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 Spotfix or replace potential epoxy clogged hot water line
Author: Bbook (CA)

Hi Guys-

We must decide between a plumbing repair or re-pipe. We have a clog somewhere near the upstairs bath sink and shower hot water line. All house copper pipes were treated with NuFlow epoxy coating more than 10 years ago to protect from pinhole leaks. We suspect some epoxy has come loose and lodged in some angle joint in the master bath piping. Can we just spot fix the area by identifying and remove/replace the clogged joint or should we just give up on the epoxy coating and re-pipe the entire hot water line with copper?

Side question: is Pex plastic piping as good as copper?

Thanks,



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Spotfix or replace potential epoxy clogged hot water line
Author: packy (MA)

let me answer your second question by saying i have done some repairs around my old home and i used pex..
about the epoxy clogged joint/s.. if you are only replacing a short section and a fitting or two, stick with copper.
if you suspect the problem will re-occur, repipe with pex.

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 Re: Spotfix or replace potential epoxy clogged hot water line
Author: hj (AZ)

If it was loose enough to travel and get stuck, it should be able to be "backflushed" to break it loose.

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 Re: Spotfix or replace potential epoxy clogged hot water line
Author: PlumberLoren (CA)

Make sure your diagnosis is correct. Did you remove your angle stops one at a time and have someone turn the water back on quickly and turn it off to see if you have a blockage at each angle stop. I would start there. Check your water pressure so you know it is correct. Should be 80 PSI or less, preferable 60 PSI for me.

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 Re: Spotfix or replace potential epoxy clogged hot water line
Author: Bbook (CA)

Regarding the back flush approach, this seems interesting. Moreover I need your opinion on whether you believe this is a one time event or I should expect epoxy fragments traveling through the hot water line from now on. If the latter then I should probably replace the hot water pipes. What is your opinion on that?

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 Re: Spotfix or replace potential epoxy clogged hot water line
Author: Bbook (CA)

Regarding the epoxy flakes blocking the line as a diagnosis, in the master bath, both sink HW's are slow as is the shower HW. If I turn on a sink HW and CW, the HW of the shower flows faster. So the blockage seems near some T joint between the sinks and shower HW. Other HW in the house is not slowed down. The water is controlled to 60 psi coming into the house.

I need opinions on whether I should just replace all HW piping since this may be a recurring event with epoxy aging and flaking away due to the heat of the water passing over it.

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 Re: Spotfix or replace potential epoxy clogged hot water line
Author: hj (AZ)

when you turn on the sink h&c, the higher cold pressure is going in to the hot side raising the volume at the shower. The obstruction is ahead of the sinks.

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 Re: Spotfix or replace potential epoxy clogged hot water line
Author: PlumberLoren (CA)

I have no experience with epoxy lined copper. My neighbor had it done and they had to come out 3 times before they were done with it. For me, using epoxy is putting a band aid on a problem. Replace the Hot line or both if you have epoxy inside your copper pipes. I think once you inject epoxy into your copper system, making repairs will ruin the epoxy lining. When you heat your copper to solder, it may be possible that the melted epoxy could interfere with a clean copper joint that would not leak. I would not trust it. The guys that are more familiar with epoxy will chime in I am sure. Our water here in Carlsbad, CA is awful and full of minerals that attack the copper. The Chloramine also adds to the problem. I have always been a copper guy but when water conditions are bad, I lean towards PEX. Learn as much as you can about PEX so you understand the good and the evil of it.

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 Re: Spotfix or replace potential epoxy clogged hot water line
Author: Bbook (CA)

To the Carlsbad plumber, thanks for the advise on the hazards of spot fixing epoxy coated pipes. I am also from San Diego and the two main Plumbing companies here, Anderson and Howe both warn against PEX. They also talk of hard and soft copper with the hard being maybe more work to install but better maybe because of the minerals in the SD water.

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