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Thread: Plumbing the Cabin

  1. #1
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Default Plumbing the Cabin

    I was considering using pex tubing for the cabin, will be seasonal so I would need to blow out the lines like an RV for the winter. Any comments on pex?

    http://www.pexsupply.com/PEX-Tubing-516000

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    good choice..nothing compares.

  3. #3
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Pex is a good choice. Its a little expencieve for the fittings, and the rent of the tool, but it holds up alot better than copper, and you can use long pieces and make it go where you want it to.

    They say that it will expand 9 times more than copper,( when frozen) but I could'nt tell you if that was true.

    I do know its a pain in the roll, so what I was told to do was get some ABS and slide it in and let it sit in the sun for a bit, and it will straighten out. ( if you need a long straight piece.)

    Good luck.

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    Default PEX

    PEX is the way to go! Last year the power went out at my friend's cabin in Talkeetna for several days. No power, no Toyo stove heat. The cabin froze. All PEX stayed intact. We replaced the manifold that the PEX lines go in. Total cost for the manifold and PEX tool to install the PEX line on the new manifold was less that $250. I am building my cabin this summer and the water lines will be PEX.

  5. #5

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    pex tubing in straight lengths, buy the pex tool off of ebay and pump rv antifreeze in it when you leave...
    BONEYARDBAITS THE BEST HALIBUT, ROCKFISH GRUBS ON THE PLANET....''06'' WORLD RECORD LINGCOD ''08'' HOMER HALIBUT DERBY WINNER''. BOTH FISH CAUGHT WITH BONEYARDBAIT GRUBS WWW.BONEYARDBAITS.COM

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    Some of the pex fittings (zurn) have had some issues perportedly but I haven't experienced an problems. I think it was mostly with their machined type fittings.
    You have two choices in crimp rings. I use the stainless steel rings because the they only require one tool for all sizes of rings , there are no adjustments as with the copper rings and the tool is shorter so it fits into tighter spots.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Zurn is still carrying the polybutylene pipe problems around there neck in regards to past problems. The problem was with the pipe, not the fittings. They settled a huge lawsuit around it. Their current PEX fittings are identical to most on the market now. In fact, if you pop open the packages and look at the fittings you'd swear they all were made in the same place..maybe?

    Mics is totally correct. The stainless clamps are the way to go. They look sort of like the permanent clamp fittings on a car. One tool for all sizes of fittings. Some places will sell you on Wirsbo fittings. They are a pain in the butt and require a special tool that is mucho expensive. Plumbers in my area (actual licensed ones Mic ) are moving away from Wirsbo to the more "normal" fittings because of speed and availability of fittings.

    Pex and manifolds are a great way to go.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Dang... well that's twice then. They got nailed on crimp fittings for Polybutylene pipe too.. Your link isn't a settled court case yet. It'd be interesting to know how many failures there actually were and the facts behind the failures. You will also notice a link to another lawsuit on that page with similar problems.

    The second link shows breakage with poor installation practices. If that pipe isn't secured and allowed to move back and forth with water flow, eventually something is going to give. In this case, the fitting.

    I don't have to worry about it in my house. I don't have a single fitting inside the walls. I used a "home run" system with a distribution manifold. The manifold sits in my utility room and a single line runs to each hot and cold of every fixture. The only fitting is where it goes into the faucet and where it leaves the manifold. No valves to leak, less fittings to have problems with.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    I would expect that metal fittings of ANY type would still be susceptable to freeze failure. As I stated I haven't had an problems with any fittings (knock on wood) I've install many and as yet..haven't had a single leak.

    Pex is cheaper
    Pex is flexible
    Pex is non corroding
    Pex is freeze damage resistant
    Pex faster to install

    While I prefer the rigidity of nice copper manifolds on exposed boiler systems with pumps and valves, I will not likely install copper tube if given a choice.

  11. #11

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    so it the fitting that are failing not the pipe it self..so when haveing them installed make sure the fitting are mounted to the area to control movement of the hose and connections and the fittings are proplery installed to keep them from breaking into at the connection

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    don't worry about it henry...I dont think it's a problem now.

  13. #13
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    What about the "Shark Bite" fittings? Any advantage to those? I'm going to run PEX in the spring but haven't decided on the fittings yet.

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    all the slide fit type fittings seem to work ok..but expensive.

  15. #15

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    Try the q tite fittings they go on like the sharkbite fittings but they are not removable,, but they are cheaper....
    BONEYARDBAITS THE BEST HALIBUT, ROCKFISH GRUBS ON THE PLANET....''06'' WORLD RECORD LINGCOD ''08'' HOMER HALIBUT DERBY WINNER''. BOTH FISH CAUGHT WITH BONEYARDBAIT GRUBS WWW.BONEYARDBAITS.COM

  16. #16
    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    just use the pex fittings with the pex pipe = easiest and cheapest and simplest

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    Default pex retrofit

    I bought my place five years ago from an owner builder who started with a 16 x 20 cabin in 1979, and added on at various times over the years. The place is on pilings and all the water supply lines were under the floor. The building is long (more than 80 feet) so there was a lot of exposure for those supply lines, all of them old cpvc. Floor insulation was adequate but not well sealed, so I had some freezes during minus 35 -40 periods even with the place well heated.

    I wanted to get those water lines out of the floor and I wanted to go to pex. My retrofit seems to meet my four tests for "fix it" ideas: cheap, easy, effective, and easy on the eye.

    I ran the pex lines inside the interior of the cabin along the walls up near the ceiling. I ran them with slope intended to allow for gravity draining but I haven't tested that yet, and probably won't rely on it.

    I then hung cedar siding (that I had ripped to suit that application) from the ceiling to mask the lines. Just hanging as they do, rather than boxing in, they allow room air to circulate around the lines.

    Lastly, I display some of my fishing rods on the boards so it looks like that is why they are there! Everyone who comes in compliments the "lodge effect" of the design; they have no idea of real purpose of those boards until I show them.

    Attached are two pics, with and without the boards.

    Just thought this retrofit idea might work for somebody else, too.

    To get this post back on topic, the pex was easy and forgiving of the DIYer. For new or retro, it is the way to go. I used Wirsbo (this was three years ago) but a contractor buddy is using the stainless rings and likes those.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Nice way to hide the pex, what type of paneling are you using in the home?

  19. #19
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    The "paneling" throughout is good old T1-11. It was done by the fellow who built the place out. It appears to be natural, no finishing treatment, but has aged with a nice grain and no feathering.

    Am attaching two more pics, showing more of the rod hangers/pex screens, and how the corners worked out.

    I like having all those supply lines available in the interior. Never have needed to get at them other than to change a run (I later relocated my pressure tank and went to a Toyo hot water heater) but that is the just the point.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20

    Default wirsbo`

    My brother and brother-in-law are plumbers in Mn and really like the wirsbo pex. It uses a pex ring so it will shrink back tight after a thaw. If it does happen to leak, you can usually shrink it with a little heat.

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