- Facebook Live Q&A
- Nick's Plumbing Q&A 5-31-18
Whole House Repiping
Nick's Plumbing Live Video Transcription:
In this weeks Facebook Live Q&A The Potty Mouth Guys discuss why areas that got flooded are prime candidates for a whole house repipe as well as the different types of piping used in house repiping.
How's it going today? Back at Nick's Plumbing. This is the, uh, are we going with the potty mouth, potty mouth, potty mouth guys. John Eccles and Richard Saad here for another weekly edition of ask your plumber. Right? So we're here to answer some questions and um, go over some different plumbing things and see what the world wants to say about it. How are you doing today, Richard?
Fantastic. Yeah, it's a Thursday and I need to turn my phone off.
There we go. Sorry about that guys. Technical difficulty. It's okay. It happens. So I believe today we are going to be talking about a water repiping. Is that correct? Yep. Domestic water supply, right? So that's going to be residential, home, water supply, all this stuff we had, we had a great
question come in first of this week and this has to do with a lot of victims of flooding. I.E. from the Harvey and this call comes in from Michael and he lives right there at memorial and willowcrest crest area. And uh, that's a seven, seven. Oh, seven, nine zip code. And as everybody is aware of when they released the dams, is when a lot of people over there did flood well, those homes are actually prime targets for a complete whole house repiping. And why is that? You tell me, well built 60 seventies, they've got original galvanized in the house, galvanized from the point of installation till today, you can extrapolate how many years that is. The coating has come off on the interior of that galvanized pipe, so that coating now has exposed the steel behind and in that coating is a zinc coating. So when it comes off, it exposes that steel to where, uh, it starts to rust and it starts to close the piping down where your pressure starts getting reduced and your volume starts to get reduced is the bottom line. And from that standpoint, uh, there's a couple of ways to fix it that we're going to go over with. But one way is to totally cut it out. And especially if you've been flooded, this is a absolute no brainer and you should be not keeping any of your galvanized even though you're not going to get paid from it. From Fema, you must replace bottom on line.
What is the average lifespan of galvanized piping? Thirty, 40 in good working condition, good water, all that good water. And I've been working conditions 30, 40. You're saying most of these homes in this area that we're actually answering the question for are um, 60, 70 built. So there definitely beyond the lifespan,
correct? Yeah. Okay. Kinda like cast iron piping. That whole area's got cast iron piping as well. Absolutely. It's in the same predicament them Meyer land, Bel air ever. We're all in that same predicament. And those areas, if it's original, it's just time to upgrade. Yes, upgrade, get with the Times. Well, it's. So let me ask you this. If you are a flooded victim, right? You put your house back and then all of a sudden in a year or two, the piping starts to leak, right? Creates damage. Uh, I don't think you're going to be very happy.
No, I'm one of those type of people that we've already had one catastrophe. If there's a chance to avoid another one right now, let's go ahead and take it and get it out of the way. You
know, my, my mom was, she lives over there and Briar Grove Park and I gave her two leaks. Now she did not get flooded. She's the one street off of the bayou and did not get flooded, but her galvanized is going out. And last year we repiped her house because I gave her two leaks and that's my rule of thumb. You get to third one, you don't get to keep your piping. It goes away. So she got all new piping and let's kind of go through choices. We all have choices. Hold on. I'm going to have to turn this down. I guess I didn't do it the first time. Pardon? This commercial break.
Okay. And we're back and we're back. Sorry. Uh, but we have choices when we go through repiping. And I want to say one thing on a. If you are a harvey in your house is gutted at this point and the person that's helping you put things back, they don't tell you or recommend that you should completely wipe out your domestic water piping. Um, I would think twice about having them do the rest of it. That's how strongly I feel. So let's go through some piping. We have pex piping, which is a form of flexible plastic. We've got different types of copper type L and type M . And you can go back with galvanized. I would not recommend going back with galvanized though. Um, again, because that product will give out and another 30 or 40 years you'll be doing the same thing. Now with Pex, there's three different types of Pex that you use.
You've got pex, a, b, and c pex a is the only pex that's made for direct burial and that is the best pex that you can buy out of all three of those that, that is all we use it Nick's Plumbing is pex A. So we will direct bury it and we put it in the house because again, it is the best pex that you can buy now on the inside of your house. Uh, on the copper side, you can go with type M or type L . Type L is a thicker copper type M is the thinner copper so people can actually save some money and you think you're getting a better price from a company. Well, they just switched over to type in and saved money on repiping you're home and you're not even aware of it. But if I'm gonna re pipe my home, which I had to repipe my home, I'm in the same predicament that, that whole area is over there.
Uh, I re pipe it in type L, copper. That's what I chose to use. But it doesn't mean that's what you need to use. Pex is a good product. They both are good products right now. Going through that, let's show them what we brought today. We've got three different colors and what you're looking at, this is actually, this is actually pex A, and you can see, let me grab one. You can see how it's flexible. Yeah. This has happened. Mentioned these two or three quarter inches, but they're in different colors. And why is that? This is all Pex a . it's all the same because they're patriotic. That's right. Patriotic. Or are they really meant for dumb plumbing companies that don't know the difference between hot and cold. So that's the next. That's the next issue. That's right. Now, the only reason this is just dyed. They put blue dye and red dye.
This has no dye. So typically when we read pipe a house, this is all you see us use because we know the difference between hot and cold and we don't mix hot and cold water lines together, but there are a lot of people and there's a lot of subs here in town. Uh, there's companies that you're seeing advertised on TV that are from California that are in here today. Re piping a lot of homes. They're using all subcontractors. They have no permanent employees down here in Texas or specifically Houston. They're the ones probably using this just to make sure they don't mess up. Yeah. You know, it's not a bad thing, right? I mean, I'm not saying it's a bad thing, it just makes it stupid proof. It does. Um, you know, and to me right out the red and blue for homeowners, not a bad thing is I guess what I'm trying to stay.
It allows them to take up in the attic and they know exactly what hot and what is cold. Yeah. Yeah. That's all one day. So you're taking up for dumb? No, not at all. Not at all. I'm taking taking. There's a lot of them. The thing from a customer's perspective, well, halfway, uh, when you have helpers helping helpers, that's not a good thing. And you need to do color coded pipe and that's not good for. No, but I agree from a homeowner's perspective, uh, if you, if this is important to you to go up in the attic and understand which one's hot and cold, which we haven't done 50 plus years, right. Galvanized didn't tell you that either or copper is not going to tell you that either though. But I, it is an interesting feature. I understand what you're saying. Now we are your repiping specialist, so our guys are highly trained, efficient, and they can get away and use all this piping because we know the difference between hot and cold and we don't cross them by mistake.
Some things to be aware of with pex. It's been on our market in Texas specifically Houston about 14 years now. Well, this is what nobody really knows in the future. What's going to happen with this piping. Houston changed over the detergents in their water supply and we are no longer on a chlorine system. We are on a chloramines system, so the issue with these detergents is nobody knows what it's gonna do to this pipe. I can't tell you, and why can't I tell you is we don't have enough data stored up at this point to understand if that detergent is gonna eat this pipe or not. Now in the defense of pex, we don't know if it's going to do that to copper either a, we know it's tearing down galvanized at a higher rate. It is definitely impacting because it's more corrosive and when the coating comes off of that galvanized, especially over there like memorial wilcrest , all in that 77079 zip code. It is eating that pipe even quicker.
Now. One Way to fix that as you can do a whole house, a chloramines filtration system and that will fix that issue and it will help the deck over day degregation of that piping even further. Yes ma'am. What did that PVC pipe? Is that in house throughout your house and there's another pipe that I haven't spoke about that is CPVC and that is what Ursula is speaking about CPVC. Now CPVC is a form of plastic. It's a rigid plastic meaning it's not flexible. It's been out a long time. It is tried and true and we're under the same problem with our detergents. Again, US using the chloramines, we don't know what it's gonna do to that plastic piping either because it is corrosive. We just don't know. We don't have the data yet. Umm chloramines only been out for about eight years, so this piping has been out about 14 installed into homes in Houston, so give it another 10, 15 years.
I'm going to be able to have more data to let you know that, okay, this was a huge mistake or not tune back in for that show. Fifteen years down the road. That's right. As a lead into a followup show, we'll have to remember that 15 years to do another one of these. Right, so and, and saying this, as a homeowner, I would tell you you need to pick the piping that you're going to be most comfortable with and I'm comfortable telling you that pex a , I would not use pex B or C absolutely not, but pex a and type L copper and I'm actually okay with type M copper. I have not in my 20 years experience seen very much go wrong with copper M. That usually it's a grounding problem on the piping. Something's eating the piping. Something's touching the piping. If you go back to your days and in chemistry, and I'm taking everybody way back, two dissimilar metals can eat each other depending on what the metals are.
So if something is sitting on top of that copper that shouldn't be there, well that could be creating an issue in creating what they call electrolysis so that could impact, but that's the only way that I've really seen an impact of, you know, but if you look at the cost between type L and type M, you know, it's minuscule, but what happens to these homeowners you is, you get a bid and you go out and get several companies to bid and you want copper. Well this company wants your business and they might be higher than another company and they want to do it and they say we'll match that price. Then they just switch over to type m and you will never know unless you specifically ask. Now again, m is not a bad copper it's just more thin. And like I said earlier, I did type L in my house. Uh, and that's all we use here is type L.
What reason would you have, what was your reasoning for going copper versus the pex?
That's a great question and this is something that nobody knows. The only material that we have left at our disposal that helps fight bacteria and viruses is copper. Copper is a natural killer to those items. Now, will it kill them all? No, but it's not going to promote the growth of those bacteria and viruses when they come through the water supply. It's going to help kill them. Now, when you use plastic and plastic is plastic. There is no, we don't know yet. Well No, there's nothing in here that is going to help kill pathogens and let's call him pathogens. Which copper will help deal with that. Okay. Um, what level? I don't know. I, I'm not in the business of being a doctor, so I don't know, but I know at some level it does kill pathogens. Okay. So that's one of the big reasons I went with it. And B, I know it's going to last a long time. Yes ma'am.
Do you have to worry about busting? You've actually read a couple of things. Maybe that's right, that that answer is yes. Pex A. um, and that's an interesting question that Ursula brought up when you're looking at copper versus Pex, copper does not expand and contract like this piping will. This piping can actually freeze and it will actually expand. Once the freeze is over, it will contract back to its original piping structure. Copper galvanized done CPVC Dun Dun. Then yeah, you're is not going to be a pretty sight one that freezes over. If it did freeze. And this past freeze that we went through in a, what was it, January, you know, it's, it wasn't this pipe that was having an issue. No, it was the other three pipes. Absolutely. That we're having an issue. So that is a great point. So that might swayed your precision. Are Your perception there we go, um, to, to buy this pipe versus the other pipe? Yeah. Whatever
homeowner gets into that mode of, hey, these are going to be some decisions that were going to make, whether it be repiping your home repairing better. The decision is that, you know, it's just like anybody else, right? We want to take the knowledge which we give a. Then you want to take the benefits that each one's going to give you. Whichever one works best for you is the one that you want to go with ultimately. Right? Yeah. You know, me personally, I love the fact that, you know, this tends to wear down less in freezing situation. So you, I mean, that's one other thing you get to kind of check off your list. Oh, we got that in house. We don't really have to worry about it and that at least not near as much. And like on your end, you know, hey, you know, the, the, uh, the copper, right, having a little bit more of a, a health effect for you was, it was a decision making thing that was more important to me. That's exactly. So that's what's great about our company and Nick's, is that we just want our customers to be happy with whatever decision they decided.
That's correct. Yeah. We're here to help you facilitate that now so you can make an educated decision that's going to be best for you and your family. Uh, we're not here to push any piping structure. No, we're here to make sure that you're getting what your needs and wants a out of this. Right. And like I said earlier, we are here in Houston, been here since 1979. These other companies that you are seeing on tv as we speak, are coming in from California. They don't have one permanent employee in the, in this town. And yet, uh, their costs I think is probably cheaper than a lot of us that are stationed here in Houston. Uh, and that's because they're subbing everything out. They don't have the overhead. Uh, so if you choose to get hooked into their, hey, we're going to warranty it forever and we're going to be here for you forever well.. you're not here now.
I mean, that's my answer for it. You're not here now. So how are they going to be here for you in the future? I mean, that's my big concern and question. And I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, he did not hire us to do his. He's doing a complete re pipe of his house and he's doing it in pex, but there are a lot of people running around the, a are not qualified b, don't have the insurances, c are not from Houston or not local. I.E. California again and, and their repiping a lot of these homes and, and he and I had a big discussion about it and, and I helped him through and I was okay with him not hiring us, um, and it was really cheap, you know, and they're actually doing it over the weekend. I wonder why because they don't want to get caught by the city I guess. And um, so he's paying me to go inspect it on Monday and I'm okay with that. I'll go do that.
So he had someone else do the work. He's a friend and now he's going to have you spend it for him to make sure it's good.
Yeah. But we are the repiping specialist. I mean we are at it, who else is there. Why wouldn't he have me come look at it? That's, that's a good point, right? Oh, we're just told our time is up and I took the whole time. That's all right. I hope that we helped, especially in that whole area that that did get hit and his name was Michael. Michael, I hope that we did help you in the decision, but again, I just want to say it one more time. If you did flood FEMA's not paying you to repipe, but if you're in the, in a home that's in this from the seventies or before you must re pipe, you have to. It's not even a question or option. The option should be which piping are you going to use and who are you going to get to do it? That should be your only question. If you want to talk about it, call me. 713-868-9907 I will help you through the process whether you hire us or not. We're here for you. We're here for you. Alright, well that concludes another week of the potty mouth. Guys. Richard Saad, John Eccles. We'll see you next Thursday. Same time. 11:00 a.m. Uh, there's more, right? Take care. Have a great week.