous reasons. There are exclusions and I cover that below.

    For one, you might be the fool that has to come back and cut that pipe again someday and install another fitting or the like and since you didn't wipe the pipe clean, you are now taking that section completely out because wiping it with a rag (which you probably didn't) won't remove the flux corrosion near those drips and when you go to reheat and remove those drips, you spend 5 minutes and questionable solder joints because you cannot get the pipe clean completely.

    When it is extremely cold like two weeks ago and I'm soldering I wear gloves and I can twick the solder bead forming on the joint and instantly bring heat back to it.....or I'll take the solder wire itself and quickly move it across the solder drop and will remove most of it without disturbing the closing joint.

    Since my soldering is mostly limited these days due to service work, I will take it even one more step and do the "shoe-shine" approach on the piping where I'll take a long section of sandcloth and brush the copper, joints included to a high shined finish that involves the section I worked on from top to bottom.

    It stands out completely from the last plumber ultimately and if you lose that customer......they'll wonder why the next one isn't performing the same professionalism. Taking an extra 10 minutes and straightening out a swing joint or piping hanging down from the ceiling when you know damn right well that if you spend extra time, j-hook the piping up,,,,it will actually make your work easier to do since you're not angling the pipe that you have to reconnect to.


    And professionalism is exactly what that is. Putting the top notch work out there so your competition works below you.

    Agreed, there are times I cannot remove the solder.......especially in areas where even the torch barely reaches. But in open view I make it look as good as possible and in new construction back in the day......I'd do the same.

    Plumbing is artwork to me and I respect it because I'm in this boat for a limited time only due to physical limitations.

    The last thing I want to be known as in present and past is that I had no respect for my profession.


    And to brag, I just nailed the super service award through angie's list again, making it 4 years straight. 4 A reports in just the past 5 weeks. People can diss that system all you want but being in my position in that system is a money generator and I'm getting a good wage and they are getting top notch service. That system is growing in leaps and bounds and contractors are trying to get on that list. Being on the back end of stick on that list will drive your income down if you are a pisser and moaner of giving bad service to homeowners. Being on that system in bad view is a black eye that hurts for years, not 3 years like the BBB offers with no in-depth technical data around the bad workmanship.


    I have a great deal of pride for my profession,,,,,,don't know if anyone knows that by now but I beat to a drumroll all my own. I'm not the best but I give the best service I know how. I leave nothing behind for the next plumber to criticize my workmanship.

    That's being realistic in the above statement. You should only expect 70% of your customer base to like you no matter if you worked for free and left candy.


    LOL! I do that now. I figure I'm delaying my diabetes diagnosis someday in the future and now when I bring the bill through the door.....

    I leave a couple pieces of candy and my business magnet on their kitchen counter as a way of saying thank you for your patronage.

    I leave before they start choking on the hot cinnamon candies to avoid a lawsuit.:eek: :confused: :p


    Charging by the hour allows the above to be a normal and usual practice without complaint.


    All plumbers are not created equal.......and by no means am I the best. I'm just the best at what I do for my customers, in my mind and no one elses.




    word!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2007
  6. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Occupation:
    Repairing and remodeling homes
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    Thank's Rugged

    I also couldn't believe that mess. I would be embarrassed to post that pix.
    The truth is inflammatory !
     
  7. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    well toolaholic if you really feel that way.....

    If that pic really offends you ,

    I will simply take it off.... I am not ahamed of anything

    and as I already mentioined before, the job is unfinished

    and more will be done after the drywall is hung and is finished.

    though I doubt I will would make it much different.....

    well, just to make you happy perhaps I can wipe those joints
    a little better when I go back out to install the heater sometime this summer...

    it might be all covered in white paint by then, but if it makes you happy



    So why dont you post something you have done recently yourself??


    maybe I can post something else too....


    I took that pic off just not to offend all the true professionals here on this site,,,
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Hey, just leave the picture on there.
    Why are people getting so picky?

    It does show a form of manifold and helps to inform what may be part of a plumbing job.
     
  9. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    pex and freezing temps

    Actually Terry I posted that pic to show how

    the copper froze and broke throughout the mainfold and

    at ALL the ball valves.....


    and was very impressed that the Wirsbo did not freeze and break
    and showed no other problems in the house


    it was sort of interesting to re-solder the whole thing with the

    heat of the torch ....the wirsbo attached to the copper

    and all the re-soldering necessary.....

    used snow and a wet rag to keep things cool

    I understood that you are not supposed to solder up to 15inches
    away from the compressed joint....


    anyway everyone is a critic......

    even if they only have a propane tank to their name


    I will put a new more updated post back there.
     
  10. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    pex and freezing temps

    Actually ..............................here is an updated pic....

    Now try to remember .......all you professional folks .....that this is unfinished.....

    and the only thing this "cave man " has holding up that whole manifold to the wall
    is a couple spikes in case they decided to drywall behind this they could actually
    just let the whole thing just sag down to the floor.......

    Wirsbo will flex that much which is pretty nice....

    their is some drywall put up on the left and styrofoam insulation
    has been sprayed up from the lower garage area
    around the pex itself at floor level.....




    [​IMG] so let the critics have at it......



    hey ..toolaholic....you got any pics of your work you want to post ???
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  11. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    All I said was that neatness does take more time, I was disagreeing with kordts that neatness takes the same amount of time.

    I was not commenting on anyones job, pro or con to neatness.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  12. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    Wtf?

    Damn tool, that's not why I wrote that. :rolleyes:

    Just tellin folks how I run copper, that's all.


    Come off one of those ridgid tools you're sportn' there. Help a poor man out.


    I say put the pic back up. It's big enough for my desktop background:D


    I had no clue this thread would go this direction and we STILL don't know how to unthaw PEX piping without ripping walls open.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  13. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Occupation:
    Repairing and remodeling homes
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    Are you sure you're RUGGED

    You fold EZ . HE HE . I do feel bad WE buster Mark's chops he he.I'M sure in time HE'LL nail us in the back of the head with a 24" stilson.

    MARK PLEEZZZE put back that picture ,WE'll be good.:D


    WE're DOOMED:eek:
     
  14. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Occupation:
    industrial service plumbing foreman
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    I guess it's just me, I got one speed. I take accurate measurements, and support the pipes before joining them. Flicking a booger or wiping the flux off is like reaming, after you do it enough, it becomes part of the process.
     
  15. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area



    I typed in snuggles as a user name and rugged is what I got.


    Been gone a week from the boards and Blam-0 [​IMG]
     
  16. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Location:
    Home
    I recently had to have some electrical work done. My husband never got around to marking the circuits, well, this electrician without my knowing at the time, did it. He marked the circuits, ie, bedroom, kitchen, dishwasher, furnace, etc... I couldn't believe it. I don't know if you would call that professional, but, it was really the nicest thing someone did for me in a long, long time. He was the electrician that the gas company sent out on its warranty program which I subscribe to. The greatest thing any plumber or electrician can do for a customer is to mark something so we know what is what. I don't care what you mark it with, magic marker, crayon, or blood, lol, it is just a darned nice thing to do. Probably, the most helpful thing you can do for a homeowner. I think something like that makes the difference to me in hiring someone, if I have a say, with the gas company I get whoever they send out; but, if I could request a certain business I would if they went above and beyond on something like that. I only showed about everyone in my neighborhood the circuit breaker box, lol, and told them the name of the electrician. It is so much easier now for me, if something trips for some reason, or I got to shut something down for some reason. Doing something like what he did, was a class act.

    I appreciated that. It makes it easier on my kids, too. And, anyone who helps my kids, shows my kids a kindness in someway, you won me over. My kids are my life.

    Candy is also, really nice and sweet.
     
  17. wanup

    wanup New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Pex Plastic

    I'm considering using Pex piping in my cottage in Northern Ontario. It is summer use only and I blow out my lines every fall for the winter.
    We can get -35 C temperatures during the winter.

    Do you know if Pex piping can withstand that kind of cold (no water in the lines of course) without cracking?

    thanks
     
  18. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area

    Possibly in the home run method...


    Read this


    https://terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11550
     
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Pex should be fine for the use you mention.
     
  20. wanup

    wanup New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Pex freezing

    Thanks for the info guys. I checked out the links and it looks like this will be a great product to use especially when I'm at the cottage in the fall and overnight lows bring frost. Thats enough to pop my copper that is outside. Looks like Pex can easily handle that.

    :)
     
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