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Home repipe question - where and what to run?

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  • Home repipe question - where and what to run?

    Bought a 1960s concrete block house in South Florida. Houses in the neighborhood have started to have copper plumbing problems over the last few years. I'm in the middle of fairly extensive remodeling but haven't touched the plumbing yet.

    The house has 3 baths. 2 baths, the kitchen, and the laundry room are all essentially along one exterior concrete block wall. I am tearing up half the drywall in these rooms as part of the remodel. The outside wall also has the A/C, electric, etc, on it so outside doesn't need to be pretty either. Attic access is miserable.

    Based on the neighbors having issues - it seems like it would be smart to repipe. I am unsure what the right material is, and if it makes sense to do this OUTSIDE the house rather than inside. It seems a little odd but then again it seems smarter to put my water pipes outside than inside. I could literally do a 40' straight run along the outside wall and Tee in to each fixture but don't know if this would be seen as a hack job.

    Thoughts?

    One more thing: ONE bathroom is on the complete opposite side of the house. So if I did it, I'd probably have to do a pex run through the attic to that bath. Even that will be a real challenge due to attic size. I assume there is zero benefit in doing "half" a repipe, as I'd still have pressurized original pipes running all over the place?
    Last edited by Flot; 08-21-2010, 10:15 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

    since you're running exterior on a block wall, this makes pex and cpvc out of the question. back to copper or gal pipe

    why can't you pex from the inside if you're ripping up the drywall?

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

      I would re-pipe from the inside.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

        Because it's a block wall, if I went pex or interior repipe, I'd have to fit everything between firring strips and drywall. Is that practical? Attic access is also really bad, so I wouldn't be doing myself any long term favors.

        Remember it never gets to freezing here - would an outside repipe be that bad? Is the first comment on no pex/cpvc because of uv exposure?

        If external I was thinking of encasing the run in aluminum flashing as they do with hvac lines. But I'm not set on this by any means just trying to understand pros/cons.
        Last edited by Flot; 08-21-2010, 11:48 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

          Before you get too involved I strongly suggest you visit your
          local building code folks to pull the proper permits and get
          specific details as to what is legal ....etc

          After you spend your time and money you could find yourself in
          a heap of trouble...such as your homeowner's insurance
          will not cover you for an "improper" remodel!
          Also when you decide to sell the property all those no code
          compliant remodel and short cuts will bite you in the butt!!!!!

          You should also at least call in the licensed professionals to discuss your plans. You can still save money by doing the labor yourself.
          But, having the blessing and final inspection by a paid licensed professional will be valuable!

          While remodeling why not invest in some insulation, block wall with furring strips and dry wall only will still cost you on those hot humid days running the air conditioner. when you do that you can make room to run your PEX inside. Plumbing run outside aside from many possible problems is just plain UGLY!

          This may also be a good time to visit your electric system and bring it up to 2010 code.


          Cactus Man

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          • #6
            Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

            IMO..Pex would be the easiest for you to install.

            It's kind of hard to picture what you're talking about without some pictures.

            My Mom lives in Ft. Myers, and I don't think I've ever seen a house down there, that has their water lines roughed on the outside of their home, like what you're talking about.

            In Louisiana, I've seen PVC Plumbing stacks on the outside of homes down there..that look like hell.

            If I bought the house you're talking about...I would take out all the copper and start fresh from the main with Pex, and be done with it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

              Unfortunately "professionals" are a dime a dozen around here and each has their way of doing things and each says their way is right.

              Not looking to take shortcuts - just trying to get a better feel for my options. Haven't yet found a plumber here who likes pex for general work.

              I thought about replacing my firring with 2x4s - that causes some other issues though, particularly in the small kitchen.

              If running outside is that odd, it's off the list. Only brought it up because the layout lent itself to that configuration.

              Keep the thoughts coming!
              Last edited by Flot; 08-21-2010, 01:33 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

                if your putting the pipes out side im sure you will cover them to make it look nice . not sire if your cold water gets cold like ours up here you may want to insulate both of them to keep the hot hot and the cold from condensating
                Charlie

                My seek the peek fundraiser page
                http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                new work pictures 12/09
                http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

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                • #9
                  Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

                  ALL pipe materials have benefits and drawbacks. Do a test on the water for PH levels. If ok, put in Type L copper.

                  You've currently had it perform in your house for over 40 years.

                  J.C.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

                    Originally posted by Flot View Post
                    Unfortunately "professionals" are a dime a dozen around here and each has their way of doing things and each says their way is right.

                    Not looking to take shortcuts - just trying to get a better feel for my options. Haven't yet found a plumber here who likes pex for general work.

                    I thought about replacing my firring with 2x4s - that causes some other issues though, particularly in the small kitchen.

                    Keep the thoughts coming!
                    I don't care for Pex either, because you're taking the P out of Plumbing. Our trade has slowly but surely been going south, and is more homeowner friendly, if you want an honest answer. Plumbing USED to be such a secluded trade, you had to know someone to break into the trade. Pex & CPVC has customers telling us how "easy" this trade is...and that's simply not the case. Sure anyone could use Pex or CPVC..but are they installing it correctly? Are they sizing their water distribution correctly?

                    But if I had to chose between Pex and CPVC for water lines in a home..I'm taking Pex every single time and twice on Sunday.

                    The right way to do your job is pick a material you want to use..and equalize the system, so you have enough volume for your fixtures.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

                      Down here on the 27th parallel we've repiped many a CBS home from the outside.
                      For all the reasons you mentioned it's easier and cheaper. For good or bad, pex
                      just isn't that popular down here. I'm a copper man, but CPVC has gained ground
                      as the go to alternative if not the first choice. Check with your local bldg. dept.
                      for any permit requirements. Insurance will not pay on claims for damage from leaks
                      if the work is done by an unlicensed person.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

                        So that's 1 vote for pex, one for copper, one for cvpc, and 2 votes for inside and one outside.

                        At least you guys can see why I'm confused. LOL.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

                          Cactus Man already gave you the best advice. Go to your local building department, and get the required permits to do the job. Then talk to the people there at the building department (plumbing inspector) and see what is allowed and required. They are there to help you to things to meet the local code.

                          I known way to many people that thought what they where doing in a remodel job was right only to find out later it had to be torn out and redone properly. It does not matter what we say is right or even what you local plumbing contractors you called says is right, it matters what the code in your area says is right.
                          Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                          A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                          Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                          Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

                            and when you find out what the Plumbing inspector says...come back and tell us what he said.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Home repipe question - where and what to run?

                              I'll head down there this week - my dealings with the building dept have been 50/50 when it comes to "helpfulness." I don't know how it works everywhere else but here in south fl you can call the most expensive, reput ble contractors and the first question they ask is if you want the job permitted or not. (although I am 110% in favor of building to code)
                              Last edited by Flot; 08-22-2010, 03:05 PM.

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