Do I need to angle/pitch pex tubing for draining in the winter?


I'm running a cold-water pex line in a basement crawlspace that gets extremely cold (i.e. freezing) in the winter.

I'm going to use a drainable ball-valve inside the house so I can drain it in the winter but how can I run the pex line to make sure it's sloped? The run is about 25 feet long.

I think I have two options:

1) Run it through floor joists (requires a hole in every joist since my line is running perpendicular to them)

2) Run it under the joists and use clamps and wood shims under each joist to achieve a slope.

I'm leaning towards #1 but to make sure I have a good slope I think I'll need to measure my holes to make sure the line is actually sloping. For example, I thought I would measure a certain distance from the joist to the floor above to make sure my holes are actually sloping down.

Any other suggestions?

(NOTE: This question is sort-of a follow-up to this: Do I need to angle/pitch pex tubing for draining in the...

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Hello! This is my first post, I'm trying to become more handy. I found this forum and decided to take the step at getting some DIY help.

My wife and I are new home owners and have found ourselves a little overwhelmed at times. This seems like it should be easier than it is. Anyway, here is the problem.

Last summer we were able to use our hoses outside just fine, with no leaking. This spring I went out to turn the water back on and noticed that where the PEX sharkbit tubing connected to both of our garden hose spouts had broken off? I'm not sure why, maybe you can help with that too.

I have ZERO experience with the PEX tubing and sharkbite stuff. The only reason I know what it is, is because it says sharkbite on it and I was able to do some searching. I tried to find a situation like this where they used it for outdoor garden hoses, but can only find more indoor plumbing stuff with PEX.

I have uploaded some photos for you to see. Two of the photos...

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You can run PEX line as you would in a conventional plumbing system, with 3/4-in. main lines and 1/2-in. branch lines. You can also use a “manifold” system, where you run a 1/2-in. line to each fixture from a central spot.

Run your main lines first. If you're running PEX through joists or studs, drill 3/4-in. holes for 1/2-in. piping and 1-in. holes for 3/4-in. piping. Have a helper feed the line to avoid kinks and snarls. Some manufacturers recommend adding abrasion clips at each hole. You must use them for PEX that goes through metal studs, and nail protection plates when the tubing runs within 1-1/2 in. of the face of a stud or joist. Once you've run your main line, go back and mark the location of each branch line, leaving a 1-in. gap for the barbed...

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Thermocouple has 2 ends. One end attaches to gas control valve, other end sits inside the pilot flame.

Flame heats thermocouple, causing tiny electrical current that is detected inside the gas control valve and keeps the gas valve open so water heater can turn on when thermostat calls for heating.

If pilot goes out, then no electric current reaches gas control, and all gas to burner and pilot is shut off.

If pex line burst, that implies very high pressure, caused by closed system with check valve that stops expansion, or possible clog in the water line, or high local water pressure, or clogged factory-installed heat traps.
Put pressure gauge like BTG100 on the drain valve to check pressure, should not exceed 80psi, install pressure reducing valve on cold water line, install expansion tank on cold water line. Remove heat traps and install ordinary pex-lined di-electric nipples from hardware store.

If the water was super hot, then overheating could...

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Yeah, I know you are supposed to use black iron. I did that at my other shop. It worked well, but I never got all the leaks out. Plus- it is a PAIN to rearrange.

I am in a situation where I want to run some permanent air lines that I know will be changing at some point in the future. My barn/workshop will continue to be a work in progress for years to come, and machines and work areas will evolve.

I have some left over 1/2" pex and the (expensive) crimpers. I've had very good luck with this stuff with regard to no leaks. I once re-plumbed a house with it- no leaks at all- and this was the first time I ever used it.

The tubing itself is rated plenty high enough in terms of pressure. I know that PVC pipe is a bad idea (although plenty of folks do it). I can't see how pex would present any sort of danger, as it is not at all brittle.

It is very easy to run and snake around where you need it. I figure I'd still do the condensation drain drops like they suggest for...

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I am not an expert on PEX tubing, but I have used it. It was my understanding that you don’t need heat tape since PEX will deform without breaking if the water in it freezes. I didn’t know if this claim was true or not because I always drained the pipe in winter just in case the pipe failed to preform as I was told. Later I read that PEX might survive several freeze and thaw events, but eventually it will burst, so you should provide some protection if the temperature will drop below freezing or drain the line. I know you can insulate it with conventional wrap foam, and that might be an alternative to heat tape that would work for you. I can’t see why heat tape would not work, as you can set the temperature very low, like 40 degrees, and I would not expect that to cause any damage to PEX pipe, but I have never tried it. I also read that PEX will get brittle and fail in direct sunlight, in a short time like around a month, and I have short section that has been exposed for 3 years...

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Builders have long used cross-linked polyethylene -- or PEX -- tubing when installing radiant heating systems, and in places where local building codes allow it, plumbers use it when installing residential water systems. PEX tubing is more flexible than copper, steel or chlorinated polyvinyl chloride piping because you can run long, curved sections without the need for fittings. Fittings that you do need are a breeze to install, requiring no wrenches, smelly glue or solder.

A PEX Water System

The heart of a PEX water system is a pair of manifolds -- one for cold water and one for hot. In this type of system, each fixture receives water from the manifolds rather than from branch pipes, as is the norm with conventional rigid piping. In a conventional system, pressure drops as the water passes through successively smaller-diameter pipes, but in a PEX home-run system, the incoming water pipes and the ones that feed the fixtures are sized the same. This not only increases...

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ViegaPEX Press Starter Kit from

Polyethylene cross-linked tubing, better known as PEX, is a fine addition to the industrious do-it-yourself plumber’s arsenal. Inexpensive to buy and surprisingly versatile, PEX is also relatively easy to install. No complex soldering or messy gluing is required, and the tubing can be easily “fished” through walls and around corners—try that with copper or PVC pipe!

More than 20 different types of PEX are on the market, each suited to a specific plumbing or heating job, so knowing which PEX product to pick for your project is important.

Non-Oxygen Barrier PEX
Most plumbing applications, especially those involving potable water, call for the use of non-oxygen barrier PEX, offered in several grades. PEX-A, which has the most flexible tubing and best freeze- and kink resistance, is ideal for use with kitchen and bath fixtures. PEX-B is slightly less flexible and less freeze-resistant.

Both types of tubing...

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Daniel McKinney is reaching four decades into the past for two important features of a new house he plans to build. Both notions were mostly discarded after early attempts at energy efficiency ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. builders in new directions, but McKinney thinks they may still have some merit.

"OK, here's the basic idea," he writes at Green Building Advisor's Q&A forum. "I would like to use an earth tubeVentilation air intake tube, usually measuring 8 or more inches in diameter and buried 5 or more feet below grade. Earth tubes take advantage of relatively constant subterranean temperatures to pre-heat air in winter and pre-cool it in summer. In humid climates, some earth tubes develop...

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