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Old 09-06-2020, 02:35 PM   #1
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Default Pex A in colder climates?

So up here in Northern ND/MN PEX A has never gotten too popular. I am under the impression it is because the cold weather makes it hard to work with and poses a risk when expanding it. It seems to be recommended to work with it at 40F or higher.

I know of the reasons why it is a good product but my question is if it can actually be used on a cold 0 F day with out too much trouble or the pipe cracking when expanding?

Does anyone here from a colder climate actually have experience with it?

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Old 09-06-2020, 05:43 PM   #2
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I used a heat gun for a quick repair, but you have to be careful. If you warm it too much it loses its memory an won't squeeze and seal. Doing houses a -40 you have to heat the building. I found the pipe took a long time to warm up so it could be stretched.

THere is no warranty below 40f.

My bids increased in price from the end of October until March.

Crimp rings work but in cold weather, they're not perfect either.

Plastic of any kind is a problem when it gets real cold. PEX ABS PVC
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Old 09-07-2020, 11:08 AM   #3
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Not as popular as crimping pex but many houses and high rise buildings still put it in. One of my last employer in one 15+ story build was all wirsbow expanded stuff.
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Old 09-07-2020, 11:16 AM   #4
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Not as popular as crimping pex but many houses and high rise buildings still put it in. One of my last employer in one 15+ story build was all wirsbow expanded stuff.
I know it can be used on colder climates too but I was hoping some who might use it in colder climates could tell me how much trouble it is to use in the cold and if it is worth that headache and also if there is too much of a risk of cracked pipes from expanding the cold pipe.

I was curious as i would like to try it out but if it is too much of a headache 1/2 of the year around here then it might not be worth trying even if it might be a better system because of the full size fittings.

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Old 09-07-2020, 01:36 PM   #5
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even if it might be a better system because of the full size fittings.


I suggest you run pex with an aluminum skin or stick to copper.

It can be a pain in the richard to bend in freezing temps.

I think flow rate is hardly a concern when you're running plastic piping in a cold climate where rodents may chew through it. That's why we only run viega fosta pex. It has an aluminum skin that they don't chew through. We also use the bronze fittings, no plastic. I've seen rodents chew through regular pex enough times to know that it's just not worth it.


I've seen fosta pex handle several frost cycles before finally failing. I've also seen white uponor/wirsbo pex in an attic that appears to have been damaged from the sunlight coming through the gable end vents. It gets long cracks.



Barring exceptionally long runs, I can assure you that even with a large number of fittings and not upsizing the pipe that if you run 3/4" to a bathroom and tee off with 1/2" to each fixture you'll get proper flow rates. For anything more than a single shower head we run 3/4" pex to the shower bay and then do the rest of the shower valve piping in 1/2" copper for ease of servicing. All of our stub outs are 1/2" copper as well.






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Old 09-07-2020, 01:53 PM   #6
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I suggest you run pex with an aluminum skin or stick to copper.

It can be a pain in the richard to bend in freezing temps.

I think flow rate is hardly a concern when you're running plastic piping in a cold climate where rodents may chew through it. That's why we only run viega fosta pex. It has an aluminum skin that they don't chew through. We also use the bronze fittings, no plastic. I've seen rodents chew through regular pex enough times to know that it's just not worth it.


I've seen fosta pex handle several frost cycles before finally failing. I've also seen white uponor/wirsbo pex in an attic that appears to have been damaged from the sunlight coming through the gable end vents. It gets long cracks.



Barring exceptionally long runs, I can assure you that even with a large number of fittings and not upsizing the pipe that if you run 3/4" to a bathroom and tee off with 1/2" to each fixture you'll get proper flow rates. For anything more than a single shower head we run 3/4" pex to the shower bay and then do the rest of the shower valve piping in 1/2" copper for ease of servicing. All of our stub outs are 1/2" copper as well.






.
I use pex B every day so I know enough about sizing it. We were talking about rodents one time at the shop and the consensus is that no one around here have seen a pex pipe that got chewed through by a rodent.

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Old 09-07-2020, 10:34 PM   #7
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I use pex B every day so I know enough about sizing it. We were talking about rodents one time at the shop and the consensus is that no one around here have seen a pex pipe that got chewed through by a rodent.



Good for you, here it's an issue. A couple months after we moved in the little bazturds ate through the hot line to my kitchen faucet.


We piped a whole brewery in fosta pex except for one bathroom where we used red and blue because it was temp and was going to be redone in 6 months. Hot line just laying on top of drop tiles in the middle of no where and the mice chewed through.


Another customer we gained because another company did a remodel in red/blue and mice chewed through it. Company came and fixed it after it had a tooth hole spraying for a month or so. They neglected to tell the homeowner of all the water between the drywall and foundation as well as the mold above the insulation. A couple weeks after they smelled it and needed a large insurance claim to replace three walls of that room.


And these are just the ones that stick out from the last 5 years that I can recall at the moment. Probably had 10 or so rodent bites in the past 5 years in all that I have gone to fix. Not sure how many the other guys have gone to. It gets worse when the weather changes cold and they come inside. We also have a lot of seasonal homes so they are vacant a lot and the rodents rule the roost.




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Old 09-10-2020, 01:35 PM   #8
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We have installed a million feet of Pex A uponor and never had a problem with mice or rats. Not saying it's not an issue in some places because I have heard of this but never seen it here yet.
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Old 09-12-2020, 06:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dane View Post
So up here in Northern ND/MN PEX A has never gotten too popular. I am under the impression it is because the cold weather makes it hard to work with and poses a risk when expanding it. It seems to be recommended to work with it at 40F or higher.

I know of the reasons why it is a good product but my question is if it can actually be used on a cold 0 F day with out too much trouble or the pipe cracking when expanding?

Does anyone here from a colder climate actually have experience with it?

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Used wirsbo for a little while, i never personally had any issues, besided there hub and spigot sweat adaptors. I had a few pin hole leaks with them not sure if its the material its made out of but i just started really cleaning the crap out of them.
I did cut out some pin holes an splits in the pipe itself, 2 of the 3 where in recirc lines...
Never had an issue with it in the cold weather. I only use wirsbo now if its a reno an theres already wirsbo there, i try an keep the pipe the same.
I started using heat link now, also a pex A can be crimped or expanded. Havent had a winter with it yet...should find out soon though.
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Old 09-12-2020, 10:54 PM   #10
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i run crimped pex year round. doesnt matter if its below 0 degrees. as for mice, not a plumbers problem. dont blame a window that breaks if a tornado throws a tire through it.
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