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pex or copper in concrete?

tonyktonyk Member Posts: 12

I have a boiler with base board heat. There is a  4 ft. piece of copper pipe which is buried in the the concrete slab in the area under my front door. It has developed a  leak and I was wondering if it is better to use Pex or stick with the copper.  I will be recovering the pipe with concrete when the leak is repaired.

Also, if I use pex are Shark Bite fittings a good way to connect to the existing copper pipe.


  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,104

    In concrete is better. All though copper lasts a long time, pex will outlast copper with the use of fly ash, and other chemicals in today's concrete mix its hard on copper.
  • Steve WhitbeckSteve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669

    PEX is better but for a short run just run the copper pipe inside a rubber hose to keep it off the concrete. That way you don't have to buy any special connectors.
  • tonyktonyk Member Posts: 12
    Pex or copper

    If I use pex, or copper should I cover it with a hose? or I was thinking about using pipe insulation or some kind of foam wrap to allow for expansion and to insulate it from the concrete
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 7,014
    pipe wrap tape

    would be fine, insulation would give you a hollow space in the concrete.

    Most plumbing and HVAC suppliers have this tape.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,420
    Shark Bites...

    May be okay if the copper is clean and not out of round. Personally, I wouldn't do it. I'd go with the appropriate press fittings. Pex moves form thermal expansion and contraction and may cause an issue with the O ring in the long term.

    If it were accessible, that would be a different scenario, but considering the possible cost of redoing it, I'd go with a proven method. If you don't have the tools, you may want to hire a pro.

    Also, make sure that you use o2 barrier pex. It does make a difference.
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,234
    Pex & Connections

    No buried connections.
  • tonyktonyk Member Posts: 12
    Type L copper

    If I use copper, I was thinking about using coil that way no joints under concrete. If I go that route, would type L be OK? or would I have to use type K
  • Steve WhitbeckSteve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669
    Use L

    L would be just fine.

    I remove old leaking piping and install new L copper pipe. I insulate the pipe where it may contact the concrete.
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