I've been dragging my feet on a retrofit of our 1910 house with almost all galvanized pipes. We moved in almost a year ago and I finally took the weekend to go out with the old.
Let me say, PEX is a joy.
I had never used it in any capacity and was pretty nervous about tackling the whole house in one shot without the relative comfort of copper and sweat joints. Add in a toddler who values her nightly bath and I had my work cut out for me. Or so I thought. Did I mention PEX is great?
With future renovations planned for bathrooms and the kitchen, I didn't want to be opening walls, which limited me to the only area of exposed piping, in the ceiling of the laundry room. I went with a Viega manabloc manifold and crimp PEX fittings. Friday night I shot all galvanized threads I was going to try and tie into with some WD40. Saturday morning, after dragging around, I cut water off at the street. About 1 hour later, I had sweat the 1" copper into the house into PEX and a new ball valve. Water back on and no leaks. Encouraging.
Another hour had the whole house filter in and tied into the manifold.
The 1" PEX is not very flexible and the fittings I had were a tight fit. My hands were looking forward to the thinner pipe.
The water heater took a bit (of a hack) to get to as the tankless isn't in yet. Old house has the tank heater with the chimney on the opposite side of the house. Not fun, but hooked up to copper 3/4" with some Sharkbites as it'll just be a temporary run. Still, better than the almost choked closed 3/4" galvanized into 1/2" PEX into 3/4" copper that had been in place. Crazy.
With those systems in, I started on the galvanized with wrenches and reciprocating saw. Slow but steady progress...and wow were the old pipes gross. Glad for every cup of Brita filtered water I'd enjoyed, but thinking only of those which I'd had direct out of a faucet. Yuck.
I ended up tying into 1/2" PEX into 3/4" hot/cold trunks for two bathrooms on the second floor, one copper and the other galvanized. The galvanized is next on the list for renovation, so just needed to unblock those baths until we open walls. Not perfect, or even legit, but as one will be redone correctly in soon and the other is all low-flow fixtures, I patched in and moved on.
Kitchen sink and dishwasher along with half-bath on first floor are all homerun with PEX. Washer and laundry sink as well. Quick and easy.
I still need to put supports on either side of the manifold to support each line and UV film on the windows. Then a basement wall to frame in, add laundry box, and the tankless heater on that new wall. Good times.
Very happy I didn't go with copper for now. Hope I feel that way in 10 years.