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Old 04-13-2012, 10:46 AM   #1
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To PEX or not To PEX

I know most of you folks are PEX fans but I am beggining to think plain old CPVC is going to be ALOT easier to deal with and make repairs to. Also you don't have to deal with all the special fittings and tools and not being able to get in tight spaces. I know a lot of you guys like shark bite fittings but they are NOT PERMANANT like you think they are. Anything with an O-ring seal will fail eventually when the rubber takes a permanant set and gets hard. I expect this would take about 20yrs which in the building industry is considered a lifetime. Also CPVC is going to be a lot cheaper.

Copper use to be good but now the alloys being used are crappy and the wall thickness is so thin that you are lucky to get 20yrs out of copper. Weight and cost issues throw out copper as well as freezing hazards.

So let the flames begin.

Perry
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #2
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In 20 years, I'll be dead or close to it, likely not RVing in any event. So I see no problem with a 20-year life expectancy of PEX.

Lynn
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:11 AM   #3
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CPVC is installed in my house and works well with no issues.
PEX is installed in my trailer and works well with no issues.

I think that PEX is a better fit for the trailer for a few reasons. It is much more flexible allowing it to be curved more that CPVC can. This makes it easier to work on IMO. Another issue is the freeze factor. PEX will expand while CPVC will crack and split.

There are other options besides shark fittings. Many use the ring system that has no O Rings. My installation uses Flair-It fillings which are very easy to work with and have no O Rings.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:28 AM   #4
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My 61 was redone with CPVC before I bought it. I was skeptical but it has worked fine in the 9 years I have had it. It looks like it was heated slightly with small bend put in to handle curves.

That being said, If I were doing one today I would buy the crimping tools and use pex. I think it would be simpler and easier once the tool investment was made.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:04 PM   #5
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Both are great and easy to work with. My airstream has easy access to all valves and fittings. Not worried about having to make repairs.

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Old 04-13-2012, 12:08 PM   #6
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We chose pex primarily for it's flexibility. Being able to bend it around the rear curve of the airstream means fewer hidden connections to potentially leak down the road. It is easy to work with, and I had to buy a crimping tool for a project in the house anyway. I've worked with copper, PVC, ABS, and CPVC, and all work equally well in the various projects I've done. I do not trust the push-on type connectors any longer, after having one leak in the house after a year. While not a big consideration, I do like the blue and red colors of pex.

Chris
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:41 PM   #7
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Just a heads up for PEX users..

Our trailer the PO replace all the frozen copper with PEX.. Problem is he used 3/4" and not 1/2" or better yet 3/8"... It takes forever to get hot water to the kitchen,, and 2+ gallons of antifreeze to winterize..

With a flowjet pump we are not looking at 29 gal per minute anyway,, so my advice is keep the plumbing scaled back for the reasons stated above,.

Sodbust
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:20 PM   #8
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Perry

Use what works for you. ::shrug::

In stick houses the fact that PEX comes in long coils and is flexible helps keep installation costs and fitting count down. With crimp rings or expansion fittings the incidence of leaks is lower than CPVC, and there is no need to wait for the cement to dry before applying full pressure. The solvent used in CPVC cement is toxic.

I've seen CPVC that's been frozen while full of water and there is nothing left but a row of little pieces of plastic on the floor below where the pipe was. Repairing PEX after freezing is no picnic but at least there is some resistance to damage.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:33 PM   #9
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Perry

Use what works for you. ::shrug::

In stick houses the fact that PEX comes in long coils and is flexible helps keep installation costs and fitting count down. With crimp rings or expansion fittings the incidence of leaks is lower than CPVC, and there is no need to wait for the cement to dry before applying full pressure. The solvent used in CPVC cement is toxic.

I've seen CPVC that's been frozen while full of water and there is nothing left but a row of little pieces of plastic on the floor below where the pipe was. Repairing PEX after freezing is no picnic but at least there is some resistance to damage.
I hadn't even considered using CPVC for the trailer until this thread, the advantages of flexibility seemed to fully justify PEX. However, with my scope reduced to just a water tank, water pump, hot water heater, and sink faucet, I can actually pull off a straight pipe installation if needed. The time to dry thing doesn't matter for my purposes, and the advantages of easy construction of CPVC are pretty high.

However, the biggest argument against it is still the toxicity of CPVC cement. I'm not putting that nasty glue anywhere near my drinking water.

Plus I already bought the crimp tool...

Edit: forgot to mention I live in warmer climates, and never see below freezing, thus the lower importance to me of avoiding freezing pipes.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:02 PM   #10
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pex

Last summer I installed a outdoor shower, used pex for the first time it is so easy . Ive done a lot of cu pipe work ,this is way easer than that. Ive heard they use Pex in homes now . As for the tools you just need cutter & crimper they have all the tools in kit @ home depot & Lowe's. check out photo installed shower in rear curbside compartment taped in to supply line @ water heater when you push in hose it goes in to whole foods canvas bag.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Minno View Post
We chose pex primarily for it's flexibility. Being able to bend it around the rear curve of the airstream means fewer hidden connections to potentially leak down the road. It is easy to work with, and I had to buy a crimping tool for a project in the house anyway. I've worked with copper, PVC, ABS, and CPVC, and all work equally well in the various projects I've done. I do not trust the push-on type connectors any longer, after having one leak in the house after a year. While not a big consideration, I do like the blue and red colors of pex.

Chris
I just had my camp re-done with pex and because the lines are exposed on the interior of the baseboard I really didn't want the red and blue. My plumber was able to find pex in plain white.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:43 PM   #12
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I think pex is better i have installed it into my parents house and a few others you can go from one point to the other and not have any joints anywhere you dont want less leaks and it takes less time to install it cause you dont have to measure, cut and glue everything together. I know thats what im going to put in my camper less headeachs.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:48 PM   #13
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I just had my camp re-done with pex and because the lines are exposed on the interior of the baseboard I really didn't want the red and blue. My plumber was able to find pex in plain white.
Yah - I can find white too, but that is so boring...

I've looked at Menards, Home Depot, and Lowes, and all three around me carry white, blue, and red pex. Different shades of the blue and red depending on which store you shop at. Plus, the oxygen barrier pex intended for hot water heat is another color yet.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:14 PM   #14
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I really like pex and use it where ever I can. I bought a crimper the first time I replaced a line on the Airstream. Everything I have done lately has been crimped.
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