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Pat Miketinac
#1 Posted : Thursday, October 01, 2009 4:18:30 AM
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When I built my earth shelter 22 years ago, my choice would have been schedule 80 PVC and CPVC because I never had a guled joint fail, and it is easy to work with. However, the local building code did not allow it, so I went with soldered copper pipe with a wall thickness higher than required. Here in Florida, corrosion failures are common under the slab, so all my freshwater plumbing is indoors in an accessible chase mostly at the base of the north wall, where I have both bathrooms, a walk-in closet, laundry, water heater and the kitchen. No failures so far. Have you considered a water pressure regulator?

John Edward Mercier
#2 Posted : Tuesday, October 06, 2009 4:59:20 PM
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No matter how you slice it... the plumbing is going to end in brass fixtures.

I suggest you do a water sample.

#3 Posted : Wednesday, October 14, 2009 10:45:24 PM
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Unless there is a high acid or base level I don't see why the brass fittings would corrode.

#4 Posted : Monday, October 19, 2009 4:38:59 AM
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Sorry guys, I didn't mean to ignore you - I appreciate the input.

I mic'd the inside/outside diameters of the fittings, and the wall thickness measured 10 thousandths of an inch.  This seems way too thin to me - a human hair is something like 2.5 thousandths in diameter.

Everyone seems to want to blame our aggressive water for all the problems.  My response to that is "if the water is the problem, why don't all of my fittings fail? - why is it just a few?" 

Seems to me the brass wall thickness is too thin, and likely has some sort of impurity in the metal composition that cannot tolerate aggressive water.

So my plan is to build a schedule 80 CPVC manifold for the hot water and schedule 80 PVC manifold for the cold water.  All valves and other fittings will be sharkbite, and all will be accessable from above ground. All piping will be Wirsbo or sharkbite brand.

Currently, I'm living out of two wall tents on the job site, since I have the house emptied and have the floor stripped down to the floor joists.  One wall tent is a "multi-purpose room", it houses the washer, dryer, shower, lavatory, closet, and toilet.  I have a 14 x 16 wall tent for the bedroom, complete with bed, dressers, TV, and computer.  I even built a plywood floor for the tents.  I'm still working on a cook tent.

The sandhill cranes faithfully wake us up at daylight.  So far, the temp is only getting down to 50 or so, so it's pretty good sleeping.






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Rufus Cracklecorn
#5 Posted : Sunday, November 08, 2009 6:14:52 PM
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  Have you thought of putting a pressure regulator in the system? My neighbor who used to work for our water dept told me he had one and the pressure in some areas of our town was too high. i'd never heard of this.

I redid my entire water system this year and used cpvc everywhere i could.

#6 Posted : Monday, November 09, 2009 6:36:19 PM
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metal Impuritys and inclusions have been known to create leaks in copper pipe as well. So I guess it's all about quality.

Pat Miketinac
#7 Posted : Wednesday, November 11, 2009 3:47:21 AM
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I use a water pressure regulator to protect the plumbing on my motorhome. It has garden hose type connectors, regulates to 40-50 PSI, and is about $10 at Walmart in the RV section.

Another thought: the air chambers above your fixtures that prevent water hammer tend to fill with water over time. You may be able to drain them by shutting off the supply, opening a low spigot, and opening  faucets to let air in. Others may need removing a fixture shutoff to let the water gurgle out. If they are working, there will be no noise, vibration, or pipe movement when you slam a faucet off quickly, and the pressure will not spike as much.

#8 Posted : Wednesday, November 11, 2009 3:47:21 AM
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Greetings again

I have a crawlspace under my house and have had three leaks in my pex plumbing in the past two months.  The brass fittings are all junk.  The last leak was a 1/8" diameter hole in a fitting, and for three days it sprayed water throughout the crawlspace like a pressure washer.  Now I have about $20,000 in water damage.  The plumbing is 1 year old.

After I get all the flooring and subfloor ripped out, I plan to re-plumb the entire house and get all of the brass pex fittings out of my life.  I will use the "home-run" type layout, with no fittings of any type under the floor.  My plan is to use pex pipe, but with all Sharkbite fittings.  I distrust Sharkbite fittings as much (or more) than I do pex fittings - my thinking is that with Sharkbite, at least I can change out a leaky fitting without a lot of fuss.

I have exceptionally high water pressure - probably 70 psi. 

Have any of you had any difficulties with Sharkbite or any other push-fit fittings?  I have used three such fittings in my life and two failed, the one that continues to hold is not Sharkbite, but some other brand. 

Do they hold up under higher pressure? 

Do you have any preferences as far as the brand of pex tubing?  I'm leaning towards Wirsbo as they seem to have the fewest class-action lawsuits filed against them.

I am also considering schedule 80 PVC and CPVC.  Any other thoughts??

Thanks for your input.


One other thing...if anyone tries to sell you on a conventional pex plumbing system with brass fittings, run like h*ll! 


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