Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>Need to replace exterior PVC pipe, with what?
6 posts / 0 new
Last post
Need to replace exterior PVC pipe, with what?

I have a water line for outside use, hoses, etc. It comes from underneath my house (crawlspace) and out the brick foundation to under my deck. There's a shut off valve where it comes out from under the house. At that point, the piping changes from metal to PVC. For the last four years, it has burst in the winter.

Now I'm in Virginia, southern Virginia and it's really not that cold here. Every year, I turn the water off at the above mentioned cut off valve, open the faucets at either end. The entire thing is wrapped in pipe insulation. And it still cracks and leaks. Every spring I cut out the bad section, replace it. The whole thing is practically couplings now.

I'm sick of it. I want to replace the PVC with something else. It's half inch white PVC. I can do basic plumbing, but does use of the metal involve welding or anything special? Any tips, hints, suggestions?

I think I'll have to use a sling or two to support it because the entire span of the pipe goes about 15 feet with faucets on either end.

Will I need to replace the metal section that was connected to the PVC? I imagine that some sort of glue was used. Is it feasible to reuse it, the faucets, as well?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Re: Need to replace exterior PVC pipe, with what?

PVC is not very forgiving. PEX will stand up to some freezing and my be a choice. You best bet is to have a shut off inside the house and the pipes slopped so once you turn it off you open the spigot and drain all the water.

Re: Need to replace exterior PVC pipe, with what?

I would agree with JLMcDaniel. PEX is the best choice where freezing is a concern. You'll find that metal will split, too. Make sure the pipe is sloped toward the faucet, so it can be completely drained.

Insulation will not be effective in a location that is subject to extended freezing temperatures and where there is no water flow. Insulation only provides temporary protection; given enough time without some heat source inside the insulation, it will eventually freeze.

Re: Need to replace exterior PVC pipe, with what?

Another vote for PEX . The plumber that was helping my son with his house said that they experimented with some PEX pipe .
They took a piece about two feet long , filled it with water , capped it and put it in a freezer . After about a week , they took it out , beat it on the floor , and it did not break or leak . Not exactly scientific , but still impressive .

Re: Need to replace exterior PVC pipe, with what?

I'll give PEX a try. Thanks for your help!

Re: Need to replace exterior PVC pipe, with what?

Pex. But you will have to buy the crimpers.

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.