01:09PM | 02/21/06
Member Since: 02/20/06
2 lifetime posts
I live in Cape Cod Mass. Every Winter I find myself with frozen and cracked pipes. My plumber has recommended I try replacing the copper with plastic water pipes. Does anyone know if they will work well in *cold* New England?



09:34AM | 02/22/06
Member Since: 01/24/06
1626 lifetime posts
Me office1
Plastic pipe is very brittle and can even crack without being frozen.

Copper tubing type L for example in NYC in some homes freeze ever year thaw out and are good to go as soon as they thaw.

Plastic doesn't have that luxury as soon as it freezes throw it away and start over.

Possibly your plumber was thinking how cheap plastic is and is disposable.

Have you considered heat tape or blowing the lines out prior to the frigid weather New England is known for?

The copper development association many years ago decided to freeze a piece of copper and thaw it out and freeze it again and it worked for 11 times.

Personally I wouldn't want to try it but I have seen copper bulge and still have integrity of not leaking.

Think about insulation, heat tape or draining completely.

Good luck

erik peterson

12:06PM | 02/22/06
Member Since: 06/23/03
223 lifetime posts
I would get a second opinion of a local plumber who is familiar with winter problems. erik


02:47PM | 02/22/06
Member Since: 02/20/06
2 lifetime posts
The idea did seem a little odd to me. The plumber said the plastic piping was guaranteed for 20 years though so I thought I should seriously look at it. I live on the ocean year-round and when the wind blows hard - at 0 degrees - the power goes out and the pipes freeze.

The next day I end up using a hair dryer to thaw it out or soldering a replacement on. They are over 30 yrs old and seem very thin. I thought I'd replace them all inside the house. I'm not sure what to do now.

Thanks for the advice though!


08:43PM | 02/22/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
When he used the termm plastic was he talking about PEX or CPVC.

PEX is a flexible plastic and it is suppose to withstand "some" freezing. It has a memory effect. In fact that is how one type of connection system works. They expand the end of the tubbing to slide it over the fitting.

Then it returns to normal and "locking ring" is pushed over it.

erik peterson

05:22AM | 02/23/06
Member Since: 06/23/03
223 lifetime posts
We have replaced hundreds of "new" flexible plastic systems in houses less than 10 years old....the main issue that these products are not designed to withstand rodents which easily chew through the material. Most of these tracts are adjacent to rural areas in San Diego county....erik


07:29AM | 02/23/06
Member Since: 01/24/06
1626 lifetime posts
Me office1
Let's think about it. copper is used on roof flashing's in NYC subject to four seasons of weathering plus many structures in Europe are well over 300 years old with copper still going strong as the day it was installed.

Copper the natural material of choice if one looked at civilizations over 3000 years ago we still find artifacts in like new condition.

"Plastic" is made from chemicals (petroleum) and other carcinogenic materials that may leach into the water supply.

One day when you have nothing to do and your at a home center pick up a jar of plastic primmer and or cement and read all the fine print.

The reason code officials even allowed plastic (unless water conditions dictated it) was a cost factor not for health reasons

I am not totally against plastic see this article

If I have a choice for potable water or most heating applications copper is the way I would go.

Click to reply button Inspiration banner


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button

Follow banner a
Newsletter icon Flipboard glossy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss icon