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  • pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

    this is a GREAT site! i stumbled onto the ridgid forum a few weeks ago and well, the different personalities and incredible amount of knowledge is sooo cool.

    i am but a humble person mortgaged to a 1920's 4 unit building building with galvanized plumbing. its getting time to repipe. have crawl space, no attic/flat roof. researched epoxy lining (thumbs down in this forum), copper and pex.

    expoxy lining- sounds terrific:clean, quick, no breaking walls/dust.... but the $$$$- more than copper!

    pex- i periodically call los angeles building and safety plumbing department and they still tell me pex is not allowed, yet. cpvc ok, pex not yet but soon b/c of the rising copper prices and homeowners asking for it.

    i was going hallelujah! when i read westcoast plumber say pex is finally legal in los angeles. but i called labs and they said not yet.

    crap.

    copper- i actually have a very good estimate from a lic'd plumber i used to change out the water heaters and misc plumbing repairs. he is a one man with helper team. he showed me where the walls will be opened to run copper and said it will be dusty but the water will be hooked up at the end of each day, will take 2-3 weeks but does not drywall.

    i'm very very close to giving up on pex and going copper. the main reason why i've been holding out for pex is thinking (or imagining) that a pex install will be cleaner (less holes), quicker, and with homeruns/manifold it will be more homeowner friendly- ie if there is a leak just shut off that line, and no worry of copper thieves in my crawl space (transitional neighborhood)

  • #2
    Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

    PEX is approved under the UPC and CPC, (California Plumbing Code) However, its up to the local inspectors to approve or disapprove.

    I was the first company to get PEX approved in OC and that occured in 1999.

    I had a three foot section of it over nighted to me from Rehau in Germany. (They invented the stuff)

    I had a meeting with the County Inspector, Fire Marshall and local city we we were working in. We literally took a MAP gas torch and lite the sample on fire. The only thing anyone was looking for was the flame dispersion, that it self extinguished, and fume concentration.

    No one cared whether the actual pipe would hold water. Anyways the product was approved.

    Some info that might help: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...1/ai_n15191510

    City of LA follows the CPC. You need to talk to a supervisor or manager, not the guy that answers the phone. Also check with the LA City Mechanical Testing Labratory, they have final say-so.

    Getting things approve in LA is pretty easy if you know how to do it. Just remember with these guys honey goes alot farther then salt.
    Last edited by Watersurgeon; 06-14-2008, 11:29 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

      That's good info. I'm nowhere near you but good to learn. The one thing that really bothers me is that a local inspector should not be allowed to contradict the two codes without the approval from both code authorities.

      And the inspector should be fined for doing so. Costs us nothing but time and money.

      J.C.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

        ALWAYS REMEMBER RULE #1
        THE AUTHORITY HAVING JURISDICTION HAS THE FINAL SAY
        IT IS TRUE THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES GOES BY THE UPC AND THE CPC THEY ALSO HAVE THEIR OWN CODE BOOK THAT IS AT LEAST AS THICK AS THE UPC
        AND "NO PRODUCT" CAN BE USED OR APPROVED WITH OUT THE BLESSING OF THEIR OWN MECHANICAL TESTING LAB.
        NO MATTER WHAT OTHER APPROVALS THE PRODUCT MAY CARRY
        JERRYMAC
        E-MAILJERRYMAC777@GMAIL.COM
        CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
        FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
        SINCE JAN. 1989

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

          Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
          That's good info. I'm nowhere near you but good to learn. The one thing that really bothers me is that a local inspector should not be allowed to contradict the two codes without the approval from both code authorities.

          And the inspector should be fined for doing so. Costs us nothing but time and money.

          J.C.
          There has been an on going lawsuit which has prevent plumbers from using PEX except on a case-by-case basis. However, it was my understanding the lawsuit is now over. Still LA is allowed to amend the Cope to prohibit PEX if they want to.

          Mark
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

            I was aware of the PEX lawsuit in CA. But I can't disagree more about local jurisdictions altering codes. It causes nothing but problems & headaches for tradesman that for the majority are probably not necessary.

            A good plumber works in one town, passes inspection based on let's say IPC. Goes one town over, fails inspection due to local codes. Works the town on the other side, fails inspection because of another code. Then has to correct all these under his/her original bid.

            It just causes a mess.

            J.C.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

              Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
              I was aware of the PEX lawsuit in CA. But I can't disagree more about local jurisdictions altering codes. It causes nothing but problems & headaches for tradesman that for the majority are probably not necessary.

              A good plumber works in one town, passes inspection based on let's say IPC. Goes one town over, fails inspection due to local codes. Works the town on the other side, fails inspection because of another code. Then has to correct all these under his/her original bid.

              It just causes a mess.

              J.C.
              You need to get out more. Most Jurisdictions have amendments to the UPC or IPC. I just checked for North Carolina and while they don't list the amendments they offer them for sale for $1.50 each. In addition, local Jurisdictions may have additional amendments to the State amendments.

              Here in California we use the California Plumbing Code (amended from UPC), then LA County amends it and finally City of Los Angeles amends it. You always need to check what Jurisdiction you are working under as it can make a difference.

              Mark

              Mark
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

                Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                You need to get out more. Most Jurisdictions have amendments to the UPC or IPC. I just checked for North Carolina and while they don't list the amendments they offer them for sale for $1.50 each. In addition, local Jurisdictions may have additional amendments to the State amendments.

                Here in California we use the California Plumbing Code (amended from UPC), then LA County amends it and finally City of Los Angeles amends it. You always need to check what Jurisdiction you are working under as it can make a difference.

                Mark

                Mark
                I do not need to get out more. You need to read closer. I never said their aren't amendments. But the ones I've encountered don't need to be there the majority of the time. I am aware of amendments everywhere. I shouldn't have to pay $1.50 each for amendments to anyone in NC. And no plumber anywhere should have to pay a dime for the amendments that could easily be posted online.

                What's the purpose of the word INTERNATIONAL in IPC? No really, what's the purpose if each one of the 100's of municipalities in NC can "tweak" it?

                The bottom line is they should not be allowed too without approval and adaption annually to the 1 codebook.

                I need to get out more. I don't know your intention of the words and someone probably shouldn't worry about it in a forum but you really pissed me off saying this. Don't appreciate the condescending nature.

                J.C.
                Last edited by BobsPlumbing; 06-15-2008, 02:00 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

                  Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                  I do not need to get out more. You need to read closer. I never said their aren't amendments. But the ones I've encountered don't need to be there the majority of the time. I am aware of amendments everywhere. I shouldn't have to pay $1.50 each for amendments to anyone in NC. And no plumber anywhere should have to pay a dime for the amendments that could easily be posted online.

                  What's the purpose of the word INTERNATIONAL in IPC? No really, what's the purpose if each one of the 100's of municipalities in NC can "tweak" it?

                  The bottom line is they should not be allowed too without approval and adaption annually to the 1 codebook.

                  I need to get out more. I don't know your intention of the words and someone probably shouldn't worry about it in a forum but you really pissed me off saying this. Don't appreciate the condescending nature.

                  J.C.
                  Relax I was just teasing you but I guess without the smilies it is not the same. Amendments for the most part are vital to the code and unless they risk life or safety they should be at the option of the Jurisdiction. An example would be Las Vegas where if you install copper under slab it gets eaten up quickly. As such they have an amendment which says all under slab copper must be sleeved.

                  Mark

                  "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                  I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

                    I am no where near you but you said CPVC pipe was allowed for water lines in your area . The flowguard Gold CPVC pipe has worked great for us in the new contruction plumbing we do have not had any problems yet and its a heck of a lot cheaper than copper and just as fast to run as pex pipe since its a one step glue. We do most of our repipes in CPVC unless the owner want copper which adds quite a bit more to the job. Pex is allowed in our area and we work with it frequently But lately I have noticed some pinhole leaks showing up in areas of the piping. Reminds me of polly. So I guess I am just curious why you want to run pex so bad instead of going with CPVC since it is approved in your area ???

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

                      thanks for the replies, i will call labds, with as much honey as i can muster when talking with a supervisor regarding the pex situation.

                      BUT, can anyone answer me this? is a pex install cleaner?- less holes/dust aftermath to deal with. call me crazy, but i like the old plaster walls and the neccessary holes of a copper repipe has been holding me back.

                      if it's ok'd by labds, will pex repipe be comparable in price of copper repipe being a "new" thing?

                      for your own home, would you all still repipe with copper? i'm thinking yes, and should just go for the copper.

                      thanks all, lilafter.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

                        From what I hear, pex will be legal in Jan of 2009, until then, you need to get a city by city approval, el segundo is allowing it, no problem, everywhere else, you need to ask first.
                        sigpic

                        Robert

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                        • #13
                          Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

                          To follow up my earlier post. It comes down to two things. A) how big your Kahonaases are and B) how bad you want to use PEX.

                          Twenty years or so ago we had a situation where we installed a high temp water softener under a dish machine.

                          A year later a health inspector sited the restaurant for the water softener not being elevated off he ground and for not having an approved curb around it.

                          The customer called us and the call ended up on my desk. After several phone calls I got the director of County Health Department on the phone.

                          My argument, 1) in certain applications this type of installation is the only viable solution. 2) we have installed hundreds of these in the county of the years and never been questioned before.

                          The Director countered with a baited question. "So you have installed hundreds of these in the county, can you name a few more that we can go verity"

                          My answer. "NO!!!. We have a fiduciary responsibility to our customers to keep our business relationship private. If the county wants to know who these other restaurants are, I suggest they obtain a court order,.... Oh and shoud the County wish to venture onto this pass, I will advice my attorneys to supenia every health inspection for every restuarant where one of the these installations have been performed, were the inspector neglected to write up the restaurant.

                          In the end the Director stated that they would look the other way on all future inspections.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: pex legal in los angeles? or copper- need to repipe

                            Suggestion. Do a thread search on West coast plumbing. LOOK at his work .Straight,tight,work. Check out the insolated hardware ,most don't use. Get a bid from Him.He's in Your hood. All pix will be posted in front of every plumber, in this country,and others.What do You have to loose? He's a plumbers Plumber! Tool
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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