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Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

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  • Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

    Hello All,

    I'm a homebuilder in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. We have a 400 home development that we are about 60 homes into. We just sold a bunch of new homes by lowering our prices to compete with foreclosures in the area.

    Before we made that move, we had 0 sales in the last two years.

    Now that I have 8 homes to build, I am scrambling to build these homes and not lose money.

    We are going line by line through our cost estimates and one of the items we are looking at is saving on the plumbing. We are considering going from all copper for the supply to pex. Pex is approved in the municipality that we are building in.

    Couple of questions:

    1.) On an average 2000 sf home with 2.5 baths and one kitchen, is the labor to install PEX substantially less than copper? If so, approximately how many man hours saved?

    2.) Is there a substantial cost savings on the material using PEX vs copper?

    3.) What are your overall feelings on PEX vs. Copper?

    4.) If this topic has been covered before, please point me to the relevant threads. I did a search but could not find specific answers to the questions above.

    Thanks in advance,

  • #2
    Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

    Pex is unbelievably faster and very reliable when installed correctly....Id say thats 2 guys , 2 days of copper...2 guys 6 hours max with pex....

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

      We went from 1966 galvanized pipe to Wisbro-Pex
      We ran 1" from the water meter copper above ground into the house of course.
      3/4" to all areas via a manifold system.
      Then stub out in 1/2" copper to all fixtures.

      You will have a plastic taste for a while until the new pipes flush out
      We have amazing pressure and with the manifold system when someone flushes the toilet and someone is in the shower there is no loss of water in the shower!

      It also wonderful as the individual runs are direct without all sorts of 90 degree bends..almost like running wire.

      In Arizona I do not have to deal with freezing temperatures so just be sure you make the runs all within inside walls

      We are very pleased with the results!

      Cactus Man

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

        Originally posted by orcuttal View Post
        Pex is unbelievably faster and very reliable when installed correctly....Id say thats 2 guys , 2 days of copper...2 guys 6 hours max with pex....
        Welcome to the forum.What Brand do you like to install?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

          Originally posted by cactusman View Post
          We went from 1966 galvanized pipe to Wisbro-Pex
          We ran 1" from the water meter copper above ground into the house of course.
          3/4" to all areas via a manifold system.
          Then stub out in 1/2" copper to all fixtures.

          You will have a plastic taste for a while until the new pipes flush out
          We have amazing pressure and with the manifold system when someone flushes the toilet and someone is in the shower there is no loss of water in the shower!

          It also wonderful as the individual runs are direct without all sorts of 90 degree bends..almost like running wire.

          In Arizona I do not have to deal with freezing temperatures so just be sure you make the runs all within inside walls

          We are very pleased with the results!

          Cactus Man
          I have had zero reports of a "plastic taste" with Viega UltraPEX.

          Has anyone else?

          Thanks.

          J.C.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

            Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
            I have had zero reports of a "plastic taste" with Viega UltraPEX.

            Has anyone else?

            Thanks.

            J.C.

            I would like to share with you that I've had zero reports of "plastic taste" with copper.
            Time flies like an arrow.

            Fruit flies like a banana.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

              Originally posted by geno gardner View Post
              I would like to share with you that I've had zero reports of "plastic taste" with copper.
              Me either. Although I have had reports of "metallic" taste with copper.


              J.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

                I am un aware of pex being alowed in the chicago suberbs cpvc yes but not pex but I dont install new I also know chicago itself there is no plastic water lines alowed
                SMELLS LIKE $$$$$$ TO ME

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

                  We are actually getting cities that are dissallowing the pex install despite a California UPC approval.
                  SHWEET!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

                    Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                    We are actually getting cities that are dissallowing the pex install despite a California UPC approval.
                    SHWEET!!
                    This whole multiple code B.S. has got to get reeled in. Do this here, don't do it there.

                    I've got to put in a double check backflow next week on a retail establishment with 2 sinks. And the meter yolk has double checks also.

                    Four checks because THIS area wants it.

                    J.C.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

                      Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                      This whole multiple code B.S. has got to get reeled in. Do this here, don't do it there.

                      I've got to put in a double check backflow next week on a retail establishment with 2 sinks. And the meter yolk has double checks also.

                      Four checks because THIS area wants it.

                      J.C.
                      Los Angeles has had their addendum for decades.Guess everyone wants to be special too.
                      Those stainless checks?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

                        Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                        Los Angeles has had their addendum for decades.Guess everyone wants to be special too.
                        Those stainless checks?
                        They don't have a material requirement on the checks here....yet.

                        J.C.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

                          Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                          They don't have a material requirement on the checks here....yet.

                          J.C.
                          Anytime I did a Multi-plex(soda machine) L.A. wanted a stainless double check.Even though the machine had one factory installed.

                          A simple coffee machine needed it's own check at the filler.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

                            Originally posted by Aladd1n View Post
                            Hello All,

                            I'm a homebuilder in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. We have a 400 home development that we are about 60 homes into. We just sold a bunch of new homes by lowering our prices to compete with foreclosures in the area.

                            Before we made that move, we had 0 sales in the last two years.

                            Now that I have 8 homes to build, I am scrambling to build these homes and not lose money.

                            We are going line by line through our cost estimates and one of the items we are looking at is saving on the plumbing. We are considering going from all copper for the supply to pex. Pex is approved in the municipality that we are building in.

                            Couple of questions:

                            1.) On an average 2000 sf home with 2.5 baths and one kitchen, is the labor to install PEX substantially less than copper? If so, approximately how many man hours saved?

                            2.) Is there a substantial cost savings on the material using PEX vs copper?

                            3.) What are your overall feelings on PEX vs. Copper?

                            4.) If this topic has been covered before, please point me to the relevant threads. I did a search but could not find specific answers to the questions above.

                            Thanks in advance,
                            I don't know your code but Pex if allowed, is much faster and cheaper to run.

                            I spent 15 years in New Construction, and we broke up the Plumbing like this on a 2.5 bath house with Kitchen...

                            2 days for the rough-in

                            1 day in the basement

                            1 day for the finish.

                            If we used pex back then, I would have easily saved a day in labor on the water piping alone.

                            As far as Pex versus copper, I think they both have their place in the Plumbing industry. The only thing I don't like about Pex is...it can be a pain to make it look good, and not look like spaghetti.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Pex vs. Copper for New Construction

                              Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                              This whole multiple code B.S. has got to get reeled in. Do this here, don't do it there.

                              I've got to put in a double check backflow next week on a retail establishment with 2 sinks. And the meter yolk has double checks also.

                              Four checks because THIS area wants it.

                              J.C.
                              Be glad you don't live in my area. Our area has been so screwed code wise since I first picked up a wrench. Before that we had 4 different Plumbing codes in a 70 mile square radius. Even though ALL of Pa. is finally 1 code now(except Philly & Pittsburgh), each municipality follows a different version from the other, which is a pain. But before you even get to code issues, 1 or 2 municipalities don't even require you to be a licensed plumber.

                              This state seems to be more concerned about Pa. license numbers more than if your a licensed Plumber.

                              But for the most part, we only need 1 double check at the water service.

                              Comment

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