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Replaced Copper Pipe Section with PEX, Comments Welcomed

FredoSP
FredoSP Member Posts: 49
Hello Group,

A while ago I had a local licensed plumber come to the house and fix an area of copper pipe that developed a couple of pinhole leaks. He suggested I that the copper pipe be removed (which he gladly took for its scrap value) and installed PEX. I didn't babysit him because he's come to the house before and I trust him, so that was never a concern.

Below are pictures if his install. Although I do not have anymore leaks, I feel the section of PEX that takes a 90 degree turn looks sloppy - do you agree? Comments welcomed.














Long Island, NY

Comments

  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,084
    Hello, A benefit of PEX is that it's flexible. Also, there are "bend supports" available for it. I would not have used a 90* fitting but rather made a long bend or used a bend support. The insert fittings can add a lot of friction loss to the system, while making a bend that has a radius of at least six times pipe diameter adds no loss. PEX has a smaller ID than copper, so flow is already somewhat restricted. Adding unnecessary fittings doesn't help.

    It seems to be hard for plumbers who grew up with "straight and square" rigid piping to adapt to flexible piping. :o

    Yours, Larry

    ps, It would be good to figure out why the copper got pinholes as there is more copper at risk!
    delta T
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    ^ You are one of the unfortunate homeowners near the Grumman/Bethpage site that has had all the "pinhole leaks" in their copper lines?
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    edited March 2018
    Just noticed... your plumber seems to have used some sort of plastic fitting for the 90 elbow, brass would have been better.

    Better yet would be replace it with a PEX bend support as Larry mentioned above.


  • FredoSP
    FredoSP Member Posts: 49
    NY_Rob Ding ding, you win! We've had about 3-4 Pinhole leaks in the past five years. It's been good lately, finger crossed. I believe the Plainview Water district hired the same academic who worked in the Flint investigation (Dr. Marc Edwards) Here's a link to the water districts page about the Pinholes, plainviewwater.org/pinhole-program/pinhole-pilot-program/

    Thanks for the above suggestions, I think the smooth transition bend looks a lot nicer and will function better. Now I have to find a plumber ... another thing to add to the every growing "house list".
    Long Island, NY
  • FredoSP
    FredoSP Member Posts: 49
    Another question, would that PEX bend support be nailed to the above floor joists? I don't see a way to fasten it to anything.
    Long Island, NY
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    edited March 2018
    FredoSP said:

    Another question, would that PEX bend support be nailed to the above floor joists? I don't see a way to fasten it to anything.

    There are some with nail/screw supports built in....

    https://www.supplyhouse.com/PEX-Bend-Supports-719000
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    FredoSP said:

    Thanks for the above suggestions, I think the smooth transition bend looks a lot nicer and will function better. Now I have to find a plumber ... another thing to add to the every growing "house list".

    Use the "Find A Contractor" link on the main page... there are a few in our area who can help you out...

    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/

  • FredoSP
    FredoSP Member Posts: 49
    Okay, I'll check it out, thank you.
    Have to get the snow shovels out from the garage ... here we go again.
    Long Island, NY
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,545
    @FredoSP , everyone has a different way of doing things. I think your plumber did an ok job. If his work has been satisfactory in the past I wouldn't dump him over this
    DZorokcoppIronman
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,552
    Not a deal breaker in my opinion that he used just 1 ell. Some plumbers believe an ell is neater work than a bend and support.

    The rest is straight, well supported, nice work.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Ironmandelta T
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 1,892
    I've seen a lot worse.............

    I'm more interested in Why did they run copper thru a I Beam?
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 825
    Honestly the 90 doesn't bother me as much as the un-wiped solder joint on the pex adapter...

    As others have said, I don't like using 90's on pex if I can avoid it, adds a lot of resistance to flow, especially on the crimp style pex. One of the key advantages of pex is that it is flexible, why not use that to your advantage. You can still make it look good without 90s. I use the uponor expansion system in favor of the crimp style myself. Fittings have a larger bore and I trust the joint more over the long run than I do a crimp ring.
    CanuckerSuperTechratio
  • BenDplumber
    BenDplumber Member Posts: 25
    I agree with delta T on the solder joint PEX is never going to be as neat as copper tubing especially on domestic hot water and just a caution have seen the stainless steel cinch clamps split causing a leak recommend going to a copper crimp ring
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,324
    Those look like Otaker cinch rings which are ok. The Zurn pinch rings that look similar are the ones that had the problem with breaking. I think Zurn pulled them from the market, but I'm not sure of that.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    In hard to get at-hard to take apart areas I sometimes slip an extra cinch clamp or two on the pex just in case one of them happens to split in the future. Never had one split yet, but if it does... open it up and remove- slide the "spare" down in to position and crimp it.
  • Gary Smith
    Gary Smith Member Posts: 361
    Just curious, on heating piping systems, where non-metallic piping is inserted into metallic piping, does the metal piping on each side of the PEX inserted piping need to be electrically bonded together, like metal water piping, per the electrical code?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,175
    I believe it should be, yes, by code.
    Originally the copper supply should have been bonded to the electrical grounding electrode with #6 copper. (I always hit both the hot and cold pipes with a clamp).

    Imagine if down stream of the PEX inserted piping is the main bath. If the H&C supply comes into contact with any hot conductor perhaps in the basement and the supply pipes are not grounded to dissipate that stray current or hopefully trip the circuit breaker than you may truly be sitting in a "hot" tub of water. You may become part of the path of the stray current.
    jascosupply
  • FredoSP
    FredoSP Member Posts: 49
    Thanks all for the comments. No leaks yet, maybe in time I'll fix it, but right now I'll leave it be. If I ever switch from oil to gas then most of that copper will have to be modified anyway.
    Long Island, NY
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,663
    Why would switching fuels make you switch you water piping?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,492
    > @Larry Weingarten said:
    > Hello, A benefit of PEX is that it's flexible. Also, there are "bend supports" available for it. I would not have used a 90* fitting but rather made a long bend or used a bend support. The insert fittings can add a lot of friction loss to the system, while making a bend that has a radius of at least six times pipe diameter adds no loss. PEX has a smaller ID than copper, so flow is already somewhat restricted. Adding unnecessary fittings doesn't help.
    >
    > It seems to be hard for plumbers who grew up with "straight and square" rigid piping to adapt to flexible piping. :o
    >
    > Yours, Larry
    >
    > ps, It would be good to figure out why the copper got pinholes as there is more copper at risk!

    Curious, does Uponor's shrink system also have smaller ID in the fittings?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • FredoSP
    FredoSP Member Posts: 49
    kcopp said:

    Why would switching fuels make you switch you water piping?

    If and when I make the switch from oil to gas .... I was thinking of maybe ditching the gas hot water tank and go with an on demand system, therefore I assumed the mechanicals in that area may have to be re-piped because of the different components, etc.

    Long Island, NY
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    Ironman said:

    Those look like Otaker cinch rings which are ok. The Zurn pinch rings that look similar are the ones that had the problem with breaking. I think Zurn pulled them from the market, but I'm not sure of that.

    Zurn got completely out of the PEX business, over night.

    Tell me of a PEX company that DIDN'T have fitting issues....

    I wait over here... :smiley:

    Installation looks fine to me too. A sign of the times,

    ME

    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.
    Ironman
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 825
    @ChrisJ The inside diameter of an uponor fitting is smaller than a standard Cu fitting, but it is significantly larger than the crimp style fittings.
    Canucker
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,084
    Hi, both Uponor and Viega have good flow through fittings and there may be others. Sometime, hold one of those up to what they sell at Home Depot and see if your jaw doesn't drop
    Ironmandelta T
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,324
    On a further note: as most of you know, the cold expansion fittings ONLY work with type A pex. They cannot be used with type B or C pex.

    Regular plumbing pex is type B and has the least memory and durability of any of the three.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    Hold a 90deg PEX elbow (insert/crimp type) up to a copper elbow and compare inside diameters :o

    SuperTech
  • EYoder
    EYoder Member Posts: 60
    edited March 2018
    I've found Pex B to be very reliable. I do upsize one size sometimes to compensate. I've yet to see a plastic crimp pex fitting fail. I wonder if anyone here has? And very few brass ones, only with acid water. Thousands of fittings over 10 years.
    Not a criticism of pex A at all tho.
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