Installing copper pipe

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by PAULYBOY, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. Feb 24, 2006 #1

    PAULYBOY

    PAULYBOY

    PAULYBOY

    SABUMNIM

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm planning on replacing the old pipes in my 90 year old house with copper this summer. My plan is to make all the pipe up in sections with the bends in the right place and prefab it into 2 or 3 large units. Once that's done, I was going to remove the old pipe and assemble the new stuff into a large complete unit, so as to minimize time without water. The pressure regulator in the house is newer, although the home inspector told me on the walk through that it was about 30 lbs. higher than it should be, so I guess I better adjust that while changing out the pipes. Am I on the right trabk here?
     
  2. Feb 24, 2006 #2

    MinConst

    MinConst

    MinConst

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pauly,
    If you are experienced with soldering copper, which from the sound of your question doesn't seem so. prefabbing the runs is really not the way to go. You will inevitably run into places where you won't be able to fit a large section of pipe in place. It is best to do the job piece by piece. even if you don't connect the new to the old. Planning this out before you start will go along way. If you solder well you will be fine. If you are just learning to solder you may run into some leaks along the way. Plan on not having water for the morning or afternoon at least so your not rushed. Be patient and remember a torch can light things in its path. Be very careful and have an extinguisher on hand. Watch for dripping solder it burns.
    If you are really comfortable with all this fine. If you have any concerns about safety you would be better off hiring the job to professional.
     
  3. Feb 25, 2006 #3

    Aceinstaller

    Aceinstaller

    Aceinstaller

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    If the water bieng down for a long period of time is an issue. consider running all of the copper pipe next to the galvanized runs throughout the home with stubs next to the fixtues. once all of the rough is in, connect all of the fixtures and the main in one day. then demo the old galvanized after the copper is in.

    also listen carefully to what the inspector is reccomending.
     
  4. Feb 25, 2006 #4

    zander

    zander

    zander

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did this Job on my house before i knew what i was doing-about five years ago.
    Started at 8 in the morning and finnished at 11pm.
    Only thing i would do different is to not cut off the 3/4 flare where it came into the house. Would have been an eight hour day with out that mistake.
    Spend some time to get all the parts together before hand. Oh, ya i would buy a quality torch. Self lighting and with enough heat to solder one inch copper with a little water in it.
    Figure out what you are going to do and count up the elbows, couplings, valves, adapters, and such. turbo torch TX540 i think is what i use now or acetylene
    Does your house have more than one bathroom?
    I would just focus on making the place liveable in one day.
    You can get water for cooking from the bath room.
    You can flush the toilet with a five gallon bucket.
    I gota get a hot shower so that is the first thing i made sure of.
    You can install ball valves to isolate one area from another so you don't feel pressured to get it done so fast. cap off some of the galvanzed. Tear out the pipe in that area and plumb it with copper so it is ready to go the day you conect that area with the rest of the plumbing.
    I assume that your water pressure is high so that water will be forced through that plugged up galvanized pipe.
    Im sure the inspector means well but i would take what he is saying with a grain of salt as he is not a professional in any one area. Like a handy man he knows a little about a lot.
     
  5. Feb 25, 2006 #5

    Aceinstaller

    Aceinstaller

    Aceinstaller

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    call the building department and follow all local codes.
     
  6. Feb 27, 2006 #6

    PAULYBOY

    PAULYBOY

    PAULYBOY

    SABUMNIM

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks fer the advice, fellas. I've got a self lighting torch with MAPP gas, good pipe scrubber thingy, good solder. I previously installed a new valv for the toilet, as well as replaced several old shut off valves with ball valves, and installed a double kitchen sink with disposal. I'm not new to the game, just never tried something of this magnitude. Ace, I like your idea of sistering up the new stuff next to the old with spuds for all the valves and pipes going through the floor. That's what I was trying to describe, but I only had 2 brain cells when I posted originally.
     
  7. Feb 28, 2006 #7

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    Housebroken Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,503
    Likes Received:
    267
    Two brain cells!! I wish some times!! PAULYBOY please tell me those eyes are really yours!!
    Great picture!!(No kidding)

    Its a madd madd world!!

    Welcome,:D
    InspectorD
     
  8. Feb 28, 2006 #8

    PAULYBOY

    PAULYBOY

    PAULYBOY

    SABUMNIM

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey, inspectorD, that was taken last year, when my nieces butterfly house resulted in the larvae unfolding their wings and taking their first flight. That one landed on my nose. Really. No kidding! My two grown kids had them land on them too, and my 23 year old daughter totallt freaked!
     
  9. Mar 1, 2006 #9

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,990
    Likes Received:
    4
    Yes the adjustment of the pressure regulator is a good first step, however, unless you have a lot of experience with copper pipe I would reccommend that you use CPVC (hot & cold) pipe and fittings. We have found that after 25 to 30 years of use the copper fittings wear through on the outside of an ell. Copper is very troublesome for the inexperienced to install too; the torch you would probably use to solder the pipe is a definite fire hazard especially in an older home; the wood is drier and very flamable.
     
  10. Apr 15, 2006 #10

    cabinetsetc

    cabinetsetc

    cabinetsetc

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do you guys really not have "bowplex" down there? It would cut your time by 75%.
     
  11. Apr 16, 2006 #11

    Aceinstaller

    Aceinstaller

    Aceinstaller

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    bowplex is for sissies...:D
     
  12. Apr 16, 2006 #12

    cabinetsetc

    cabinetsetc

    cabinetsetc

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe. I just had my first experience with the stuff a couple of weeks ago. I was a stonch copper man until I tried it. Up here the're using it everywhere in new construction. I was always a little afraid of it until I re plumbed an entire house recently. Sure makes life easier.
     
  13. Apr 28, 2006 #13

    woodworkingmenace

    woodworkingmenace

    woodworkingmenace

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Personally if it was me, I would go with the PVC for right now. I would use the 3/4 inch plastic for "volume" since you have enough pressure, that way, you would be able to flush the toilet, run the washer and still have enough for filling the tub, or taking a shower!

    Scab that in first, (that is, if you can afford it, if not, then scab in the entire 3/4 lenght of copper in besides the old, or even put it in places that will be a better place, or where you "want" the thing to be, this time, because it will be your last chance to do it.

    Its what I did, and I put in extra valves, so that I could shut everything off in the basement, as well as under the sinks and toilets.

    Mapp gas is great for 3/4. But, when I did mine, I "tinned" everything first, so I was assured of every solder joint being a good one! (didnt have a single leak because of that!).

    Also, I would run the 3/4 up to the floor, and go with plastic from there, to your appliances, so that its quicker and you wont be "down" long. Toilet first, then sink...(This being only the COLD water line, the hot water line would come in later, as I still have to change my hot, but all my cold is 3/4 and I am sure glad that I did this!).

    Just a quick suggestion...

    Oh, with water in the lines, forget about trying to "solder" anything! You have to first boil out the water, and that takes time. Get a wet & dry vac, and a long tube, so that you can suck the water out of the line if necessary, or, even put some hose bobs in several locations so that you can drain some lines if you ever need it. (I have one next to my water meter, so that I can drain it to take the pressure off my whole house water filters, when they need changed).

    Ok, 'nuff of my rant and rave...

    Jesse

    Jesse
     
  14. May 5, 2006 #14

    Plumb1up

    Plumb1up

    Plumb1up

    New Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    What to use is the $64,000 question. Different areas and different types of projects allow different types of materials. I still prefer copper for residential or commercial.

    Yes there is a learning curve to installing it, but with some soldering practice before you go under the house you should be able to handle it. Use gloves, and don't touch the pipe ends after you clean them, the oils in your hands will compromise the quality of the joint.

    Make sure you heat the joint all the way around, but don't overheat it or you will boil out the flux and then the solder won't flow properly. Don't put the solder into the joint right in front of the torch. That doesn't tell you if the pipe is hot enough for the solder to flow and you may get a partial joint, and once you get water in the pipe it is really hard to get it out to resolder the joint.

    Many people tend to think a new system has to go where the old system was, not true. I once saw a homeowner installing a new water line to his home in a ditch that was 6' deep. The dirt in his front yard was built up after the house was completed and he could have saved himself a lot of digging if he had followed the new grade to his house. Meaning, yes, good idea to install the new system next to the old. You could probably install 90% of the new system before you have to turn anything off. This will also give you a chance to test the system, with air, before you fill it with water to make sure it doesn't leak.

    And depending on how high your water pressure is, you could be in violation of the code. The inspector could be correct, especially if he checked it he would know. Many inspectors are combination inspectors nowadays, but that doesn't mean they don't know what they are doing.

    Good Luck
    Roger
     
  15. May 5, 2006 #15

    woodworkingmenace

    woodworkingmenace

    woodworkingmenace

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    If your talking about "pex", its not available to all states, being its new technology. (Yes, I realize its been available for 20 years, but only in experimental houses for a long time).

    They needed to have testing done and a lenghtly period for observation to see if the stuff would "stand up", under pressure for 20 years:)...(As stated by THIS OLD HOUSE personnel)...

    So, when it becomes widely accepted and available, then it will make it easier for us to use...but as of now, its not available in my neck of the woods...

    Sure will be glad when it is, I would like to try that passive heating with the under floor joists style, connecting it up to solar panels...
    Just read about that family that did that and didnt pay for heating for 25 years! NICE!!


    Just my two cents for what its worth and a wee bit extra for the collection plate

    Jesse
     
  16. May 6, 2006 #16

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    Housebroken Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,503
    Likes Received:
    267
    This material has been around for residential use in New England for about 12 years. It's not only called pex,there is wirsbo, and stadler that make lines for hot and cold potable water and also for heat for radiant floors.
    Each type of line is listed and labeled for designed usage.
    You check with any supply house across the country and I know for a fact it is available.
    The great thing about the newer material it is it retains it's memory and has less failures.

    We do live with the internet folks...;)
     
  17. May 12, 2006 #17

    Aceinstaller

    Aceinstaller

    Aceinstaller

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    I install wirsbo systems all of the time in underslab heating applications connected to a boiler, but never in residential plumbing applications.

    as far as this pex goes, yes they do carry it in stores here in chicagoland, but I am weary of the product due to pipe bursting during the harsh winters.
     
  18. May 15, 2006 #18

    pqglen

    pqglen

    pqglen

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I dont know if this plastic material everyone is refering to is simalar to the stuff used here in Southern California in the late 70s early 80s call Quest. This stuff was a nghtmare. It was a plastic type of product that reduced install time significantlly. All the suits loved it due to its much reduced cost for installation. It was put in tracks everywhere during that building boom. The fittings failed after five years or more. Especially the hot line. Ussally the pipe it self seem fine but in some cases it to failed causing an inside sprinkler system with homes with overhead piping. If you sell a house here (san Diego) today that has not failed and has this system you must disclose it. On an apraisal it reduces your vaule from 3 to 8 thousand dollars because it is assumed that it will fail. The insurance compainies if they are informed will exclude water damage on the house until it is completly retrofitted with copper. The plumbers here in town loved the stuff becuase so many customers had to repipe their house. CHACHING I will walk away from small angle stop repairs or shower valve repairs on any house that has it today. If the customer wont repipe when I idenify it, I wont touch in fear of it failing and me being blamed ( in California that usally results in you being sued). So for me personally and I have no Knowledge of these other products being discussed I would use L COPPER ONLY on any repipe. Tried and true and holds up in every situation when installed correctlly. This is from LoCal perspective

    pqglen
     
  19. May 15, 2006 #19

    Square Eye

    Square Eye

    Square Eye

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    10
    Pex is being used here more all of the time. I had a plumbing contractor who used it exclusively. I never have seen a failure with this. BUT, there are so many products that look like it and feel like it, that most people are afraid of it. Mobile homes usually have something similar, gray with red or blue stripes for hot and cold. That stuff is absolutely horrible. It is nothing like the Pex I see now, even though, it looks like it, feels like it, installs similar, etc.

    I'm no plumber, but Pex has proven itself to me. In my home though, I still use cpvc. No torches, no corroding metal, just glue it up and go.
     
  20. May 18, 2006 #20

    asbestos

    asbestos

    asbestos

    Good with caulk

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    3
    So is the stuff that failed in the late 70's or so the same stuff as today I know that pex is cross linked polyethelene (sp) so is this the same stuff with differnt brand names. They are using some sort of plastic stuff like that here in the northwest. so what has changed?
     

Share This Page