Author Topic: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly  (Read 11738 times)

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Offline TBA

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1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« on: May 31, 2008, 07:57:37 AM »
Trying to make a decision on what's the best pipe to use for the water line from well to house.  I bought the 160 psi 1 1/4 black poly and had originally planned to bury this directly (lots of rock).  After some head scratching I decided to run this poly inside a conduit of some sort (planned on 4" PVC) along with the electrical line and a 1/2" run of PEX so I could set it up on a zone and run hot glycol through it if needed to keep the line from freezing.

Anyhow, I had my neighbor over with his skid steer the other day cleaning up my trenches and he suggested using the 4" orange conduit as it's tough as heck(sp?).  So, that got me thinking that perhaps 1 1/4 PEX inside this conduit would be a better choice, it's also rated at 160 psi at around 70 F, it should be easier to handle because it's easier to bend, it should be easier to attach to the pitless and the pressure system, and it should be able to take a bit of freezing.

Any thoughts?  Anyone done something similar?  Is there better ways?

Thanks.

Offline ScottA

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2008, 09:32:27 AM »
I would not run the water line in a conduit unless it's very short (less than 20'). If you ever have a leak you'll have no way to find it. Running electrical in the same ditch (well power?) would be ok so long as it's rated for direct bury and you have a disconnect handy if repairs need to be done. I'd dig the ditch and lay down a layer of sand in the bottom, install the pipe and cover with more sand before final backfill.

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2008, 12:27:46 PM »
Quote
to keep the line from freezing

That's why you bury it.  Where are you located? How deep is the frost line?   The 4" PVC, additional pex line, glycol, heater, and pump, would  add up $$$ pretty fast.   

Offline TBA

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2008, 02:27:42 PM »
The water line run in conduit would be a simple pull out and replace/repair any leak.  The frost line here is 4 feet (rarely freezes that deep though) and I have bedrock at around 2 feet so it isn't going to be buried deep enough without doing some huge amounts of landscaping/fill.

The PEX heat line would simply be an additional zone running off the boiler, or a simple solar arrangement could even be fashioned for the one run.  I've read an article about running water line inside pipe so hot air could be blown through for heat during freezing weather so empowered with that knowledge I thought what could be easier than a warm hydronic line inside the pipe.  The power for the submersible pump is supplied with 10/3 Teck and would also be a simple pull in/out of the conduit if a problem arose as well.

Ah well, I thought I was on to a reasonably good solution to an age old problem.

How about the PEX - Poly question?  Anyone use PEX from a deep well pitless adapter to the pressure system?  Will PEX stand up to pump pressures?  Would PEX slap around inside conduit due to pressure changes as a drop pipe can in the well casing?

Thanks.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2008, 03:30:46 PM »
The (clear) PEX will not have a problem unless it is exposed to UV - in that case it will last less than a year, so 10mil tape the exposed parts.
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Offline TBA

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2008, 07:39:41 PM »
Glenn, I'm thinking Ipex Blue.  The only UV might be through a basement window where it would connect to the pressure system.  This Ipex Blue is according to their documents rated at 160 psi at about 70 F and I think it was about 100 psi at a higher temp.

Would there be an issue with this type of PEX in respect to pressures and UV?

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2008, 07:43:30 PM »
I'd say no problem on the pressures, but  I have never used the colored ones before and  don't know if the color takes care of the problem or not.

I'll bet Scott A. does though.  He knows everything plumbing. ::)
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Offline TBA

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2008, 08:09:02 PM »
Thanks Glenn,

I'm wondering what this stuff is?


Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2008, 03:12:51 AM »
TBA  I would have to agree with most of the replies given on the conduit.  I have run several well water lines and do so all through a conduit.  Without alot of expense I use the coil 4" corragated.  I never tape the electrical line to the pipe in case there is a fault in the wiring that would necessitate a wire or pipe replacement seperately.  If you were concerned about whether it would freeze there is nothing that says you cannot run two lines from the Pitless to the house just leave one as a spare.  If a problem arises a quick change at either end will eliminate the faulty pipe.  I had drilled a new well and utilized the same conduit going under a paved driveway to the house.  Right now I have three 1" black poly in one conduit. 

As far as Pex I had once used it for a outside furnace but actually don't know of it's properties and whether it is better than the poly if the poly is protected.  I just know that poly is alot cheaper.

Offline desdawg

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2008, 05:10:09 AM »
4" corrogated sounds good. That would eliminate the need to pull through fittings. Otherwise I would think in terms of something like elelctrical conduit where sweeps are easy to find off the shelf. Our local electric utility won't allow water and power in the same trench on their side of the meter. Once beyond the meter I think a minimum of 8" seperation is required when sharing a trench. Sand shading plastic pipe is always a good idea in rocky soil and is required particularly for gas lines but is a good practice for any plastic piping. The most difficult part in mountain installations is getting the sand delivered to where you need it. In my case it would be pretty expensive.
I have done so much with so little for so long that today I can do almost anything with absolutely nothing.

Offline ScottA

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2008, 05:16:47 AM »
Quote
I'm wondering what this stuff is?

Probly some variation of quest (Polybutylene), lots of them around.

What kind of pressures we talking about? Most any of the pipes discussed will handle typical water line pressures no problem. As for UV look for pipe that has a color other than white or clear. The black poly works fine.

Offline NM_Shooter

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2008, 08:35:35 AM »
I used red / blue pex.  I left some out in the yard to see how the UV treated it.  After 18 months it was sunbleached on the top and somewhat brittle.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2008, 10:47:11 AM »
Wirsbo clear PEX in the sun for 6 months shows UV cracking - in one year it breaks in half.  Did it by my hot tub as a test.
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Offline TBA

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2008, 08:22:49 PM »
What kind of pressures we talking about? Most any of the pipes discussed will handle typical water line pressures no problem. As for UV look for pipe that has a color other than white or clear. The black poly works fine.

It's not any extreme pressure, just a simple deep well 1 HP submersible pump.  I had purchased the 160 psi black poly (it's actually a length of drop pipe) because of it's thicker wall and being in the rocky terrain.  Sand would of course have been used but however without a way of screening the fill there is a lot of rock that will be going back into the trench so I'd need to put some planking or something similar over the pipe, hence the "tough as heck" orange electrical conduit thought.  The thicker wall poly however makes it extremely difficult to work with and is what brought PEX to mind as a possible solution.

I'd also planned to put 4" of rigid insulation over the conduit so any luke warm method of running a little heat through the conduit would be sufficient to prevent freezing, the zone could even be controlled by a thermostat in the conduit.

Thanks for the thoughts, suggestions and comments everyone.  Sorry for the slow response but my real work takes me away from my pleasurable work for a day or so at a time.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2008, 06:35:39 AM »
I had 600 feet of trench - didn't have sand or extra money for it.   1/2 broken sharp rock.  I put in 2" pvc 6 years ago - took the worst of the rock out - shaded in the dirt, backfilled and figured the water would show me where the leaks were if I got any --- never a leak anywhere - who knows though.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline davidj

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2008, 06:55:31 AM »
Talking of well pumps and plastic deterioration, we had a good demo of that over Memorial Day weekend.  We arrived at the property just before midnight and it was pitch black - no moon at all.  Layla, the black lab mix, was as excited as ever to get out of the car and was running around like crazy despite the lack of light.  And then suddenly there was a big explosion and I was getting rained on!  Turns out she'd run into the section of PVC between the well tank and the ground, which was just a temporary connection and hadn't been wrapped.  The combination of 8 months of sunlight and a high speed dog skull was too much and all 50 or so gallons of water in the tank was removed in a couple of seconds!  Everyone was fine if a little wet, dog included, and it didn't take long to fix.  But it was quite spectacular for a few seconds, even if you couldn't see it!

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2008, 06:59:12 AM »
At our other place it took about 20 years for the unpainted PVC to harden and break -- paint will stop the deterioration also.
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Offline Charlie

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2008, 06:37:41 PM »
I believe PEX is cross linked polyethylene and probably won't give you a performance increase equal to the price increase. Also, if you need to repair PEX you will need that special tool (I borrowed one when I installed 1" PEX under my cabin and, even with 1", it really built up my PECS). If you do use PEX make sure it has the NSF stamp which ensures it's rated for potable water. I saw some colored PEX available at a good price but it wasn't NSF certified --- probably just for hydronic use.

Charlie

Offline TBA

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2008, 07:34:11 PM »
Charlie, I have the specialty tools (not wisbro) and the price of 1 1/4 PEX is about 1/3 of what I paid for the poly drop pipe. So.... I'm going to try the poly first, if it's going to be too difficult, then on with the PEX.

I think the PEX crimps would be more dependable than the poly hose clamps.  Can anyone recommend a good type of hose clamp for this application (poly to fitting)?

Offline TBA

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2008, 05:49:08 PM »
TBA  I would have to agree with most of the replies given on the conduit.  I have run several well water lines and do so all through a conduit.  Without alot of expense I use the coil 4" corragated.  I never tape the electrical line to the pipe in case there is a fault in the wiring that would necessitate a wire or pipe replacement seperately.  If you were concerned about whether it would freeze there is nothing that says you cannot run two lines from the Pitless to the house just leave one as a spare.  If a problem arises a quick change at either end will eliminate the faulty pipe.  I had drilled a new well and utilized the same conduit going under a paved driveway to the house.  Right now I have three 1" black poly in one conduit. 

As far as Pex I had once used it for a outside furnace but actually don't know of it's properties and whether it is better than the poly if the poly is protected.  I just know that poly is alot cheaper.


Well, spent the last 5 or 6 days behind a Hilti and got another foot or so deeper.  Finalized my decision based on your experience and will run the 1-1/4" poly through Big-O and also run an additional 1" line back to the well for an outside tap which could be used to pump hot water through if the need arises.  Any insight on the simplest way to feed the poly through the Big-O?

Thanks again for the helpful suggestions everyone.




Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2008, 06:15:45 PM »
TBA I used a light twine with a small rag tied on one end.  On the other I adapted the end to fit my shop vaccume. Limit the air intake to create the suction. It sucked the small line through. Then I tied a heavier line onto the small line and pulled it through(actual pull line).   I attached to what I was wanting to pull through.  If you have multiple pipes, electric line then just use a couple of small twines tied together.  Seperate and pull individual components through as you did the first.  Clear as Mud?

I had trouble with one pipe going through (actually put three 1" lines and two electric lines through 1-4" and it hung up while pushing through. This was not one that I had pulled through but another which I had to repair once.  I thought all night and ended up putting a dowel on the end of the plastic 1" pipe then screwed a golf ball on it.  The perfectly round end jumped right through the place that was catching on. 

Offline considerations

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2008, 06:48:17 PM »
I saw an electrician putting wires through an underground conduit once.  He had a bucket of some sort of glop that made the wires pull through more easily.  (C)rude, but effective, apparently.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2008, 10:24:32 PM »
Yeah - the bucket of slime -- we used it when we pulled big cables into conduit at the phone company when I worked there.

We also used to blow the strings through with an air compressor -- that worked pretty good too.
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Offline TBA

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2008, 05:48:42 AM »
Thanks for all the tips, not sure they'll help as the Big-O is perforated as well as corrugated.  Big-O seemed like the best choice because the well is higher than the basement and it's a steady downhill run to get there so if a leak developed inside a solid conduit you can guess where the water would end up (would have used pvc drain or drilled some holes in the orange).  I'm thinking of putting down a rope along with the 1-1/4" line as it's quite stiff and sliding the Big-O over it.  A person pulling the Big-O and another manipulating the end to keep it from binding so do the trick hopefully.  The 1" could be pulled in after along with another rope for future needs.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: 1 1/4 PEX vs 1 1/4 Black Poly
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2008, 01:07:56 PM »
TBA my 4" was corrugated as well. Didn't have any trouble pulling the 1" black waterline through.  Once in a while it would get hung a little but with two people you can back it up a little and pull some more and it usually free's itself.  What are you calling the "Big O" is that the grey conduit that is pictured?

 

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