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Old 03-30-2020, 09:06 PM #1
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Plumbing - Whole-house repipe

Hey, all. I live in a 1960 home on a well with a mix of piping, mostly galvanized. Im planning to have a complete repipe performed, including all supply and drain lines. Adding a softener, too. Going with Pex supply and PVC drain pipes.

This is an investment in my future well-being, as my plumbing frequently presents problems needing repaired and Im weary of it. So Im wondering, has anyone out there had this done to your home? If so, did it go well? Any tips? I plan to have this done by a very reputable company, no interest in cutting corners.

Thanks.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:08 PM #2
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Apparently Im alone in this adventure.
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Old 04-04-2020, 01:38 AM #3
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Maybe no one has pulled all that sheetrock off to get the their pipes. good luck with it.
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Old 04-04-2020, 04:03 AM #4
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Can't say we've ever done what you're doing with replacing legacy piping in the entire home but we have owned multiple properties with different types of piping. By far Pex-A (uponor) has been the least problematic. Copper is okay but can be noisier plus you can't run RO water through it because it'll leach and eventually develop pinhole leaks. Pex-A is much more flexible and can be contorted to do many things copper can't come close to doing so it'll save some $ in labor.

If you plan on working on the plumbing after the fact, in my opinion Pex-A is more flexible and fool proof compared to the B variety but requires a special tool. The one made by Milwaukee is the best one out when I last checked a year ago because it also rotates which evenly dilates the pipe to fit around the fittings. It will eventually shrink back to its original diameter and that force is what provides the clamping force so it's hard to screw that up. PEX B is a crimp system, more commonly available at big box stores but more potential for errors and leaks if not done correctly. All of the pro plumbers I know always use Uponor products. There are many videos on YouTube that may help you get familiarized with the two to form your own conclusions.

For softeners we've always run 3M softeners based on the Clack WS heads. 3M costs a little more compared to the build your own kits which some will tell you are there same which is mostly true. Parts are plentiful for Clack based systems but I'm a 3M fanboy and all of their products are certified with scientific data and stats easily accessible for review. No fluff or snake oil marketing. What sets them apart is everytime I've had questions about their products, I call them direct and will get one of their product engineers on the line who know the product inside and out; not some level 1 call center person who may be referencing a script. When you need detailed technical info, you can get it with one call in a matter of 5 minutes.

Don't know the size of your home or family but we tend to pay a little more to buy the larger commercial grade units to cut down on the regen cycles. We've purchased two 2 cubic feet 3m-wts200 units over the past 4 years for two different properties and they're rock solid. We've been on city water 15 gpg hardness and now about 7gpg. We get about 3-3.5 weeks between regen cycles with about 100 gallons of water usage per day. I can load the salt tank with 120 lbs and be good for 12-16 months. If anything, get your water tested for hardness level and see if there are any other treatments or unique media needed since you are on well water.

Good luck with the project. Even with PEX it's not an easy job. Sheetrock repair is easy if that's what you've got with a house built in the 1960s. If plaster, might get a little messy. Would love to hear the results so keep us posted.
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Old 04-06-2020, 02:06 PM #5
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Maybe no one has pulled all that sheetrock off to get the their pipes. good luck with it.
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That'll only need to come off in a couple of spots. My two bathrooms share plumbing, which helps reduce the needed drywall work.
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Old 04-06-2020, 02:27 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VB.TRD.Pro View Post
Can't say we've ever done what you're doing with replacing legacy piping in the entire home but we have owned multiple properties with different types of piping. By far Pex-A (uponor) has been the least problematic. Copper is okay but can be noisier plus you can't run RO water through it because it'll leach and eventually develop pinhole leaks. Pex-A is much more flexible and can be contorted to do many things copper can't come close to doing so it'll save some $ in labor.

If you plan on working on the plumbing after the fact, in my opinion Pex-A is more flexible and fool proof compared to the B variety but requires a special tool. The one made by Milwaukee is the best one out when I last checked a year ago because it also rotates which evenly dilates the pipe to fit around the fittings. It will eventually shrink back to its original diameter and that force is what provides the clamping force so it's hard to screw that up. PEX B is a crimp system, more commonly available at big box stores but more potential for errors and leaks if not done correctly. All of the pro plumbers I know always use Uponor products. There are many videos on YouTube that may help you get familiarized with the two to form your own conclusions.

For softeners we've always run 3M softeners based on the Clack WS heads. 3M costs a little more compared to the build your own kits which some will tell you are there same which is mostly true. Parts are plentiful for Clack based systems but I'm a 3M fanboy and all of their products are certified with scientific data and stats easily accessible for review. No fluff or snake oil marketing. What sets them apart is everytime I've had questions about their products, I call them direct and will get one of their product engineers on the line who know the product inside and out; not some level 1 call center person who may be referencing a script. When you need detailed technical info, you can get it with one call in a matter of 5 minutes.

Don't know the size of your home or family but we tend to pay a little more to buy the larger commercial grade units to cut down on the regen cycles. We've purchased two 2 cubic feet 3m-wts200 units over the past 4 years for two different properties and they're rock solid. We've been on city water 15 gpg hardness and now about 7gpg. We get about 3-3.5 weeks between regen cycles with about 100 gallons of water usage per day. I can load the salt tank with 120 lbs and be good for 12-16 months. If anything, get your water tested for hardness level and see if there are any other treatments or unique media needed since you are on well water.

Good luck with the project. Even with PEX it's not an easy job. Sheetrock repair is easy if that's what you've got with a house built in the 1960s. If plaster, might get a little messy. Would love to hear the results so keep us posted.
Thanks for the valuable input.

I'm having this job done, and it will be Pex. In fact, just had the failed pressure tank replaced Friday and relocated from the crawlspace to the first floor (the first step of the project). Thrilled about that - I replaced the pressure tank maybe 15 years ago, and doing any plumbing work in the crawl space is a PITA. What I didn't notice last time: previous owner had run the incoming line from the well to the softener (maybe 30 feet), then 30 feet back to the pressure tank, then to the house. Before I bought the house, that softener had been removed, so there were just pipes that recently developed a leak and rusted out my furnace. Had the furnace replaced a month ago.

I'll ask the plumbing company about 3M softeners. I'll pay more for better quality every time if I can afford it. Plus, the ability to contact a sentient human being for help carries value by itself.

My home is 1600 square feet, bath and a half, family of 5. Never measured water usage.
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:42 PM #7
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Can't say mine was remodeled before we moved in. The only thing left cast iron is underneath. Since my house is pier and beam foundation its pretty easy to get under there.

Pipe has seen better days but no where near leaking yet.

But the plan is to go PVC in the near future. Better to fix it now before it does become and emergency.
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:50 PM #8
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Funny - Im not getting notifications of replies to this thread. I need to keep checking. Wonder why?
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Old 04-12-2020, 04:02 PM #9
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I have been working as a plumber for many years. I believe that it would be correct to replace all iron pipes with plastic ones and put the tap on a rubberized basis. For many years I have been changing taps and pipes, so my tool needs careful storage and rust protection. Since I’m already used to it and it’s not cheap. That's why I use quartz packets, I found a guide on how to use them here How To Keep Tools From Rusting in Toolbox

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Old 04-20-2020, 02:00 PM #10
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I had my whole house replumbed a few years ago with Pex. Also did the under-slab sewer as well since it was in bad shape.

The company I used did not recommend using the shark-bite connectors, but the ones that require the crimping six times. Uponor is the company, I believe. More reliable and a little more expensive. but I wanted this done once and done right. Three years, no leaks.
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Old 04-20-2020, 02:14 PM #11
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I had my whole house replumbed a few years ago with Pex. Also did the under-slab sewer as well since it was in bad shape.

The company I used did not recommend using the shark-bite connectors, but the ones that require the crimping six times. Uponor is the company, I believe. More reliable and a little more expensive. but I wanted this done once and done right. Three years, no leaks.
Thanks for this. I have to say, I didn't know about the two different connectors, or rather, that one was preferred over the other. So far I've only had the pressure tank done - it's now in the house rather than the crawl space. I think they're using the crimp fittings, but I'll definitely bring this up when they move forward with the rest of the job. I'm not interested in saving a few bucks on such a major job.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-21-2020, 06:22 PM #12
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I was just thinking about the tool used for the fitting and installation and it is an expansion tool rather than crimping. The tool is required to be used six times in the end of the pipe before the fitting is attached. Due to the expansion/contraction properties of the pex, it shrinks back down onto the fitting, making a water tight seal. I watched my plumber do this multiple times. I'd look at a bunch of YouTube videos to see what I mean.
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:31 PM #13
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Hey Guys! I am very glad to read this interesting discussion about this topic. Thanks all
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Old 04-27-2020, 05:13 AM #14
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