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Pex vs copper for hydronic heat

  1. #26
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Pex vs copper for hydronic heat


    Well, shit. I have mice everywhere. They fill the traps faster than I can set them.

    Opened up the walls and ceiling today. Will let that air out for a few. Damage is less significant than I expected. I don't think it leaked long.. or much. Or something. I'm probably in for 1 maybe 2 bails of insulation and 2-3 sheets of drywall at this point. Plus the piping repair.

    Pipes are nasty. Joints look like ass. Corrosion everywhere. I'd really like to just replace everything and be done with it.

    I think I could do pex through the whole run except one part. I have a pair of 2x10 floor joists maybe 3" apart, one sitting on a double 2x6 header. How the hell do you get pex to go through all that? Or do you do a 90-degree fitting in the wall for that?

    Pex vs copper for hydronic heat-img_2077-jpg

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 03-17-17 at 08:09 PM.

  2. #27

    Re: Pex vs copper for hydronic heat

    I wonder if Pex could make that bend? Once the copper was out, you could probably snake a line hole to hole and pull the pex through? You could probably duplicate and test the bend to ensure no kinking is happening.

    Or... you could put a 45degree joint (or even a 90degree would probably work) on a section of PEX first, and then pull that through the hole... then put a coupler on each end and keep going.

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    Last edited by TTD; 03-18-17 at 08:27 AM.
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  3. #28
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Pex vs copper for hydronic heat

    Getting to that joint would mean tearing into the space on the inside of the house (other side of that wall) and a lot more finish work. Not excited about the idea of that.
    Maybe I can verify that the run up to that joint is solid and then just start the pex there. The pipework is definitely junk from there on through the loop.
    I had hoped to run pex all the way down that wall into the basement and hook into the existing there. But maybe that's not required.

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 03-19-17 at 10:16 AM.

  4. #29

    Re: Pex vs copper for hydronic heat

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Getting to that joint would mean tearing into the space on the inside of the house (other side of that wall) and a lot more finish work. Not excited about the idea of that.
    Maybe I can verify that the run up to that joint is solid and then just start the pex there. The pipework is definitely junk from there on through the loop.
    I had hoped to run pex all the way down that wall into the basement and hook into the existing there. But maybe that's not required.
    I would assume there are simply 90degree bends for each pipe in there? Cut close to the board and you could likely just pull out the copper... or push it in and leave it there.

    However, I also agree that you could just cut and switch over to PEX right there and leave the copper in the space.

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  5. #30
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Pex vs copper for hydronic heat

    I think that's my plan. Assuming I can verify the joints behind that joist are solid.. without seeing them.

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  6. #31
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    Re: Pex vs copper for hydronic heat

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I think that's my plan. Assuming I can verify the joints behind that joist are solid.. without seeing them.
    Put a ball valve on the end, pressurize and see if you find water. If not, congrats, you've got a shut off point in the wall.

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  7. #32
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Pex vs copper for hydronic heat

    A.. is that legal? Cut off hidden in the wall?
    B.. how does that tell me if the 90 behind that joist is solid. I cannot see the joint.. could not tell if it were dripping or leaking slowly.
    C.. why not just rig up a schrader valve, compressor and gauge and see if it holds air.. (this is what the plumber suggested)

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  8. #33
    Jamnuts jhawley's Avatar
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    Re: Pex vs copper for hydronic heat

    Brought a house that had a shit load of freeze damage and stolen copper. In the course of renovating it. It was easier to just cut and take out all the old stuff and replace it with pex. Grated we ripped out the entire old heating system and went to Forced air and Ac, but all my plumbing was redone the plastic stuff. Although my plumber wanted to kill me, when I asked him to add more outside water spigots, while the wall was opened up, It wsa impressive how quick and easy one guy can get water to where you need it.

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  9. #34
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Pex vs copper for hydronic heat

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    C.. why not just rig up a schrader valve, compressor and gauge and see if it holds air.. (this is what the plumber suggested)
    Water under pressure and it bursts, you have water everywhere.

    Air under pressure... you have a bomb waiting to go off, how well do you trust that pipe?

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  10. #35
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Pex vs copper for hydronic heat

    I'd go air pressure. 60PSI is more than enough to test.

    I run a quick disconnect air hose fitting behind a ball valve for my water system that needs to be flushed every freeze season. Works great.

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  11. #36
    Lifer PhilB's Avatar
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    Re: Pex vs copper for hydronic heat

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    Water under pressure and it bursts, you have water everywhere.

    Air under pressure... you have a bomb waiting to go off, how well do you trust that pipe?
    Um, no. Pressure testing is typically done with air. It's safer, cleaner, and more accurate/sensitive than testing with water.

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