New Pex Water Line Installed

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Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:14 pm


I live in Southern Colorado. I bought a home that had old CPVC pipe. It was mostly broken from freezing.

I had the plumbers that my contractor recommended re-pipe the home with PEX. they charged $4,500.

I crawled under the home and they ran the PEX under the insulation, just over the belly material. If I hadn't crawled under the home, I would not have even known.

The head plumber told me that the guys got tired of mouse and rat droppings falling on their heads. I understand the point, but they should have either not accepted the job, or they should have told me that I would have to add another underbelly to the home. I can't let these pipes freeze.

They offered to slit the underbelly and insulation to push the water line above the insulation. I picture Laural and Hardey taking a knife to the bottom of my home slitting the underbelly from one end to the other. Not a good plan. The plumbers flooded my laundry area by trying to seal a 3/4" garden hose thread to a 3/4" FIP with Teflon tape. I told them that hose threads seal with a washer, not on the threads. I was right. These plumbers are very young and inexperienced but know everything.

I would fire them but that would be accepting their shoddy work and still owing them $4,500. I am going to make them fix this, right, or quit.

They mentioned using furring strips to hold insulation between the frames of the home, under the underbelly. This would involve adding another underbelly material to pass inspection.

I believe the pipe needs to be redone between the floor and the insulation, where it belongs. I talked to another plumber and he told me $2,000 to put it there.

I could use some opinions from the pros.

Thank you in advance for your help.
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:02 pm

Insulate water lines to R4 per energy code.
If it is PEX water pipe it should have been secured/supported 32 inches o.c max.
The crawl space of a MFG home is usually warm.
But yes, he should have spelled out he was not going to insulate lines nor secure per code.
Check your contract-if it says per code then you have something to hang your hat on as far as filing on contractor's bond.
Posts: 279
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:33 am
Location: Anna, Tx

Unless you have fervently re-sealed any and every breach in that belly material - you are fighting a losing battle especially if there is any breach bigger than 1/2" anywhere in the belly material and/or the skirting. The critters are relentless! - AND - once they gain access to the belly, their next most favorite thing to chew holes in is the styrofoam plenum runs for the HVAC. Brace yourself bud. it's going to be a long losing fight.

I used a veterans assistance program and had ALL of the HVAC plenums removed, and ALL of the belly and insulation removed. The ducting for the HVAC was re-routed via a 180° turn back up into the house up to the ceiling, and then new ducting (and drywall) installed. All of my vents are now near the ceiling. There is about 4-5 feet of HVAC metal ducting under the house. Note that the ducting is all METAL and not the stretchy crap that is usually used. Metal! Critters can't chew through it.

And being the critters have gained access - you can plan on replacing all of the electrical lines that were laying in the belly as they most likely have chewed spots - which is a major fire hazard. The critters chewed the 220v line to my dryer - and I did hear a very loud "BANG!". yes, I replaced every single line and all of it was in conduit. FWIW - I have 2 outlets on the outside wall of my bedroom. Both are completely dead. I crawled under - and the line was completely chewed in half.

As for the bottom side, it was completely sprayed with insulating foam - including all the piping. Once that was done all new steel - repeat! STEEL! skirting was installed all the way around with about 8 inches of gravel back filled at the bottom.

Something to note if there are droppings in the belly - DO NOT cut it open without wearing a danged good respirator that can filter out airborne bacteria. I didn't know this - and I ended up a full week in the hospital gasping for breath. Whatever it was triggered a severe asthmatic reaction and cost me 13-17% of lung function. Those rodents are filthy and they carry all kinds of bacteria and disease.
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