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Old 08-15-2010, 04:22 PM   #1
sevensandeights
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Default PEX to hot water tank connection?

I got a bunch of free Wirsbo fittings (1/2" and 3/4" valves, T's elbows, couplers, adapters, etc.) from a friend and my brother has the expander tool so I am going to try and tackle the plumbing in my new barn by myself.

I have 3/4" well pipe as my supply line and I need to plumb 2 sinks, 2 spigots and a toilet. I plan on using a 12 gallon electric hot water tank (HWT) to supply hot water to the two sinks. My biggest question is how do I transition from the PEX to the 3/4" FNPT fitting on the inlet of of the HWT and retain the ability to disconnect the HWT for servicing?

I see one fitting on PEX supply for this but it goes from 3/4" PEX to 3/4" FNPT so I guess I would need a nipple on the HWT to make it work. This fitting is also pretty expensive ($25) and I would need two (one for the inlet and one for the outlet).

http://www.pexsupply.com/ProPEX-Expa...ittings-526000
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:28 PM   #2
nate379
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Default Re: PEX to hot water tank connection?

Is there a reason that you only have 3/4" piping off the well?

Around these parts it is normal to run at least 1", which happens to be the size of most water filters, softeners, water heaters, etc.


You should have a female coupler at the heater right? This is what you need:

http://www.pexsupply.com/Wirsbo-Upon...-1-PEX-x-1-NPT

To service you just hold the pex side coupler and unscrew the water heater side.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:02 PM   #3
sevensandeights
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Default Re: PEX to hot water tank connection?

I'm sure I have a larger supply from the actual well to my house but the barn's water supply is a 3/4" line run from the house to the barn.

As for the HWT, I was told it was 3/4" female NPT. I didn't buy the tank yet so I don't know if it is just a 3/4" FNPT bung or if it is a FNPT coupler. If it is a coupler, that would solve the problem. For reference, this is the HWT I was planning to buy:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_140427-135-E...20tank$y=0$x=0
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: PEX to hot water tank connection?

You are supposed to have 18" of either copper or galvanized between the HWT an the pex. If you want it to be easily disconnected you can install a union between the copper pipe and the PEX.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: PEX to hot water tank connection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by burleymike View Post
You are supposed to have 18" of either copper or galvanized between the HWT an the pex. If you want it to be easily disconnected you can install a union between the copper pipe and the PEX.
I thought the need for copper before the PEX was only for gas water heaters, so the PEX isn't damaged from the heat of the flu. My Marathon electric water heater was plumbed with PEX right to the tank.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:27 AM   #6
burleymike
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Default Re: PEX to hot water tank connection?

According to the UPC PEX is not allowed closer than 18" to any type of water heater.

"604.11.2 Water Heater Connections. PEX shall not be installed within the first 18 inches (457 mm) of piping connected to a water heater"

Now if your locale does not go with the UPC or if they did not adopt section 604.11.1 you can connect it direct. I would just do the 18" to be safe, water damage is expensive.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: PEX to hot water tank connection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by burleymike View Post
According to the UPC PEX is not allowed closer than 18" to any type of water heater.

"604.11.2 Water Heater Connections. PEX shall not be installed within the first 18 inches (457 mm) of piping connected to a water heater"

Now if your locale does not go with the UPC or if they did not adopt section 604.11.1 you can connect it direct. I would just do the 18" to be safe, water damage is expensive.
Very interesting! Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:31 PM   #8
sevensandeights
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Default Re: PEX to hot water tank connection?

They have all kinds of dedicated flexible fittings specifically designed for hot water tanks at Lowe's. I got one that is 18" long and has a 3/4" MNPT end and a 3/4" FNPT coupler nut end.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:00 PM   #9
Blue Seducer
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Default Re: PEX to hot water tank connection?

Try this: http://sharkbite.com/
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:35 PM   #10
Riley
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Default Re: PEX to hot water tank connection?

I replaced a waterline to the house recently and ended up buying brass couplings then sweating the pex fitting to one side of the coupling. Couldn't find a pre-made coupling to do it. Seems to work well enough.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:49 PM   #11
Phuckin' Jim
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Default Re: PEX to hot water tank connection?

I installed a water softener using "Easy-grip" fittings. They are exactly like the shark-bite fittings, very easy to work with. They will work with copper, PEX, and CPVC.

They are expensive so it wouldn't pay to use them on a big project. For something quick they are the cat's pajamas!
Another advantage is that that they can be easily be disconnected and re-used.
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