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Old 01-20-2009, 09:14 AM   #21
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:56 AM   #22
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The plumber is in the basement.
Good! I hope it isn't anything too expensive.

I was speculating to myself that maybe it is the hot water heater (mine dumped a lot of water when it cratered). But then, the plumber will be able to figure out for sure what is going on.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:00 AM   #23
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I am used to plumbing being mostly under the house (up on pilings) and so leaks not so disastrous. But we do plan to pour concrete and enclose under our house, and i will be putting the plumbing in the concrete. That for some reason scares me to death.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:13 AM   #24
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I am used to plumbing being mostly under the house (up on pilings) and so leaks not so disastrous. But we do plan to pour concrete and enclose under our house, and i will be putting the plumbing in the concrete. That for some reason scares me to death.
Millions of homes are "slab built" with the plumbing (drains and feed lines) in the concrete. Not usually a problem but if it is it is a very big problem (you will live with concrete dust forever after the repairs). Lived in FL for 19 years and most new (all the time I was there) were slab built. I would think freezing would be a major cause of problems, which may or may not be a consideration for you. Just be sure that quality materials are used and pressure test at as high a pressure reading as you can BEFORE it is covered. Should not be a problem.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:06 AM   #25
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Did they mention that a lot of old houses need a heavy up on their electric in order to power the darn things? If it's electric, anyway. I was doing research on this for my mom, and it would have cost so much to set up she could buy and install 2 or 3 regular water heaters.
A money discussion on This Old House?!? That'd be unprecedented.

I didn't even know there was such a thing as an electric tankless water heater. All the ones I've seen in Europe were gas, as was the one shown on TOH. I don't know if it was propane or nat'l gas but they had to upgrade the supply piping from 1/2" to 3/4" to pump enough BTUs into the water.

They were also giving the strong impression that a water heater only lasts 7-10 years. Maybe that's a Mainland/winter/minerals issue, but I'm expecting more like 20 from ours.

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I am used to plumbing being mostly under the house (up on pilings) and so leaks not so disastrous. But we do plan to pour concrete and enclose under our house, and i will be putting the plumbing in the concrete. That for some reason scares me to death.
Only if the foundation starts moving around!

Our neighborhood went through a spate of foundation plumbing leaks. The fingerpointing cause is thought to be thin-walled copper piping and acidic concrete corrosion. So at a minimum you'd want to shell out extra for thick copper piping, and it's possible that there's a flex-piping solution that could survive a foundation tweak.

Whenever TOH is pouring concrete they also look at foundation insulation, in-floor heating with hot-water piping, and extra plumbing/sewer stubs for future remodels. But you may not have to care about those issues in your climate. You'd probably be concerned about sealing the foundation/footings/walls to keep out moisture, and in Hawaii there's a lot of focus on keeping out termites or installing termicide-distribution systems in the concrete.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:18 AM   #26
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If I have a choice for pipe inside a wall (new construction or an addition), it would be PEX. But, my house is all copper and the pipe is in good shape so I generally fix what I've got using copper.
I would do that also. When I redid our kids shower/bath, I had to jog each of the supply lines a bit to get them to line up with the new valve which was wider than the old (probably because of the pressure balancing anti-scald feature, which BTW is worth it's weight in gold!).

So that involves a couple 45 degree fitting on each side, plus everything else to get everything together. I had over 20 joints to sweat in that wall. I was able to do most of them as an "assembly" outside the wall, and then just sweat a few in the wall, that helped. But it still made me nervous. I had one very slow leak, amazingly on a lower pressure side (the pipe going to the shower head). Fixed that, kept the wall open for two weeks, just to make sure nothing developed from a few pressure cycles (well, that was my excuse anyway....)


PEX would have made that much easier.

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Old 01-20-2009, 11:18 AM   #27
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A money discussion on This Old House?!? That'd be unprecedented.
They might be forced to change the title of the program to "This Old Moneypit".

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Our neighborhood went through a spate of foundation plumbing leaks. The fingerpointing cause is thought to be thin-walled copper piping and acidic concrete corrosion. So at a minimum you'd want to shell out extra for thick copper piping, and it's possible that there's a flex-piping solution that could survive a foundation tweak.
To reduce (hopefully eliminate) corrosion of copper pipes in our foundation the plumbing contractor inserted the pipes in a plastic sleeve so that the concrete does not directly contact the copper. It has worked fine for 10 years but who knows what the long-term success rate will be. PEX was just being introduced when we built and I had no desire to experiment with something new and unproven for fear I'd be featured on an episode of "This Not So Old Moneypit"
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:51 PM   #28
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The plumber has left the building, with a large check.

When did 'teflon' become a verb?
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:08 PM   #29
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The plumber has left the building, with a large check.

When did 'teflon' become a verb?
Glad you got it fixed!! And with plumbers, a large check is always required.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:09 PM   #30
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Glad you got it fixed!! And with plumbers, a large check is always required.
Gave me a 'Friends & Families discount' of $50. I've been using them for 30 years.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:15 PM   #31
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Gave me a 'Friends & Families discount' of $50. I've been using them for 30 years.
That was really nice!

Right after buying my present house I had to call a plumber to fix a leaky faucet. Didn't know anything about him except that the BBB had no complaints. He assigned an lazy assistant to do the work (took him two days), and charged me $400. I never hired him again, and steered several other people away from him.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:17 PM   #32
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The plumber has left the building, with a large check.

When did 'teflon' become a verb?
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
Glad you got it fixed!! And with plumbers, a large check is always required.
Ooops, I skimmed, and the previous posts must have left a bad image in my mind. I though she said "The plumber has left the building, with a large crack."

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Old 01-20-2009, 01:29 PM   #33
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Ooops, I skimmed, and the previous posts must have left a bad image in my mind. I though she said "The plumber has left the building, with a large crack."

-ERD50
The work is guaranteed for 30 days, except for the valve on the water meter. If that resumes leaking, he has to go through the city water department.
-------------------------
Since you're all dieing to know: he did not have 'plumber crack'.
-------------------------
Poor guy had to work on outside faucet at 15F.
-------------------------
I have the same feeling about the vet, dentist, plumbers, auto mechanics: They do good work and I gladly pay them; but I really don't want to have to see them more than once or twice a year.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:10 PM   #34
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Khan, I'm glad the pipes are going to be all right, even if they did require $$$. Old houses are such a joy.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:01 PM   #35
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Glad you got it fixed!! And with plumbers, a large check is always required.
Ours takes credit cards so we get our $$s back.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:50 AM   #36
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The work is guaranteed for 30 days, except for the valve on the water meter. If that resumes leaking, he has to go through the city water department.
We had a leaky valve on the water meter and the city replaced the valve and meter at no cost to us. I think it was because the valve was on the "city side" of the meter.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:50 AM   #37
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We had a leaky valve on the water meter and the city replaced the valve and meter at no cost to us. I think it was because the valve was on the "city side" of the meter.
The leaky valve is on my side of the meter.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:07 AM   #38
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My home in the valley was built in 1986, the period when polybutylene pipe was used. Ten years later, one house after another in the block needed to be replumbed, mine included. I, along with several others, was able to get the job paid for from a fund set aside by a class action law suit against the pipe maker. The draw back with copper pipe is that when my daugher uses the shower upstairs, the water rushing noise is heard throughout the house.

My 2nd home in the high-country has PEX. The problem with polybutylene pipe was that it developed pinhole leaks that were blamed on the chlorine in the water. Don't know if PEX will be OK. One thing for sure is that PEX is freeze-resistant. My neighbor forgot to drain his plumbing for his absence. The pipe was frozen thoughout the house, yet the only leak that he found later was at the shower mixing valve, which was not really part of the plumbing. I found it surprising that the elbow connections did not burst. Needless to say, he won't forget again.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:20 PM   #39
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Don't know if PEX will be OK. One thing for sure is that PEX is freeze-resistant. My neighbor forgot to drain his plumbing for his absence. The pipe was frozen thoughout the house...
We have 20 years of good experience with PEX, although it's all been non-freezing and it's no guarantee of future performance.

It's also pretty heat-tolerant. Before we insulated our attic, on a hot day it wasn't uncommon to get a shot of 140-degree water out of the "cold" faucet.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:56 PM   #40
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We have 20 years of good experience with PEX...
I did not know it has been around so long!

It appears that due to the freeze resistance, it is used nearly universally up in the AZ high country. Yet, down in the valley, its useage has not caught on. I think it might be due to the bad public experience with polybutylene.
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