Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>Copper vs CPVC vs Pex - which to use?
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dlh3354
Copper vs CPVC vs Pex - which to use?

I need to replace some plumbing line in the basement. It is currently galvanized from the main to copper in a few short places. Still galvanized to 2nd floor bathroom. I would like to replace all lines including to the kitchen sink. I will be leaving the vertical galvanized to the bathroom alone. Problems are low hot H2o to the kitchen sink and some rust in the bathroom. I did drain about 2 gallons out of the hot water tank and the rust color was slight even though the tank is fairly up there in age. I have no problem cutting out the existing copper. It is a crappy job anyways.

Getting varied suggestions about what to use - copper, cpvc, or Pex ( I live in NY). What are your opinions? There is one tight spot to solder but most of it is pretty straight forward. Will join to an outside faucet also. I like the idea of the Pex for ease of installation etc., but am getting conflicting responses from guys. I know that there are issues in states ie: California re: it's usage, permeation and leakage (no chlorine involved here. Has anyone had problems with the Pex leaking,joints seperating, etc.? Would like to know what the "pros" here think before I "have at it".
Mid-aged lady DIYer here so easy is best. ;)

Timothy Miller
Re: Copper vs CPVC vs Pex - which to use?

Howdy. Consider pex but make sure none of it is exposed to sun light as the sun destroys pex in a short time. Here in OR the plumbers stub out with about a foot of copper at the neds that pertrude there walls and flooring so no sun exposure. Pex will withstand some freeze and thaw. It is most easily snaked as it bends. no sodering of the pes is a plys. its Cheap....

Re: Copper vs CPVC vs Pex - which to use?

COPPER!!! stay away from the garden hose lol

A. Spruce
Re: Copper vs CPVC vs Pex - which to use?
djrenek1 wrote:

COPPER!!! stay away from the garden hose lol

I couldn't agree more!

dlh3354
Re: Copper vs CPVC vs Pex - which to use?

Thanks to all responses. Some guys really like te garden hose(hmmm)but I gag on the fact that it can not be recycled and emits toxins when burned. Did I hear correctly that it emits dioxin when burned? Worst toxic chemical known. Anyway, going to go with the copper. I'm not sure all buyers are ready to see the pex and think they are getting hosed.:)

A. Spruce
Re: Copper vs CPVC vs Pex - which to use?

Pex is plastic, so yes, it's going to release toxic chemicals when burned. I'm also of the opinion that it releases its toxins to the water passing through it, even though it's been "cross linked" molecularly to prevent such things.

Timothy Miller
Re: Copper vs CPVC vs Pex - which to use?

Howdy, Pex used in Europe for over 20 years. Plumbers are installing it instead of copper here on west coast by leaps and bounds. Having been a claims an arson investigator for too many years, do you want the short list of toxins released in any house fire?

Pex cost is so much less then copper, plus ease of instillation and ability to resist freeze are pretty strong incentives. The draw back is life of product copper simply normally will far out live Pex. As i understand Pex warranted for only 25 years.

So fellers what do ya think of using 165 psi pe pipe?

A. Spruce
Re: Copper vs CPVC vs Pex - which to use?
Timothy Miller wrote:

... do you want the short list of toxins released in any house fire?

So fellers what do ya think of using 165 psi pe pipe?

I was going to make mention that there are far worse things, and in greater quantity, to burn in a house fire than PEX, but since I'm against its use anyway, there was no reason to expound on it.

I'm not familiar with that pipe, what is it?

dlh3354
Re: Copper vs CPVC vs Pex - which to use?

Just to add fuel to the fire - spoke to a contracting company in CA and they said that Pex is no longer code in Ca except for radiant heat. Apparently, according to my reading research, amendments to Gov. Arnolds approval to code in Jan. changed the whole face of it's use due to it's permeability both in and out. Definitly not for use with chlorine. Copper, for sure, out lasts the Pex by leaps and bounds. When I went out to price the cost I found that the cost of copper was not as much as the Pex once you add on the cost of Pex fittings, shut-off/on valves, etc.
And the beat goes on.......

A. Spruce
Re: Copper vs CPVC vs Pex - which to use?
dlh3354 wrote:

When I went out to price the cost I found that the cost of copper was not as much as the Pex once you add on the cost of Pex fittings, shut-off/on valves, etc.
And the beat goes on.......

The major savings with most of these things comes from the labor of installation. If you string a hose from one end of the house to the other, it is much faster than installing segmented sections of copper pipe. You also figure that the professional invests in the tools once and does hundreds of jobs which pays for the tool, the average homeowner will use the tool ONCE to do the install and be done with it.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Copper vs CPVC vs Pex - which to use?

I have been a proponent of PEX. The ease of installation, labor savings, being able to fish it through difficult areas, and the fact the if it freezes it expands and doesn't burst. However, more recently studies of chemicals leeching from plastic products into water, law suites over connector failures (sound familiar), and its apparent short life span, I would go with copper.
Jack

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