Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
    the_nite_owl's Avatar
    the_nite_owl Posts: 56, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member

    Jul 17, 2006, 07:31 AM
    Changing from copper to plastic water lines
    Hi All,
    I am trying to move the water supply lines for the bathroom so that I can begin framing a bathroom in the basement. The water lines are going right across the bottom of the floor joists where I need to put up the headers for the walls so I need to move them.

    My brother in law was working on replacing the plumbing. All the drain pipes have been updated and after the meter he replaced the incoming cold water line with new black plastic pipe but has not completed changing everything out yet so the plastic is joined to the old copper right where it begins feeding the bathroom

    I have been waiting about 10 weeks to get moving on the framing but cannot get him over to finish. I am trying to learn what will be needed for me to pick up and finish the change of the bathroom lines so I can get moving on the project again but have never worked with the plastic pipe.

    I do not know if there are different types that use different methods but what I have is plastic pipe that crimps to the joins and T's and to change sizing from 3/4 to 1/2".

    Is there a good online resource describing basic plumbing with the new types of materials? I need to know the types of tools to use, general do's and dont's specific to these methods and how connections are typically made from the water line to existing faucets, etc.

    I figure it will mostly be straightforward but that there are bound to be additional things to be concientious of.

    Also, the original cold water line from the meter was only 1/2" and is being upgraded to 3/4". When the line splits from the main pipe to the bathroom should it be maintained at 3/4" or should it drop to 1/2"?

    One end of the bathroom cold water line also heads out the front of the house for the outside faucet. How is this handled with the plastic? Do you leave a solid copper pipe for the strength? The current outside faucet is essentially only held by the pipe as far as I can see so I imagine a flexible plastic would be an issue in that circumstance.

    the_nite_owl's Avatar
    the_nite_owl Posts: 56, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member

    Jul 17, 2006, 11:08 AM
    Okay, after doing a bit of searching I managed to find enough info to make better searches with. :)
    It's hard to search for something when you do not know the appropriate terms.

    It looks like what has been used so far is PEX with crimp connectors. It looks like I should easily be able to pick up some tubing and compression fittings for the things I need to complete this one section for the bathroom. If I find a crimper inexpensive enough I may go that route rather than the compression fittings.

    Are there common issues I should watch out for such as common mistakes or things to keep in mind that might not occur to someone when first working with this type of tubing?

    The hot and cold lines come from one side of the basement and feed the toilet, sink and shower with the cold line also running to the outside faucet at the front of the house then the cold and hot lines continue on to the other side of the basement to feed up to the kitchen sink. It makes for a complex mess of pipes in that small area with lots of connections.

    I would like to separate the hot/cold lines going to the kitchen eventually but figure for now I will tackle the bathroom line and then mate it up with the copper until I can put in a better setup possibly with a manifold and then disconnect the kitchen from the bathroom line and run it directly to the manifold.

    Is there a preferable configuration for the connection of these pipes? I have cold water running in 5 directions and hot running to three.
    I want to make sure that I do not cause any undue restriction and that I use the correct size of tube for each application.

    Any need for tube to allow for trapping/releasing air? Code regarding placement of the lines or where I would have to add shutoff or drain valves?

    I can draw up a diagram of what I am looking at for the existing copper if necessary. It really is a mess. The kitchen hot and cold lines route halfway around the house to get to the kitchen when they could have gone about 6 feet from where the hot/cold lines are by the water heater. The former owner was a real hack.

    rdrewd's Avatar
    rdrewd Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    May 3, 2008, 05:21 PM
    I'll start by confessing that my plumbing expertise is largely oriented towards being able to find plumbers in the yellow pages, but having said that, I just came across an interesting video on the web about plastic pipes and how to do joints with them. This is for cross-linked polyethylene tubing and not stiff PVC pipes. The video is at mms:// and the things I noticed is that the guy used 2 tools, one of which I never saw the likes of before and the other of which I'm certain I don't have one of. It surely made quick work of the connection he does twice in the 2 minute video, surely beating my non-existant soldering skills by a long-shot. And no flames to endanger flammable beams.

    So, since your question has been amouldering here for a long time with no one answering it, I thought this might be helpful to you if you still are interested in the matter. As time goes by, I'm sure that the price of copper has gone up plenty and PVC pipe remains intensely dangerous in fires amd reacts very badly to accidental impacts such as might occur from time to time in an unfinished basement where the pipes are exposed..


Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions


Question Tools Search this Question
Search this Question:

Advanced Search

Check out some similar questions!

Sizing Water Lines [ 3 Answers ]

Tom, It's me again. The guy finishing his basement. I've made it all the way to being ready to run water pipes for my basement bathroom and wet bar. Here's my question. Our house is about 3 years old and the builder or plumber was nice enough to stub out the water lines above where our...

Copper into plastic [ 2 Answers ]

Hi iwas replacing my floor because it was rotting when I was cutting some of it up I got into my copper supply line for the shower how can I tie into it with plastic because my soldering job turned out to be a big waste of time. Thank you for your help

Vanity Water Lines [ 5 Answers ]

We are having a house built and the plumber ran the water lines up through the floor rather than through the wall. I have never seen this before. Is this common? I am concerned that the lines will not have the strength to support a shutoff valve? Are there any codes related to this issue? ...

Plastic and Copper pipe connections [ 1 Answers ]

Help... I am trying to replace a kitchen faucet. The copper water supply pipe is connected to a plastic shut-off valve. I want to replace the plastic shut-off valve with a metal valve. The plastic shut-off valve will not come off the copper water supply pipe. How do I get this off? I tried...

Air in water lines [ 1 Answers ]

I have a on going problem with air in my water lines. When the outside water is turned on either the water comes in bursts or it is steady but with air bubbles. I have a horse farm and the water lines to my paddocks & barns froze and broke last winter (30 below 0 with no snow) so all of them were...

View more questions Search