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Old 04-13-2012, 08:12 PM   #1
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Re-plumbing

I'm making some improvements on my bathroom and i am moving the faucet (it was placed in a weird spot originally). Because of that, I have to change a bit of line under the sink. One thing leading to another, I am thinking of re-plumbing everything (old copper lines). It's not that big of a job because everything is accessible and pretty close (less than 20 feet of line all together).

Now my question is, what should I use? Copper, pex, something else?
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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Just got done with a complete re-plumb, including moving the hot water heater and pressure pump and replacing all fixtures and showers. I'd highly recommend the PEX. Although not as flexible as one would think, it was tolerable to snake through where I needed it to go. I used the copper compression rings which were very easy to do (once you buy the $50 tool) and the brass connectors. Everything is available at either Lowe's or Home Depot. Not counting the tool, I'd guess I spent under $100 for hose and all connections.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:48 PM   #3
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Just finished that job, The Trawler Beach House: 30 Year Old Boat Plumbing Replacement . Chuck
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:03 PM   #4
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Nice job Chuck. Thanks for the info. Looks a lot like my project. Pex looks like a good solution but the oly thing that bothers me is that expensive crimper.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:19 AM   #5
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Take a look at Sea Tech fittings and Pex tubing. No expensive tool required and very fast to assemble. A lot of boat builders are going to them because it saves so much assembly time. Cut the tube to length, stick it in the fitting, push on a locking clip and you're done. Make a mistake or want to change something? The fittings are reusable.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:49 AM   #6
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Great blog Capn Chuck and great advice

PEX is completely appropriate for boat use and the perfect choice for the DIY crowd. My personal recommendation is if you don't mind the extra cost is to upgrade to the Sharkbite fittings. They are not "functionally" better than the plastic PEX fittings listed and used above, just more durable and forgiving to impact loads that could be applied in an engine room/mechanical space.

The plastic elbows tees and couplings are very good quality and can be put in more protected areas such as behind cabinets and such where they would be protected to save some money and you can have the best of both worlds. Mixing them will not present a problem with PEX as it could in other plumbing material choices.

IMO PVC would be a poor choice for marine use as it does not react well to movement/vibration. Having said all that I would do mine in copper but I am a plumber. Only reason, I like the look and the opportunity to show off my skills in an artistic way in an engine room environment.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:37 AM   #7
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Great blog Capn Chuck and great advice

Having said all that I would do mine in copper but I am a plumber. Only reason, I like the look and the opportunity to show off my skills in an artistic way in an engine room environment.
Interesting way to express your creative side!

I notice there are different types of copper (L and M). What's that about?
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:28 AM   #8
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My personal recommendation is if you don't mind the extra cost is to upgrade to the Sharkbite fittings.

For unexpected damage , nothing beats simple flair fittings , tho finding them in 1/2in or 5/8in may require a trip to the refrigeration folks , not the big box store.

The 5/8 allows good water delivery at low pressure , saving electric.

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Old 04-14-2012, 07:35 AM   #9
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Greetings,
Working With Copper Pipe
Probably more than you want to know Mr. Fotoman.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:42 AM   #10
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Pulled all the original copper lines out of Scout and re-plumbed with PEX and Sharkbite.
Relocated water heater, added shut off valves to all faucets with flex line to faucet bases. Added deck wash down and cockpit shower. Fresh water toilet.
Mine is all 1/2 inch due to short runs and one galley sink and one head. No problems with adequate pressure.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:10 AM   #11
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About the sharkbite or gatorbite fittings. Building code in house construction doesn't allow these fitting behind a closed wall. I know it doesn't have any bearing on the boating world but I would assume they are more prone to leaking than the crimp on style.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:48 AM   #12
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The Sharkbite brass couplings I used are crimped with a copper ring. Not the push-lock type.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:22 AM   #13
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Greetings,
Mr. Anode. VERY neat and tidy installation! I've been chasing an ongoing problem for some time now. The FW pump does not shut down and I have VERY low pressure in the galley taps. I'm almost certain I have an air leak on the supply side of the FW system although I can see no bubbles in the clear tubing I've "temporarily" installed to bypass a corroded copper line. If and when I ever get to re-doing my house plumbing I intend to use copper, flared with brass fittings but that's just me.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:12 AM   #14
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RT - My original intention was to go copper with my relocations and additions but when I got a look at how 'gunked up' the inside of the original copper lines was....well...I changed my mind and yanked it all out and made everything fresh and new. Even down to removing the stainless water tank and steaming it out. Working the PEX back through the original bulkhead holes was not an easy task with the PEX. Would have been even more fun with copper.
Let us know how it turns out.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:42 AM   #15
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If we are voting, I vote for PEX. Easier to install, no soldering required, flexible, and can take a light freezing without damage.

Rent the tool if you don't want to buy one. Or buy it and sell it when you're finished.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:11 PM   #16
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Interesting way to express your creative side!

I notice there are different types of copper (L and M). What's that about?
Type K, L, M, are designations of wall thickness and intended use. Type K is the thickest and Type M is the thinnest. A typical plumber would never see, let alone work with Type K in his or her career. Type L is the mid-grade and is most common in commercial plumbing installations. Type M is the thinnest and is most commonly found in residential applications. Hard drawn copper is what you see sold in straight lengths. Soft or "annealed" is what is commonly sold in rolls.

FF I do not disagree with your assessment at all. Flaring fell out of favor more to appease the DIY crowd and dumb down the trade than anything else. My guess is many plumbers with less than 20 years experience are even aware there is a tool called a flaring tool, even less would know how to use it.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:24 PM   #17
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Man...I'm so old I got in on pouring lead in cast iron soil pipe.

Around my neck of the woods -Most of plumbers still use a lot of copper. Spec'd on a lot of commercial jobs. It's usually soldered and not flared when used in the building trades. Residential guys are using mostly PEX with plastic fittings. They have something against the brass ones...
The petroleum (pipeline) and gas (propane) guys use a lot of copper and stainless steel pipe. It's all flared. The plastic stuff is making headway.

I actually had my flaring tool out earlier today to flare a couple of copper fuel lines.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:46 PM   #18
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go quick couplings

so easy to do ..... and easy to fix, change, extend ......

see : The start of a nice project (clipper 30ft)

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Old 04-15-2012, 07:35 AM   #19
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"I'm almost certain I have an air leak on the supply side of the FW system although I can see no bubbles in the clear tubing"

Rig a dockside hose to the system and see what happens with local water pressure as the supply.

"My guess is many plumbers with less than 20 years experience are even aware there is a tool called a flaring tool, even less would know how to use it."

Indeed , but for folks that will purchase a flairing too, go to the REFRIGERATION folks , not NAPA. $30 bucks not $2.00.

The flair quality will be far better , and pick up a set of "spring benders" while you are there.

These will allow you to bend small lines with your hands , and not kink them.

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Old 04-15-2012, 12:25 PM   #20
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"I'm almost certain I have an air leak on the supply side of the FW system although I can see no bubbles in the clear tubing"

Rig a dockside hose to the system and see what happens with local water pressure as the supply.

FF
I would not suggest that anyone try this without a regulator valve because the potential for way too much pressure to your system, is possible. Chuck
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