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  1. #21

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    ic-racer, you are the man! I too love copper for plumbing. I agree with Sundowner that PVC/CPVC is great, and I used it in places where freezing is possible, but to me nothing beats the look of copper!!! Great job!

  2. #22
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    I have to admit I love this thread, my dad was a steam fitter and I have had enough darkrooms set up to appreciate the finer art of plumbing.

    My guy is also convinced PEX is the way to go over copper, this is a great discussion
    .

    Quote Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post
    Okay, as a plumber, I have to weigh in...

    Copper is a great material, but it's not the end-all, be-all. Gold standard? Yes, before there was lined PEX. Copper's weakness is mineral-heavy water...i.e. well water. If you have that, you are going to eventually have leaks...there's just no way around it. I had copper lines in my house, and I ripped every one of them out to be replaced with PEX lines, just to stop the problems that I was having with my ultra-mineral-rich well water literally eating through the copper lines. If you're on relatively mineral-free city water...you probably won't have an issue. Not to say that the OP was wrong to choose copper - far from it, as I appreciate a good sweat job if one has the skills (Nice joints, OP!) - but there is nothing inferior about a PEX system, whatsoever. Do stay away from PVC and CPVC, if possible, though.

    As far as the connectors are concerned, we (and by that, I mean professional plumbers as a whole) were VERY reluctant to accept the Sharkbite and Gatorbite connections. They just don't look like they could possibly work. However, we were wrong: we've seen no more or less failures of those connections than we have with any other type. The biggest drawback that they have is that they are EXPENSIVE...but that can be quickly offset by the negligible amount of time that it takes to install one, the ease of installing one in a very tight space, and the simplicity of connecting dissimilar pipe materials. In other words, don't be afraid to use one. They work just fine.

    Okay, information session closed. It's fun to screw around with darkroom plumbing, isn't it!

  3. #23
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    Ok a little story about copper drains.

    Over time they can be problematic , and if your lab/darkroom is in a building with old copper and you are dumping fix or even perceived as dumping fix, a whole lot of whoopass can come your way legally.
    I was in such a building where the copper was really old and though I did not dump fix, TRUTH, because I was a lab when a huge drain problem in the building created a problem for a lower floor tenant , I was picked on as the obvious culprit, until I proved to the city that I was not indeed the responsible party.
    What ended up happening is after a lot of cost I moved to a more secure building where the drainage system was more complete and I have never had a problem.I should add I never will operate a darkroom with someone below me and have a good floor drain. The building I left has continued to have major problems with their drains and it really boiled down to the copper over time deteriorated and to fix is problematic for the Landlord.
    7 floor old historic building with jury rig plumbing in each unit , with each tenant dumping who knows what. A plumbers nightmare or feast??

    Probably the biggest issue to deal with as a printer is how you set up your darkroom plumbing needs, now and in the future.

  4. #24

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    My waterlines are mostly copper but I have PEX for some runs and would go PEX for all future work. Sharkbite. Yep not cheap but time saved is time saved and it's just so simple to use it's not funny. Easy to remove as well. A nice sweat is something to behold but I've had some joints that had to be done several times ( can you tell I'm not a professional plumber ? )

    From what I understand, in Toronto at least, Sharkbite can be used behind walls whereas compression fittings aren't code for that purpose. I may have this wrong.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by domaz View Post
    Please elaborate- I am stuck with a leaky FotoPanel. Do you have any part numbers or other inside information you could share?
    The Powers technical support was actually helpful by sending a PDF service manual for the Fotopanel. It has the numbers, but you can't order the parts from them.

    For the record I ordered service kits #230-131 and #440-145 from "Famous Supply". But e-mail Powers to get the PDF manual and find a local dealer: technicalservice@wattswater.com

  6. #26
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  7. #27

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    That has nothing to do with pex tubing, it is about certain brass fittings. Pex isn't a new product, it has been used in Europe for decades.

    Nice job on your installation. Copper was a good choice and it looks good too.
    Last edited by five; 12-31-2011 at 05:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #28

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    Compression is usually legal for behind-wall applications...it's kind of hard to run PEX systems without them. I can't speak for Canada, though.

    If it was me setting up a darkroom from scratch...as in, the darkroom is shown complete on the plans (architecture is my other career)...I'd place a floor drain, a couple of sinks, and never bat an eyelash at running PEX. If funds permitted, I might run some bright-polished copper outside the walls, but that's only for the bling factor. And all of that water would be run through a nice filter setup before it hit my sinks. As it is, now, I have to either use distilled water or filter everything I have through a pitcher setup. Don't ask what happened the last time I mixed selenium toner with well water and said "Ah, screw it...the water is probably okay..."

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