Does PEX Color Matter?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by PKLehmer, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Jun 10, 2014 #1

    PKLehmer

    PKLehmer

    PKLehmer

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    I'm going to begin switching to PEX in my house, starting with a kitchen remodel. I know they offer it in several different colors, primarily white, red, and blue. In my basement we left the ceiling joists exposed and painted the ceiling and everything on it (ducts, pipes, wiring etc.) black in the living space, and white in the laundry room. I'd like to keep this look with the PEX so I guess I have two questions, is it ok to paint PEX (I've read yes and no on this so maybe this is more complicated..) and if so can I just use white PEX everywhere so I don't have to worry about painting a bright red hose white?
     
  2. Jun 10, 2014 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Red and blue are handy markers for hot and cold but white is fine for everything if you want, Don't know about paint.
     
  3. Jun 10, 2014 #3

    CallMeVilla

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    PEX is flexible piping. Latex paint would not harm it. Anything with solvent in the base might erode it, so oil or poly paints should never be used.

    Your problem might be adhesion. Some flaking or "fish eye" look might result.

    Have you considered a soffit to hide the piping? Even a false beam wrap would hide the piping and can be easily painted with anything.
     
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  4. Jun 10, 2014 #4

    bud16415

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    I did my whole house in white pex. I didn’t get the colors its not that hard to keep hot and cold separate. My thought was buy one roll and not end up running out of blue and having red left over.

    I suggest building a hot cold supply manifold and then running homerun to everything within reason. The one exception I did was run a ¾ to the second floor bath and then branch off to 1/2 . with everything labeled in the basement it’s just as easy to run down there and kill a supply as digging to the back of the sink and trying to turn a valve. Off my manifold I have all quarter turn ball valves.

    There are two clamp ring systems. I like the stainless rings that cinch in. get a good crimper and cutter and never look back.

    I don’t think it would hurt a thing if you painted it.
     
  5. Jun 10, 2014 #5

    havasu

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    They now have flexible "rattle can" paint specially formulated for plastics, which should make quick work of painting the Pex.
     
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  6. Jun 10, 2014 #6

    PKLehmer

    PKLehmer

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    I really struggle with the point in this. I understand the convenience of having one central point for each run, and no extraneous connections, but the amount of material needed seems excessive. And then add on the fact that with a normal plumbing system, if you run hot water on one appliance it heats up the lines for everything else, whereas if you use individual lines, you have to run all of the hot water out of each line. For instance, I will commonly run the hot water in my sink before starting a load in the dishwasher or laundry machine to flush the system and make sure I'm starting those runs with hot water.
     
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  7. Jun 10, 2014 #7

    PKLehmer

    PKLehmer

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    If only I didn't have a picky wife who chooses "rustic charcoal" instead of black paint, I could easily use cans. I actually sprayed the whole basement using a 5 gallon pro-style sprayer. That was just about the most fun I had working on my basement :)
     
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  8. Jun 10, 2014 #8

    PKLehmer

    PKLehmer

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    Thanks, my biggest concern was whether the red pipe had a higher temp rating or something like that, but everything I've seen indicates all three colors are identical spec wise.
     
  9. Jun 10, 2014 #9

    kok328

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    Sounds like a good time to install a circulation loop and pump. :2cents:
     
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  10. Jun 10, 2014 #10

    PKLehmer

    PKLehmer

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    Did a lot of research on this, most people seem to agree you're going to spend more reheating water then you save on wasted water.

    And a circulation loop would also rule out a manifold style system!
     
  11. Jun 11, 2014 #11

    nealtw

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    Insulate the pipes with the dark grey foam insulators. Keep the hot hot and stops the condensation on the cold in the summer

    For the circ pump, there is a system that goes under the sink and runs water from hot to cold and stops when the hot water gets there. It starts with push button or motion detectorora or timer.

    It really does save that water and adds nothing to the heating bill. There was a post about here about 2 yrs ago.

    [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE2QFLlEXNw[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
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  12. Jun 11, 2014 #12

    bud16415

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    Here is the way I looked at it and I understand your logic and I did some branch runs as you mentioned. Basically in your home plumbing you will be dealing with .50 and .75 PEX I did the math and the ID’s respectively are .475 and .677 that is roughly double the area or in terms of volume a 10 foot run of each respectively holds 21 and 43 cubic inches or 1.5 and 3.0 cups of water. So to purge a 30ft run you will waste 4.5 or 9.0 cups of water.

    You also have to factor in the cost of fittings and clamp rings compared to the cost of tubing and then the cost of the shut off valves and connector lines as compared to running straight to the device and then a connection fitting.

    I have my manifold centrally located in the basement so all first floor runs are in the 20 foot or less distance of the manifold. As an example I ran a hot and cold to the kitchen sink and branched off there for the dishwasher and fridge. I have an outside faucet within 5 feet of the sink supply that I could have also connected in but I chose to run back to the manifold for that. Reason being if someone is using the sink and someone turns on the hose the sink will go hot quicker than having the tempering distance of the run. At least that was my logic there. The run to the upstairs bath is the longest run and was harder to run maybe 30 feet and I had a .75 port on the end of the manifold I made so I chose the larger PEX size and ran a hot and cold with branches once to the bathroom. I did valves up stairs and a master valve in basement. Could I have lived with .50 running the whole bathroom most likely yes but in going with the .75 I knew I would have less loss when all the things were being used at once. True when I’m in the shower and someone uses the sink they have less wait on hot water but then again every time I use the shower or sink alone I’m purging twice the water than if I had run more smaller lines. If I had it to do again I might do the homerun to the upstairs bath with .50. When you buy your tubing it comes in rolls and I needed .75 to go from the meter to the water heater and then a hot and cold to supply the manifold. Those runs were not that long and I had enough .75 left from the roll to do the bath supply. Being cheap I didn’t want to have 60 foot of tubing hanging in the garage forever so I used it up there.

    I also like the peace of mind knowing there is no connections inside any closed in areas. Running this stuff is more like running wire than it is plumbing.

    Here is a photo of the manifold I cobbled together some runs were not connected yet.

    IMG_5510.jpg
     
  13. Jun 12, 2014 #13

    slownsteady

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    Krylon Fusion just to name a brand. Designed for painting plastic
     
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