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papakevin 11-03-2011 09:35 PM

Help needed with crawl space main line connection
I'm looking for the correct way to run the main line underneath a crawl space and terminate it my plumbing. This mess is in a flip home that I purchased, but I have limited plumbing knowledge so I'm seeking assistance.

The main line coming into the crawl space is a black flexible pipe. It comes in at ground level, but it has been elevated and straped to the floor joist. Then a plastic shut off valve has been installed, which then feeds some blue pex using a shark bite fitting. The blue pex goes up into the laundry room, where a brass shutoff valve was installed, returning back underneath the house and then it ties into the CPVC main plumbing for the house.

I have attached pictures which better show what I'm dealing with. My question is what is the proper way to run this? Should the main line be lying on the ground or is it OK to be strapped up as shown? As of now, nothing leaks, but with winter coming on, I don't want to be dealing with busted pipes.

papakevin 11-03-2011 09:36 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Photos of what I've described above. Thanks.

joecaption 11-04-2011 07:13 AM

What do you want to bet that at some time those pipes did burst. No plumber I know of would have ever used all those differant materials and made all those crazy twists and turns to make up that simple run.
In your first picture it looks like the pex is kinked on the right side of the picture. (may be just the angle the picture was taken)
Under the house is going to all be about the same temp. so it will not matter if the pipes laying on the ground or strapped to the floor joist. If it's up it may be slightly warmer from heat loose through the floors and the fact heat rises.
I hate those cheap plastic shut offs. After a few years there near imposible to turn and tend to crack.
Do you have automatic closing foundation vents? If not I'd change out your old ones and install them. That way no ones going to forget to close them in the winter and freeze the pipes.
If it was mine I'd rip it all out and start over.

Redwood 11-04-2011 09:39 AM

My biggest concern would be the steel fitting transitioning from the black poly to the CPVC valve...

If freezing is a concern you definitely don't want CPVC as it gets very ugly fast when it freezes...

You may find this link helpful...

papakevin 11-04-2011 09:16 PM

Joe, you are right about the pipes bursting. Long story short, the interior plumbing was replaced by CPVC. Someone used a compression fitting to attached the CPVC to the black main line under the house, a hanger failed, the pipes were stressed and the compression fitting pulled out. (This happened after I purchased the house.) Arrived to find the ENTIRE crawl space flooded, with water pouring out of the vents. It was ugly.

I hired what I thought was a respectable licensed plumber (on the side) to reattach the plumbing to the main line, and he added the blue pex you see in the photo along with a brass shutoff valve in the laundry room. I am please with the way the work looked up top in the room, but after seeing how everything connects underneath the house, I'm concerned it looks a little "jacked up".

Just wondering if I should try to change it out or leave it as-is or if something should be switched out. I really do not want to replace the CPVC that's installed in the rest of the house, since it is all somewhat new and not leaking. I am interested in finding out if it is necessary to insulate the CPVC, recognizing it is a crawl space and the heat vents are in the attic.

Any and all suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

joecaption 11-05-2011 06:33 AM

The black plastic, the CPVC and any steel pipes will burst if frozen. It will do no harm to insulate them. A crawl space most often will stay just above freezing if all the vents are closed and there's no holes unless it gets way below freezing for a long time.
Anytime I see pipes burst it's most often where someone ran the pipes near an open vent.

Redwood 11-05-2011 11:18 AM

If we knew where you lived a much better idea about freezing could be formulated...

from Maine to Virginia to Florida things must have some big differences in construction techniques to avoid freezing... :cool:

In Maine you just might want Heat Tape and Insulation in the crawl space with no pipes in exterior walls or attics ever....

In Virginia insulation in the crawl space and pipes in exterior walls and attic as long as the pipes are against the heated sheetrock with insulation on the cold side....

In Florida for the water service drag your heel in the sand drop the pipe in the mark and cover it just enough to hide it. When you get to the house run the pipe up the side of the house on the outside, pop a hole through the siding into the attic and run the pipe through the attic without a care about freezing...

papakevin 11-06-2011 01:59 AM

Sorry about that, knowing the location would be helpful.

In Jeffersonville, Indiana, (Southern Indiana), right across the river from Louisville, Kentucky. Appreciate the help!

Redwood 11-06-2011 08:35 AM

Okay so Joe's advice about closing vents in the winter, making sure you don't run pipes near a vent, and insulating should be adequate except for unusually harsh weather...

papakevin 11-06-2011 05:33 PM

Excellent, thanks.

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