Pex And Freezing Winter Temperatures

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

  1. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    Feb 6, 2005
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    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    it is the season again.......he ..he..he...

    Well the temp has hit 5 degrees here again and
    we got a few frozen houses already..


    went out a home today with
    a total re-pipe in Zurn pex...

    someone left the crawl space door open and the
    whole system seems to be frozen solid
    or partially frozen...

    told them to get their own salamander
    and just heat the crawl till lit thaws out again...

    its is supposed to hit 58 degrees by next tuesday...
     
  2. TMB9862

    TMB9862 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    You know, that's one of the first things I said when I saw pex being installed. I had all the plumbers stumped, none of them had thought of it before.

    One crazy theory of mine which I hopefully won't get the chance to test out. Brass is a conductor, and water is a conductor. If you put the cable on the brass pex fittings can it conduct through the water/ice and defrost that way?

    I'm sure their is a flaw here as that seems like way to easy a solution. What is it.
    Just plain won't work?
    Pex will melt at the fitting?
     
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    Water can be a decent conductor if it has free ions, say from salt or other things, but on its own, it's not that great.
     
  4. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    MY--MY--My its cold out there

    Looking at my thermometer its about 4 degrees
    outside today.....

    I can just hear those pex lines crackling and
    freezing shut....


    what ar those poor bastards gonna do??
     
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    Ohio
    Mark, with very little wind there may not be many freeze ups. If the wind were 20 MPH or so I wouldn't be here typing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2008
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Service Plumber
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    Connecticut

    They are going to curse the guy that installed it in a manner where it would freeze and rightly so!

    However, They will be very glad that when it thaws there is not one single leak!

    Hopefully, They get the freeze problem areas resolved and avoid future troubles. PEX freezing is not caused by PEX... It is caused by the hack installer or the builder that left the path for the cold draft.
     
  7. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Mark,

    I thought your work looked fine. I'm sure it could be nicer but it looks good. It works and the customer paid you so that is all that should matter.

    Not all PEX cracks or freezes. It is the installation. I installed PEX this summer in a 75' run and this morning it was 3 degrees. The water moved perfectly through the pipe. Why because I insulated correctly and tented the insulation over it. Just like you'd do with copper. This is in the attic. You guys gave me the tenting idea.

    So it isn't so much the product but the installer and method.

    Tom
     
  8. riverbend

    riverbend New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Hopefully call someone other than you. Your work (pictures) in previous post is awful sloppy. Maybe turn the valves a 90*, and you could install them all at the same level.
     
  9. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    Thank you for the compliment ...riverbutt...

    well, well river-butt....

    their are those that actually do real plumbing every day

    and those that make smart little remarks like you.....

    I am in combat every day,

    I take pics of my work and others too...

    and on occasion, you simply cant make a silk
    purse out of a sows ear.
    due to time constraints and other issues...

    you would know this if you actually did this for a
    living

    perhaps you should stick with your job
    bagging groceries at wall mart



    here is a pic of some other pex I ran a
    while back in a dump...

    This is wirsbo pex ,
    in case you dont know what you are looking at

    go ahead and knock yourself out.



    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2008
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Mark,
    Nice picture of Wirsbo (Uponor) piping.
    I like the manifolds, it's a nice way of repiping.
     
  11. riverbend

    riverbend New Member

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    Jan 19, 2008
    Trust me, I know what I am looking at regarding PLUMBING. I have yet to see any PLUMBING that a TRADESMAN installed in your photos. I could care less if you want to slap it in, and move on to your next project. It will be behind sheetrock any way, huh? Have at it.
     
  12. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    river butt...post your best work.

    Well, let see some of your TRADESMAN
    work.....river butt


    oh, excuse me.....

    you have never actually done this before..
    or you would have some real Tradesman pics to post


    You probably watch "this old house" every day
    and consider yourself an expert.......

    probably went out and bought your first pair of
    Sears Craftsman pliers like the ones Bob VEELa sells on TV....

    still hanging brand new above your work bench....


    or perhaps you took a correspondence course......who knows......

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

    It is soooo easy to find fault with others work

    like a pathetic arm-chair quarterback........ so be it.....

    So if you actually have done this before go ahead and
    post something....



    When I get the three stroy renovation we are doing
    completed , I will post some other pics for fun...


    I honestly dont mind the criticism from other plumbers on this
    site, or I would not post them......



    Its the little weiners like you that make the world go round ....I suppose....

    I will give you something to else to address next week

    Just sit back and get your Pringles and beer ready.......
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2008
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Plumber
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    Bothell, Washington
    Riverbend,
    Do you run copper or PEX or both?

    For PEX, that's pretty much how it's going to look.
    Do you have some pictures of your work you can share?
     
  14. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
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    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    No way terry....

    He dont have anything,...no way....

    I am just having fun with him terry......


    have a good football day tomorrow....
     
  15. riverbend

    riverbend New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Both. Mostly copper. No I do not have any pictures. I am familer with how PEX looks. My comments were pertaining to the Copper in the first post with pictures. For someone whos been in the TRADE since he was 9 years old, I would expect better work. Relax, its just my opinion, and remember I work at Walmart part time. If that work (copper) looks okay to you, great.
     
  16. riverbend

    riverbend New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Upon further review (photo #1) it looks like a 9 year may have installed this system. Keep having fun with me plumber Mark, and keep up the good work, hopefully the water heater(s) will continue to cover it. Ever been in a real mechanical room?
     
  17. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    them that actually do, .....post pics.....

    I have Been just about everywhere......river butt.

    Have listened to all the beer talk......and bull sh// too.....

    I really do like the service the best..

    Its a more personable area to be in..by far.....

    go ahead......you can live your whole work life in a boiler room.....




    of course if you would have read the info on pic #1,

    that was a total repair job after the original slop

    I threw in had completely and totally frozen over.....

    (the thread was originally about that ........dumb-ass....)


    All the ball valves are new because the original
    ones had frozen up solid and cracked,,,,,and a lot
    of that copper manifold had frozen solid and cracked here and there...

    so I basically had to cut out most of what was originally
    in there and start over with the pex stub outs comming up from the floor....OK????

    This was Damage Control, after the homeowner forgot to
    leave the heat on in a new house........

    FYI..Riverbutt......when you dont have heat on and the water is left on
    the pipes have a tendencey to break in sub zero temps...

    you can see the burn marks on the wall....(sooo very sloppy)..
    of course now that it has all been finshed ,
    it was all painted white and looks good.... OK?

    Perhaps , in hindsight....and to win your admiration and approval.....
    I should have spent an extra work day and
    totally cut the whole thing out and started over
    and it would have not looked so bad?


    FYI....you can use a can of white spray paint and clean up a
    lot of nasty messes you have to make to repair a freeze disaster,
    it really dont have to be hidden behing drywall...
    and it will pass the homeowners inspection .....OK?

    Have you ever had to repair a freeze disaster like that before
    a mix of PEX and copper pipe all so close together???
    ......no, I dont think so........

    [​IMG]



    But what amazed me was the fact that the pex and black plastic
    manifolds I had put in the system had NOT frozen
    and broke....or the pex itself....

    again that is what the thread was about

    FYI Riverbutt.
    ...wirsbo black plastic mainfolds are used in Pex runs
    usualy with 5 or more outlets to do a whole bathroom group...


    what else amazes me....... is that you
    probably dont know the difference..


    where are your pics. -----I am still waiting-----
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2008
  18. riverbend

    riverbend New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Am aware of freezing temperatures. Used a Miller welder (just yesterday) to thaw 100' of type L copper.Would of used the Hot Shot 400 but the welder is quicker. Thanks for letting me know about the brand names you install. In my neck of the woods we use Vanex with crimp rings Wirsbro is
    hard to find. I also install manibloc infloor heat, sometimes using their manifolds, and other times making my own. When making my own I space the tees in away that all valves are at the same elevation. If space is tight, I turn the valves a quarter turn and thus they can stay on or near the same elavation. Again, if your happy with your HACK job thats great. I try to put enough $ into my jobs to do them right. Why the name calling? In my original post I said I would hope they call someone else as the work in the photo is shoddy.I also test backflow preventers (Febco,Watts,Rainbird etc.). More big words unistrut, unistrut clamps, clevis hangers. Really I have used them in my 24 years in the trade. Just never thought about taking pictures of my installs. Thats what as-built plans are for. My bad about taking enogh time to read the post. I just caught the holier than now post about you doing more joints, etc. than everybody on this forumn. That being the case I would expect to see that in your photos. I would still call someone else.
     
  19. boober

    boober Member

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    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Sorry to interrupt the feud here...:)
    And as evident by some of my questions in other posts, I'm no professional, but how about using something like a electric blanket to thaw PEX piping? Something rigged with a GFI that would trip if water were to leak due to the freezing (though the risk seems small from the stuff I've read.) It might take a bit more time, but it would thaw the pipes out sooner than waiting for warmer weather...

    Or how about something akin to the ice dam cables for roofs, except made with variable heat settings and some insulation around it and some for the pipe?
     
  20. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    Get a salamander

    Boober......sorry about all the bickering,

    frozen pex pipes is what this thread
    was originally about.....

    anything might thaw out a small area that is frozen,
    even a hair dryer could win the battle if it is a small battle



    The only thing I know to do is to go

    get a salamander blower that uses Kerosene...

    then ....depending on the situation, you either need to

    blow it into the chase, crawl space, or area that is frozen up....


    if it is in an open drafty area ,,,you might even have to
    build a barrier or tent of some nature to hold or direct the
    heat onto the area that is frozen....


    just dont burn the whole place down ....


    Its the only way a HACK like me knows how to do it.....





    also.....you should really ask ....River bend what he thinks



    he is the only true craftsman here ......
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2008
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