Even though you may not see them as you go about your daily business, keeping your water pipes in excellent shape is absolutely critical. From daily showers, to clean drinking water, to properly working toilets, to washing dishes, your homes water pipes are the most crucial plumbing system to maintain.
Replacing old pipes in a 1,600 square foot, two bath home costs between $10,000 to $15,000 dollars, and will require cutting open walls and floors, so you certainly don’t want to jump the gun. Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing new water pipes.
Step 1: Drill the Holes
For raised wood floors, bore a hole through the stud and sill plate. Put the bit near the stud and drill slowly, give it allowance to gather speed. Bore a hole through the sill plate and sub-floor for water line. When making a hole through the stud, make sure the holes are on the same level so as to make the pipe lie parallel to the floor.
Step 2: Install the Water Lines
As soon as you drill the holes, begin to install the water lines. Most times, the lines run from the floor and at times, the lines are installed across the wall studs. When you want to install the pipes via the studs, make sure the holes are drilled in the centre so that the nails won't spoil the pipes when hanging the wall board.
Step 3: Pull and Secure the Lines
Draw the lines upward via the holes bored in the sub-floor, and then install the other end to the place where the water will enter the house. Make sure excess pipes are left on the two ends of the installation.
Fasten the line to the joists with the use of clamps. Try as much as possible to separate the hot and cold lines to reduce heat transfer. Let there be little space in case of expansion and contractions. Remember to name the two sides of the line.
Step 4: Install Rough Stub Outs
Time for rough stubs. By doing a rough stub, it means fixing a kind of copper fitting that conforms to the PEX. Towards the end is a cap known as a rough fitting which enables you charge the system with air or water to know if it is leaking. Once the walls are set up, the cap can be removed and the finish valves can be fixed.
Step 5: Pipe Expansion
To make your expansion very good, begin by cutting the PEX and be sure it is straight. Put a ring on the pipe, expand it and then insert the fitting into the pipe. There will always be a small shoulder on the fittings for you to slide the PEX on. When you see that it is in between 1/8" and 1/4" or near the end of the pipe, that means it is in place. This phase is very important for leak free joints.
Step 6: Rough in Lines
Because you cannot solder around the PEX piping, make use of the PEX 90 fittings that sweats into place on a mixing valve. As soon as it cools down from soldering, it can be connected to the PEX.
It is very important to take a mixing valve away before soldering it. Take away the parts that heat from the torch can affect. Make use of quality soldering methods when preparing the fittings and valve.
Step 7 : Position Fittings and Solder
Once everything is set, arrange the fittings in a way that they will face down when you put the valve in place. Solder them into place. Make sure the valve gets cold before you position it.
Step 8: Connect Water Lines
The water lines can be brought up and fixed to the manifold. Place the manifold above eye level and fix the top mounting bracket to the studs. Make sure it is safe. Fasten the manifold to the bracket with the screws provided by the manufacturer. Attach the bottom bracket to the manifold. Check out to see that it is plumb before attaching the bracket to the studs.
Step 9: Mark and Drill Holes
Arrange the template to the manifold on the studs and Mark the hole or still it. Continue downwards till you drill it all. Make sure you do not destroy the manifold when drilling. You might have to bring down the manifold when drilling.
Step 10: Position Ball Valves
Fix the PEX ball valves to the manifold since all the holes have been drilled and the manifold is standing. Climb up to find the port and put it in place by screwing. Take one of the lines up to the valve. This allows each fixture to have its own shut off valve. Once the ball valves are in position, pull up the PEX lines from the crawl space and be careful not to spoil them.