If you prefer to do your own plumbing work and need to replace some pipes, installing pex plumbing yourself may be a simpler method than other types of plumbing such as copper or rigid plastics like PVC plumbing fittings. Why is PEX different? What makes it a good alternative to other residential plumbing products? How can you install it?
What is PEX Plumbing?
PEX is a relatively new plumbing material here in the United States. It’s actually been in use in Europe since shortly after its development around 1970 and was introduced in the States around 1980. PEX is cross linked polyethylene, which is a type of polymer. Unlike plastics such as PVC, which are hard, PEX is flexible, making it easier to work with. Because of its chemical makeup, PEX is especially good to use for hot water. Let’s see how using pex plumbing yourself is to your advantage.
Benefits to Using PEX Plumbing Yourself
- One of the primary advantages of using pex plumbing yourself as opposed to metal plumbing materials like copper or even other plastics like PVC is that PEX plumbing materials are flexible.
- The molecular structure of this polymer makes it flexible rather than stiff.
- Because PEX piping can be bended, it doesn’t need to be cut as many times or require as many fittings.
- This has two advantages. For one, it makes it easier when installing pex plumbing. But two, it can also cut down on shipping costs and the final plumbing cost estimate.
Another benefit of PEX is its durability and resistance. Pex is resistant to extreme heat and cold and is less likely to freeze in colder temperatures than copper and hard plastic piping. Unlike other piping, pex plumbing won’t corrode or pit and it’s not susceptible to scale build-up like copper causing pipe failure. Choosing pex plumbing yourself can also conserve heat better than copper or other piping. And it doesn’t require soldering, which can be dangerous work but it can also leak harmful toxins into the water.
Installing pex plumbing is also a cheaper option than some other piping. It doesn’t take as long to install or require as much time to cut and fit as metal and hard plastic piping. And since pex is easier to install, it means you may be able to go ahead and install pex plumbing yourself instead of spending a lot of money on labor.
Installing Pex Plumbing Yourself
To install pex plumbing youself, you’ll need a few tools and an understanding of your plumbing system. There is a lot of information on completing this sort of task online. Look for information from trusted sources and talk to a professional or expert if you’re unsure of what you will need or how to proceed with the job. Also, look online for pex plumbing supplies and instructions.
Install pex plumbing yourself for an easier do-it-yourself plumbing job. Pex plumbing is unique for its flexibility, eliminating cutting and fitting that makes other piping difficult to deal with. Pex is reliable, withstanding extreme temperatures and being resistant to corrosion and other problems common with metals and plastics. And it’s cheaper in parts and labor. If you’re replacing plumbing, look to PEX.
Plumbing Cost Estimate Tips
If you’re having home plumbing problems and need to hire a professional to fix it, you’ll probably want to know what the repair will cost before you talk to anyone about it. Being prepared with a rough plumbing cost estimate of the numbers will help you to know what’s reasonable and what isn’t when it comes time for the professional estimates. How can you make your own estimate before calling in the pros?
Do you know what the plumbing problem is specifically? Or can you do a little research to find out? Knowing if it’s a pipe that needs replacing, a faucet or a boiler plumbing repair will be a large factor in the end cost of the job. So first, identify the plumbing problem and what parts may need to be replaced. Then, take a field trip to your local home improvement center such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. Look for the parts that might be used to fix the problem or ask someone who works in that department for their suggestions or advice. Mark down the prices of the parts for future reference. Then you’ll know about what a professional should charge you for parts in the plumbing cost estimate.
Looking At The Labour
Now that you have a rough idea of the cost of parts, the next big portion of the cost estimate is labor. Bear in mind you are paying for knowledge and expertise that you don’t have so the job gets done right. But you should be aware of how much the average hourly rate is for plumbers in your area. A typical average is about $75 to $100 per hour.
- Learning the average hourly rate in your area is half the battle. To make an accurate plumbing cost estimate, you want to have an idea of how long doing the job could take. This will depend, of course, on how big the problem is and the type of job. A washer & dryer issue might be different from the plumbing cost estimate for pressure gas lines. You may have had work done on your house before that’s similar and can base your current estimate on that experience. If not, you may be able to figure this out on your own by looking online for information about the particular job. Or ask around at your home improvement center or ask others who have had the same work done on their home.
- Once you’ve got all of this information, it’s easy to do a little math and get a rough idea of how much you will need to pay a plumbing professional. To be on the safe side, add a little extra to the base cost for unexpected parts and what your plumbing professional will add on for his profit margin. Then you’ve got a decent complete plumbing cost estimate.
- Once you’ve done your homework, you’re ready to bring in a pro and get a real cost estimate. If you don’t have anyone you typically work with, ask your friends or family members for recommendations. Many plumbing companies offer free estimates but some may charge for this so be sure to ask first before you have them come over. Armed with your knowledge, you’re ready for their cost to replace plumbing drain pipes, bathtub plumbing or whatever specific issue you’re having.
Before you call a pro, remember to ascertain what parts will be replaced and get their average prices at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Then add in the hourly cost of labor and an estimate of how long the job will take to complete. Pad on a little extra for things you’ve missed and you’ve got a decent rough plumbing cost estimate.
Reasons To Use A Plumbing Installation Guide
Are you an avid do-it-yourselfer? Many in this day of information exchange are. Many television programs, magazines, and Internet sites are devoted to do-it-yourself home improvement. From basic construction to interior design to repairing all manner of house breaks and leaks, you can find out how to do or repair just about anything these days. If you plan to take on a plumbing project or repair job, searching for a good plumbing installation guide will help you to do the job right. Before you get down to business, here are a few reasons why taking the time to do this is a good idea.
Do the Job Right the First Time
If you’ve decided you can handle installing or repairing plumbing in your home, a good first step is to get a hold of a plumbing installation guide for the job at hand. If you’re not typically an instructions type of person, you might consider how much longer it could take you to do the job if you don’t have a plan in front of you. With indoor plumbing repairs and installations, the faster you get the job done, usually the better. Having a reliable set of instructions to guide you through the process will ensure you do things right the first time. This will save you time and money in the long-run. And get your house back in working order sooner.
Know Exactly What You Need
Different plumbing installations and repairs will require a different set of tools and parts. What you need for a shower plumbing installation will be different from a plumbing fixture installation. A good plumbing installation guide will list everything you need. That way you can go out and in one trip obtain all the items you’ll need to finish the job. So when you finish breakfast Saturday morning and you’ve got your work jeans on, you won’t have to stop what you’re doing to run out and buy a tool or part you didn’t realize you needed. Even if you know you’re way around your plumbing a little bit, it’s still a good idea to take the time to prepare ahead. Going into the job with what you need, will save you time later. Also shop around for discount plumbing supplies before purchasing the first tools you see.
Pictures Make Instructions Clearer
Plumbing can be a confusing maze. A plumbing installation guide equipped with do it yourself plumbing diagrams can eliminate the confusion of what goes where. Having a picture in front of you will help you see exactly what the finished job should look like but can also help you navigate while you’re just trying to figure out where to start. If the actual instructions get a little confusing at points, referring to a drawing may help clarify what they mean. Diagrams are also a good idea for more complicated plumbing jobs such as working on a water tank. A picture can make the written instructions more understandable.
You can find a plumbing installation guide appropriate to your job online. Search under the specific plumbing installation or repair job you’re working on to get a list of sites that include instructions. Be cautious what guide you use. Make sure the site is reputable and that the writer knows what they’re talking about. Comparing a few guides can help you to know if the information is accurate.