When it’s time to start a new project the first thing you have to do is evaluate what needs to get done. In this instance the house is going to be a flip and the plumbing and bathrooms were just not up to good enough quality.
The previous owner got to an age that required moving into retirement housing and the family sold off the house. Having lived in the house foe decades there are many things that need to get handled.
Previously there had been some upgrading to the plumbing but they only did part of it and tied new copper into existing galvanized pipe. All that galvanized pipe had to come out! But the copper was in great shape and we decided to replace the galvanized pipe with PEX tubing.
Using PEX tubing is an excellent choice paired with copper. In fact here in our area most all the new plumbing is going with PEX do to the high cost of copper and even better the freeze damage resistance of PEX.
One of the best features of PEX for me is the ease of use. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to install it and a home owner can plan out and install a whole house of fixtures in a short amount of time. You can even install these great manifolds that allow you to distribute the water to areas of the house one at a time so the water can be hooked straight to the manifold and turned on and then you can run one sink turn it on and then maybe a toilet and turn it on and so on and so on. That way you don’t have to wait till the entire house is connected to have running water in the vital areas.
Here is one of the manifolds
See what I mean about you can hook up one at a time? And it is super organized and if you get a leak in one area and have to shut off water you just go to the manifold and shut off just the line that has the leak. How cool is that? In case you are wondering why the different colors the red is hot and the blue is cold. The two lines that run out the top are for the water heater cold supply and hot return. The line coming up from the bottom is the whole manifold supply.
There are a number of ways to connect the tubing. From compression type connectors to clamp ring connections. If your project is just a few joints to add a half bath then just use the compression type fittings and it will keep the costs down but if you are planning a complete refit of the house then I recommend getting the tools or renting the tools to do the clamp ring fittings and use the manifold. The PEX manifold comes with compression connectors so it is very easy to hook to.
The PEX tubing comes in long rolls like 100′ or 500′ and you just drill holes through the framing in a path to where you want the water and pull the tubing through to the fixture. Hook it up to the fixture and return to the manifold and cut the tubing at the right length to fit it to the manifold and then run the next one.
Get both colors of PEX red and blue to keep your sanity from one end of the run to the other. You’ll notice I used white PEX and red mainly because that is what was already on hand. Run 3/4″ as the main supply and to and from the water heater and 1/2″ out to each of the fixtures and you’ll have a great water supply system to brag about!!