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Who runs PEX along the wall?

Hi folks - first post over here, referred by the folks at diychatrooms.  I'm after some advice on best practice/common sense after we had some questionable work done!

Last week we had an old cast iron radiator moved.  The contractors re-plumbed it using red PEX (both inflow/outflow), using some iron elbows off to convert down to the required size.

The rad is now on an interior wall in the basement.  They ran the PEX straight up the face of the wall (NOT inside!), using metal staples every 36" or so.  The pipes then take another 90 deg turn just below ceiling level.  They used copper pipe straight through the wall to the furnace room, then back to PEX for final run/connection into the heating system.

The rad is about 20" wide, and the pipes are about that far apart on the wall (i.e. not run close enough together to be boxed in).  The outflow pipe is stapled about 3" away from a light switch.  The switch is in-between the two pipes on the face of the wall.

I'm not pleased with the way it looks, or the risks of having exposed pipe against the wall (pets/kids/etc), or the proximity to the electrical! 

However, I'm out of my depth, so my question is whether this would be considered best practice/to-code, and whether the normal approach would be to run pipe inside the wall (my original assumption).  I've attached a diagram to make things clearer!

Many thanks for any advice...


  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,429
    Professional rough-in

    A pro would have opened the wall and concealed the piping.  I'd be suspect of the red pex pipe...does it say "non-potable water only" or have an oxygen barrier?  If not, it needs to be replaced with the correct piping. Exposed piping is OK for unfinished basements.
  • lostandconfused
    lostandconfused Member Posts: 3
    Thanks - and what about the staples?

    Thanks Paul, that's what I suspected, but it's good to have it confirmed by someone that knows. 

    I'll check the type of pipe this eve to see if it's the right stuff - might even post a pic! 

    Should I also be concerned about staples?  This thread ( seems to imply that PEX mfrs recommend plastic/coated staples instead of bare metal?
  • lostandconfused
    lostandconfused Member Posts: 3
    Potable Tubing

    Just got the tubing checked - it's "Potable Tubing", other pertinent pieces of info look to be -

    Barrier LF 1/2 PEXA 1006 - ASTM POTABLE TUBING
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,429
    edited October 2010
    Wrong tubing!!

    The non-barrier tubing will introduce oxygen into the system and cause problems. It should be removed ASAP and plumbed with with copper or barrier Pex or Pex-Al-Pex composite.
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083

    they re-do the piping, they should use plastic "talons" or clamps to secure it. Uponor or Viega carries these.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    Diffusion Confusion...

    You said the tubing said "Barrier LF 1/2 PEXA 1006 - ASTM POTABLE TUBING"

    It would indicate to me that it IS a barrier tube, unless you are missing the word NON. My recommendation would be to contact the manufacturer and verify the presence or no presence of an oxygen barrier. ALmost sounds like Rehau tubing.

    The use of metal staples doesn't concern me too much as it pertains to abrasion, but it will be a noisy bugger when it starts up. The methodology indicates to me that they are either lazy, or inexperienced.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
This discussion has been closed.