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Old 03-24-2010, 05:28 AM  
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Default redoing pb pipe problem

When I purchased my home 13 yrs ago I had no clue what pb pipe was, what it looked like nor why there was a recall on the plumbing system.

After experiencing the pain of this system, I have finally saved enough to redo my home. I planned to use Pex as i have hear a lot of good things about it, including ease of installation and its manifold type setup.

My main problem is they ran Pb through the slab and it is 3/8 id. So water pressure is an issue when the washing machine is being run if you would like a shower. I would run it through the attic, but I fear if it leaks or should a leak develops it will be a nightmare. Also getting the pex from the connection in my yard into my attic is somthing I havent been able to figure out how to do.

One approach I think has merit is to build an insulated box on one side of my home going from the ground or slightly below groung into the attic.

If anyone can give me a better idea for getting the line into my home(brick exterior on a slab) or even a better way to run the Pex I would greatly appreciate it. I can be contacted at if you have a question on something I havent covered.

Many thanks,


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Old 03-24-2010, 07:30 AM  
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Default hi

Well there are a couple of ways. The outside being the last option.
With pex, there should be no leaks in the attic area if there are no fittings. When you make a home run from the manifold to the bathroom or other areas, make your fittings accessible in that area.
We have run pipes in the attic in insulated foam boxes. We have also run them in the top of the wall areas and created a soffit to cover the pipes, then run them down the wall to the fixtures. This is a little more sheetrock work in the end, but doable.
There is no easy solution, but getting rid of the PB garbage is a you know.

Cutting and removing slab is hard...and the pipe becomes innaccesible, again.
I would rather know I have a leak, than something leaking under my slab creating huge issues later....much more than damaged sheetrock.

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Old 03-24-2010, 08:08 AM  
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good info inspectorD

Question though - Wasn't the issue with PB the use of incorrect fittings and/or incorrect installation plus perhaps some issues caused by corrosive elements in some water supplies? Its not necessarily a forgone conclusion that a pb system is going to fail.

yeah, I would replace it if there is any doubt. I wouldn't build soffits for the new pipe tho. I would prefer to open up drywall and repair as necessary.
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Old 03-25-2010, 04:27 PM  
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No it is actually pb pipe itself is crap, I have had the pipe itself break both at the joints and in half, it seems where ever it is placed against wood (where you can expect seasonal movement from swelling etc it let go after 10 to 12 years due to brittleness.

I have decided I will cap off the old pb stubs, and run pex and probably put the manifold in the water heaters closet as it is easiest to access.

My main question still remains I suppose i didnt explain it well enough. I am looking for a solution to get it from the yard (underground) and into my home where I can run it through the attic into my water heater closet to the dual manifolds.

would it be easy to say drill brick and only then expose a small area to have to insulate assuming i did it low near the foundation. or run it up the side of the home and use an insulated box to access the attic from the start?
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