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  • Old pipe replacements

    I am buying a 90 year old house that has brass schedule 40 threaded water pipe. There is a leak at a fitting and the house inpsector suggested that all of the brass pipe be replaced. Other than the leak at the fitting it looks good on the outside.

    Is the brass likely to be failing generally and should it be replaced everywhere, or should it just be repaired at the leak (an elbow)?

    If replaced, would you recommend copper (L or M), PEX, or CPVC? I have worked with copper and CPVC but would have to get the tools for PEX.

    There is also some old cast iron drain pipe, some of which leaks and must be replaced. I plan to use PVC with Fernco shielded couplings where adapting to the cast iron above the concrete floor. Should all cast iron be replaced or just where inspection shows a problem?

    Most of the exposed piping is in a basement where it is accessible, except for risers to two bathrooms and a kitchen. PEX would probably be easiest where it is necessary to replace risers.

    I would be grateful for any suggestions or comments.

  • #2
    Re: Old pipe replacements

    if there is a Lead Issue 2 things that are cheap to Do

    1: Run water before Using

    2: Run a Separate cold Supply to the Kitchen From the source ...Then only Drink water from that Source ...

    Dave

    Just fix the Leak ...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Old pipe replacements

      Originally posted by Big Jim

      If re-piping is needed and it were my house, I would use copper.
      Same here , I would use copper

      You can also visit copper.org as well.

      Copper is the way to go when it comes to potable


      If you want me to list some reason s to use copper let me know

      Joseph
      Help With Your Pool Or Spa Pump?►WeT HeaD Pump Repair ► Watch Me On YouTube: Pool & Spa Pump Repair TV
      New: Pump Repair MagazineNew: Pool & Spa Pump Repair Forums

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Old pipe replacements

        In the North East in the hands of a skilled Craftsman Copper rules ...

        Here in Florida copper Stinks ....


        Skool U no Like AO Smith Water Heaters ?

        Dave

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Old pipe replacements

          Originally posted by NoeEttica View Post
          In the North East in the hands of a skilled Craftsman Copper rules ...

          Here in Florida copper Stinks ....


          Skool U no Like AO Smith Water Heaters ?

          Dave

          This is true, MANY northerners love copper, Its great for many reasons including it keeps the trade of plumbing full of skill and pride.


          A few things from the "Copper Tube Handbook" which is free at http://copper.org

          1. Copper is economical. The combination of easy handling, forming and joining permits savings in installation time, material and over all costs. Long Term performance and reliability mean fewer call backs and that makes copper the ideal cost-effective tubing material.

          5. Copper is safe. Copper tube will not burn or support combustion and decompose to toxic gases. Therefore, it will not carry fire through floors, walls and ceilings. Volatile organic compounds are not required for installation.

          Thats just a few reasons, and more can be found in the free copper tubing handbook at copper.org

          Joseph

          Oh and PS: Yes, I like A.O Smith water heaters ..I used to install all kinds of water heaters in NY. It would depend on what the boss or the master plumber I was working under decided to he wanted to do or install on his jobs
          Help With Your Pool Or Spa Pump?►WeT HeaD Pump Repair ► Watch Me On YouTube: Pool & Spa Pump Repair TV
          New: Pump Repair MagazineNew: Pool & Spa Pump Repair Forums

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Old pipe replacements

            Originally posted by PlumbingSkool View Post
            Same here , I would use copper


            Copper is the way to go when it comes to potable


            If you want me to list some reason s to use copper let me know

            Joseph

            i re-piped my 100+ yo house using copper (i stay away from pex for a good zillion reasons!)... even shower and tub waste are in cop... BUT one question remains...

            back then they were using galvanized piping for water distribution throughout the house. we all know that with time galvanized has this nice effect of corroding inside...

            my house also has old cast iron radiators... so for a while i started thinking that if water used to corrode the innner galvanized pipes... it must be the same for the pipes feeding the radiators...

            other than cost, why not use copper? oxidation of the union between the copper pipe and the nipple at the radiator? come on! there must be other reasons!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Old pipe replacements

              Thanks to all of you guys for the replies.

              The house was built in what was a very nice neighborhood of Boston and the water distribution piping is solid brass (seems like about schedule 40) with threaded fittings. The inpsector didn't say anything about lead but said the brass would corrode and cause leaks. There is one small leak at an elbow. I don't want to replace it just because someone says it might leak, unless I find upon close inspection that it is in fact unreliable.

              I have worked with some applications where copper alloys will cause corrosion of iron if connected with iron such as in some pumps. I know that brass contains a fair amount of zinc, which is pretty susceptible to corrosion.

              The pipe looks odd because it seems to have an external coating of what looks like either aluminum paint or tin plating. The outside of the pipe is in excellent condition. When I scrape it with a knife I see the typical yellow color of brass.

              When I get into the house (still awaiting the closing) I will take apart some convenient piping at a sink (big old soapstone double sink) and inspect the threads and inside on the pipe.

              I have seen a fair amount of CPVC used in industrial piping where corrosion is an issue. Is there some reason that it in not used extensively in residential plumbing? It seems to be permitted by most codes.

              I will probably do copper as the difference in material cost is not that great. I was thinking of PEX if I have to fish it through walls to get to some spaces.

              Thanks again for all the replies.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Old pipe replacements

                I Use Thousands of Feet of CPVC every Year No Problems ... If you Wait 5 Hrs. before Pressurizing You are Golden ... 75 Degrees f and above

                Dave

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Old pipe replacements

                  I would keep the brass unless it6's undersized for your current fixture demand. It will last forever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Old pipe replacements

                    Originally posted by HornyPotter View Post
                    my house also has old cast iron radiators... so for a while i started thinking that if water used to corrode the innner galvanized pipes... it must be the same for the pipes feeding the radiators...

                    !
                    Hot water or steam heating systems are a different animal from the potable water system. It is what is referred to as a "closed system' and the water in them becomes somewhat depleted of oxygen, thus corrosion is much less of a problem.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Old pipe replacements

                      From what I've heard brass gets brittle. I wouldn't do a gut-job and leave it behind the walls.

                      My plumber-in-law uses copper and says the extra hangers, spacers for pex add up to even the score time wise, and you end up running a lot of extra pex to keep fittings out of the walls (good tradesman are superstitious) and pull home runs. Its a lot easier to nail/screw through on accident if your favorite finish contractor is too lazy to change the nails in his gun.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Old pipe replacements

                        Type "L" Copper tubing for water, IIRC in MA, as a homeowner you cannot perform your own plumbing work, they wont even sell you materials in the state without a license.

                        I can recommend a GOOD HONEST RELIABLE PLUMBER in your area, PM him, his Screen name is "Duck Butter"
                        Last edited by wrench spinner; 05-29-2009, 12:27 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Old pipe replacements

                          Originally posted by BobNH View Post
                          Thanks to all of you guys for the replies.

                          The house was built in what was a very nice neighborhood of Boston and the water distribution piping is solid brass (seems like about schedule 40) with threaded fittings. The inpsector didn't say anything about lead but said the brass would corrode and cause leaks. There is one small leak at an elbow. I don't want to replace it just because someone says it might leak, unless I find upon close inspection that it is in fact unreliable.

                          I have worked with some applications where copper alloys will cause corrosion of iron if connected with iron such as in some pumps. I know that brass contains a fair amount of zinc, which is pretty susceptible to corrosion.

                          The pipe looks odd because it seems to have an external coating of what looks like either aluminum paint or tin plating. The outside of the pipe is in excellent condition. When I scrape it with a knife I see the typical yellow color of brass.

                          When I get into the house (still awaiting the closing) I will take apart some convenient piping at a sink (big old soapstone double sink) and inspect the threads and inside on the pipe.

                          I have seen a fair amount of CPVC used in industrial piping where corrosion is an issue. Is there some reason that it in not used extensively in residential plumbing? It seems to be permitted by most codes.

                          I will probably do copper as the difference in material cost is not that great. I was thinking of PEX if I have to fish it through walls to get to some spaces.

                          Thanks again for all the replies.
                          Hello, Here in Minnesota brass would be a LUXURY and have only seen it once.
                          as far as concerns the onl thing that might cause a wear issue would be what is in the water that may corrode it. here we have nothing. also as far as wondering. check where you repair the leak for signs of wear. look for thinning of the wall of the pipe.
                          You may be suprised the leak may be that eithrt the orignal plumber got the fitting too tight and the thread has a small crack in it , and just started leaking or may not have got it tight enough.
                          As far as replacement. ( If it works don't fix it ) you may find that replacement is harder than it looks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Old pipe replacements

                            Originally posted by wrench spinner View Post
                            Type "L" Copper tubing for water, IIRC in MA, as a homeowner you cannot perform your own plumbing work, they wont even sell you materials in the state without a license.

                            I can recommend a GOOD HONEST RELIABLE PLUMBER in your area, PM him, his Screen name is "Duck Butter"
                            I always wondered how the plumbers pushed that through. All the electricians I know in Mass are soooooo jealous. I guess its ok to fry your family and burn your house down, but I'm surprised the insurance companies allow it. Theory is you can electrocute yourself but with plumbing you can make other families sick.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Old pipe replacements

                              Your insurance companies will not allow it. God forbid something happens and your house burns down you are up the creek without a paddle, most if not all insurance companies will not cover you. Plumbing can mess you up too, say you re route your waste through the floor, if you dont cut your joists correctly, and your mother-in-law falls through the floor you are still stuck! IMHO you are risking your investment/Home anytime you partake in a project that one is not qualified for, Please note NHMatt, I am not directing this toward you but towards the millions of people that feel as though plumbing consists of:

                              -Cold on right, Hot on left
                              -$hit flows downhill
                              -Payday is on Friday
                              and dont chew your fingernails!


                              How about you ask your Homeowners insurance compnies how they feel about DIY, they love it!!!

                              Comment

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