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Old 09-09-2019, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Oort cloud
121 posts, read 110,697 times
Reputation: 498

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At some point last year a plumbing company did a repipe on the house. PEX through attic. Multiple reputable local companies came out for estimates. None of them provided alternative options or mentioned the fact that in Florida heat the pipes would become extremely hot. This became apparent as the days became hotter. Itís not uncommon on a hot day to run cold water out of the faucet for 30+ seconds in order to obtain lukewarm water.
Iíve read online of others with this issue and insulation around the pipes was mention with the caveat that this would understandably not prevent heating but simply delay the process.

We called the company that did the installation, who otherwise has a good customer service with us having worked around our schedules and came back for small things. A guy came out and said there isnít anything that can be done and it isnít that much of an inconvenience to have to run the water for a few seconds prior to use.

Are we out of luck or can we try to take it up higher for some kind of reasonable fix?

In addition to the inconvenience of scalding hot water when hand washing or doing other activities it is making me wonder about the effect of hot water on components that are expected to be ran with cold water such as the toilet and the ice maker/water dispenser.
I have noticed the flow into the toilet tank to be slow but am not able to determine a cause. Also, the water dispenser will sometimes need to be held down for long periods of time before any water comes out. The icemajer by and large does not function however it will occasionally produce ice and then stop with no input from us. Our fridge temperatures have also been unstable lately. I am wondering if any or all of these could be attributed to this very hot water?
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:12 PM
 
2,651 posts, read 5,395,563 times
Reputation: 5334
You have a pipe running through the attic, the attic gets hot. The water inside is going to get hot. The fact that it is PEX has little to do with it (although it is possible that it provides a bit higher thermal resistance than, say, copper).

If you insulate the pipe the water will warm more slowly. If you use the water frequently it won't be so hot. If you don't it will approach the temperature in the attic.

If you run the pipes through the slab you won't have this problem. Or you can air-condition the attic.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,791 posts, read 49,578,362 times
Reputation: 14653
You can use pipe insulation to insulate the pipes- make sure they are as close to the ceiling as possible, and add additional insulation on top. The further you can insulate the pipe from the radiant heat in the attic the least likely to gain heat.

This is sort of the same principle they use for fire sprinkler systems in attics.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:34 AM
 
39,874 posts, read 41,327,681 times
Reputation: 16517
Just an idea how you may able to exploit this mistake if you decide to reroute it. Put a bypass before the water heater and run it into the attic. Up in the attic at the very furthest point you can from connect the cold water to the pex leading from the hot water heater so you can loop it back to the hot water heater. Connect to the to the hot water supply for hot water heater. This way you can loop the water through the attic before it goes to hot water heater, it will save you money on hot water heating costs. I know if I lived in a very warm climate I'd be doing something like this on purpose.





Of course you would need to run new hot/cold water supplies.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,514 posts, read 6,383,508 times
Reputation: 11887
Quote:
Originally Posted by walmill View Post
At some point last year a plumbing company did a repipe on the house. PEX through attic. Multiple reputable local companies came out for estimates. None of them provided alternative options or mentioned the fact that in Florida heat the pipes would become extremely hot. This became apparent as the days became hotter. It’s not uncommon on a hot day to run cold water out of the faucet for 30+ seconds in order to obtain lukewarm water.
I’ve read online of others with this issue and insulation around the pipes was mention with the caveat that this would understandably not prevent heating but simply delay the process.

We called the company that did the installation, who otherwise has a good customer service with us having worked around our schedules and came back for small things. A guy came out and said there isn’t anything that can be done and it isn’t that much of an inconvenience to have to run the water for a few seconds prior to use.

Are we out of luck or can we try to take it up higher for some kind of reasonable fix?


In addition to the inconvenience of scalding hot water when hand washing or doing other activities it is making me wonder about the effect of hot water on components that are expected to be ran with cold water such as the toilet and the ice maker/water dispenser.
I have noticed the flow into the toilet tank to be slow but am not able to determine a cause. Also, the water dispenser will sometimes need to be held down for long periods of time before any water comes out. The icemajer by and large does not function however it will occasionally produce ice and then stop with no input from us. Our fridge temperatures have also been unstable lately. I am wondering if any or all of these could be attributed to this very hot water?
I think that insulation may work better than you think.

Also, is it at all possibly to better cool the attic (say with a big fan?)

Everyone suggested running it through the ceiling because it's way, way cheaper...

The heat shouldn't affect you toilet. Your Fridge might be affected...how old is it?
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
26,798 posts, read 63,723,605 times
Reputation: 31165
Any "fix" is expensive.

You could insulate with ICYNENE foam. Then your attic would be conditioned space and would not get hot. ICYNENE goes on the underside of the rood sheeting so your attic is near the same temperature as the room below it and the insulation happens at the roof rather than the ceiling. The air in the attic, wile slightly warmer than the rooms below is reasonably cool and serves as a second layer of insulation for your living space. I was skeptical until we used it in our attic. It is more effective insulation system. Downsides are it costs 3x fibergalss batt and if you have to replace your roof sheeting you have to re-insulate the attic. Also you cannot DIY ICYNENE you need a big expensive dangerous machine that tends to catch on fire a lot if you do not clean it and maintain it. (they guys that did our insulation were idiots but they got it right after four tries and only set a basement wall on fire once (and their machine caught fire multiple times). this is probably the most practical option unless you have a basement.

You could run the pipe in the slab, which is impractical. in the basement if you have one, or in a duct in the ground outside your house. You might be able to install a second water source (meter) just outside the room where you want cooler water and just run a pipe through the wall. You could wrap the attic pipe with chiller tubing and connect it to your AC compressor, but then you will also need a catch pan for the condensation. You could put a small tank in the room where you want cool water and store a supply in the tank where it will cool due to the AC in your house, then when the water tank is low, the cold water gets replenished with hot and is allowed to cool again. All these options are quite pricey.

If you do not have a basement, you could jack up the house, dig out a hole, build a basement and set the house on it. Then run the pipes through the basement.

Your problem is not the choice of materials by the plumber but the location you live in and the construction of your house.
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Old Yesterday, 07:07 PM
 
15,370 posts, read 31,507,985 times
Reputation: 18802
We had to repipe several years ago due to CONSTANT leaks under the slab, so routing that way was not an option. We don't have attic in part of the house because the ceilings are vaulted exposing roof beams. We had to pipe outside the house, and you bet in Florida heat that water gets HOT in the summer. That said, we had no other choice so we live with it and just run the water longer to get the right temperature.
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Old Today, 03:54 PM
 
14,506 posts, read 7,780,787 times
Reputation: 26595
I don't get it. I have PEX under my New England house. It's insulated or it would freeze in the winter. That's a much bigger problem than warm water coming out of a faucet in a Florida house. Put an insulating jacket over the PEX and the problem is solved. The 1" wall stuff in my house comes in 6 foot sections that are ~$8.00 at the plumbing supply place or big box hardware store.
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