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Thread: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

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    Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    I see here on this board that we should use rigid 2" pipe. Will someone please explain the reasons why this is? The PB we talked to said flexpipe is less likely to leak (and I'm sure way cheaper and easier to install). He uses rigid pipe at the pump pad, but only 1.5".

    We are in MN. Is freezing a reason to use flex pipe?

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    I use a lot of flexipipe and no issues, I know some people have problems glueing it so there are compression fitting available if needed. I don't have any problems with it.

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    Do you have any rocks in your soil? If so flex pipe when buried is more likely to develop a leak from abrasion. I have some and am going to replace it this fall with Schedule 40 rigid PVC. One reason is I can find all the PVC stuff I want at my big box stores and have a hard time finding flex pipe. Your situation may be different. Maybe some of the people in the industry will post why they prefer rigid PVC. Teapot, do you prefer flexipipe or just don't have problems with it?
    Larry in Texas

    Above ground 7,700 gallons, 19 inch sand filter ( 2 sq. ft.), Liquidator, and a WaterWay Hi-Flo Pump with an A.O. Smith 1 hp SF 1.0 motor.

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    Termites can and will eat through it to get to the water. If it is incased in concrete termites can't get to it. I have seen cases where chemicals can attack the material and cause it to break down.

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    I always use it for main drains as I've found lots of rigid cracked here. They say you shouldn't use it within 3 foot or so of the skimmers as pucks can attack it. I also use it to create a flexible link to the pump to minimize vibrations to the rest of the equipment and enable the fitting of different types of pump reasonably quickly.
    Self built 5500 gallon bare concrete (temporarily) pool with limestone coping, Pentair Swimmey 1/2 HP pump, Triton sand filter with DE, Simpool peristaltic muriatic acid pump with pH sensor and Monarch SWG. Home made solar heater with Pentair Compool control panel and 3 way valve. 1 skimmer, 1 main drain, 2 returns, 2" plumbing, Hayward auto fill valve.

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    Some people dont like flex or poly. A couple of folks on here think it is of the devil. But, those guys are in the south and california. So...termites can be an issue, but YMMV there. For what ever reason, they just dont like it. As a result, you will see advice never ever use it.

    That being said, where the ground freezes hard and deep, like New England and MN, you cant beat it, or poly. If a little water is left in it, it wont crack. When the ground shifts from frost heaves it wont crack. Lots of pluses,really. I think what gets a little lost here is that construction techniques vary a lot depending where you are. What works up north may not work as well in warmer climates, and vice versa. I'm sure a couple guys will be along in a bit to tell you the evils of it, but IMO, and lots of others, it's good material.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    I live in the south, and I would never use flex again, I have had to replace it too many times due to cracking (above ground around pumps and filters). In this climate it seems to hold up for about 2-3 years then starts breaking down (turns brown) and cracks, patching with couplers does not help as you soon find you have nothing buy couplers tied together with bits of flex, this is indoors in a mechanical room.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    Like i said, in the south. Up here it will last for years. You guys in south Louisiana run water pipe up the side of your house, too

    Seriously, as i said, construction techniques vary greatly. What works in one area of the country won't work someplace else. PVC pipe run up here will crack all to H E double hockey sticks over time unless it's 4-5 feet deep because the ground freezes and heaves. Ive had flex on my filter, heater, etc outside, for 3+ years and it looks as good as the day it was installed.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    I use flex PVC, keep in mind there are many kinds of flex pipe. Some are glue only, some are barbed fittings only, and some are both
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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Txmat
    Do you have any rocks in your soil? If so flex pipe when buried is more likely to develop a leak from abrasion. I have some and am going to replace it this fall with Schedule 40 rigid PVC. One reason is I can find all the PVC stuff I want at my big box stores and have a hard time finding flex pipe. Your situation may be different. Maybe some of the people in the industry will post why they prefer rigid PVC. Teapot, do you prefer flexipipe or just don't have problems with it?
    When I fit pipe work it's bedded in sand so no rocks. I do prefer it as it can generally mean less joins so less leak potential. Obviously there must be different grades available world wide but not had any cracking in France in 8 years.

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    ive never seen tigerflex crack..... ever. To the OP flex is not cheaper in price. You can get 10ft rigid at home depot for under $4 10ft of flex is gonna run you almost $40!
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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    I've been interviewing builders in northern VT. Out of five companies, not one uses rigid PVC. All give some variation of the same set of reasons:
    * Rigid PVC can't move with the ground during freeze/thaw cycles, and will eventually crack.
    * Much of the flex hose ends up embedded in concrete. There's no opportunity for either insects or sharp rocks to touch it.
    * Rigid PVC requires many more fittings, and has a greater risk of leaking due to installer mistakes.
    * Rigid PVC installations take longer and cost more.

    The two builders who impressed me most have tried hard to talk me out of using rigid PVC. Both have been building pools up here for decades, and say they've never had problems with flex hose. They do report problems with rigid PVC, especially cracking at fittings in the pool wall. One said he quit using rigid because of this - he's the high-end builder with extensive references, the one I can't afford

    Sim
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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    As has been said different conditions require different building materials. As in most things you ultimately have to decide if you trust the judgment of the person you are contracting with and go with what they recommend. If you don't trust them then you have to find someone else. I am glad you posted this question, because I have learned a lot.
    Larry in Texas

    Above ground 7,700 gallons, 19 inch sand filter ( 2 sq. ft.), Liquidator, and a WaterWay Hi-Flo Pump with an A.O. Smith 1 hp SF 1.0 motor.

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simbilis
    * Rigid PVC requires many more fittings, and has a greater risk of leaking due to installer mistakes.
    * Rigid PVC installations take longer and cost more.
    Sim
    Since I am one of the guys that thinks (no, I know!!) flex is the devil, I'm going to chime in (quickly). And the reason that I am using this quote (no offense, Simbilis ) is that those two excuses from the builders have absolutely nothing to do with the product, and everything to do with the installer! To a guy that wants to just move quickly (and, again, no offense, solarboy) or make his life easier from the main drain to the skimmer, or the spa radius, flex is down and dirty. A piece of tie wire or sharp rebar in those areas and you have a potential leak.

    I've built hundreds of pools, and remodeled hundreds more. I have yet to have seen a cracked main drain pipe, or a cracked pipe at the equipment caused by vibration. I have no idea what this "freezing" phenomenon ( ) is that some of you speak of, and I'm sure I wouldn't like it, so I have no knowledge of that. I still believe that PVC would be a better choice than flex in most every application, and I will continue to insist that no flex will ever be used on any projects that I am involved with. I've been on the (remodel) jobs where the builder used flex, and I've seen how it performs. I think it is great for fibreglas spas, where everything is enclosed beneath, but that's it.

    Flex is the devil Repent from your evil ways, users of flex, and come to the light of rigid

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    Sorry, Bruce, I'm not buying it. Maybe in warm climes is not good. But in northern, colder climes, PVC will crack all to pieces. Flex is good stuff up here, period.

    Another consideration, Bruce is that you mention tie wires and rebars. Thats all a well and good thing to think about. however, realize that most pools built in the northern US and NE are vinyl. Gunnite pools are few and far between. Too many issues with them in cold climates. The applications up here are mainly with vinyl pools where a lot of the pipe is encased in a concrete collar anyway. I know at least 6 vinyl builers in Massachusetts alone that use it with no issue. With frozen ground and frost heaves, flex or poly IS the proper application for vinyl pools built in cold climates.
    With all due respect, Bruce, telling people that using flex in ALL cases is of the devil, is, in my opinion, short sighted and shows a biased thats not fair to those who have it or have builders who will use it for the proper applications. Not everyone lives where it doesnt freeze, and own gunnite pools. Again, with all due respect, I'm sure you know your business, but until you have worked in climates where it gets down below zero, where water lines have to be buried 5 feet, and the majority of pools are vinyl construction with no rebar or tie wires, then its hard to understand how construction techniques vary. Just because you dont like it doesnt mean it's bad everywhere. You say yourself you have no knowledge of freezing and frost heaves. Come to
    New England in late January and i'll show you.

    FWIW, the two "excuses" you cite are actually good reasons, IMO, to use flex.
    Just my 2 cents here.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    I guess we'll have to appreciate and respect each others climes, bk! And since I've always wanted to see New England, I might just take you up on the offer to visit

    Okay, so I will file this under "agree to disagree" and move on, with the understanding that some folks like and use flex. It will, however, never be used in any of my projects (which works for me since I only own shorts, and probably would be laughed at working in the cold in them anyway!).

    I'm going to go spend some time in my 100% rigid plumbed pool now

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    BK, Im glad you clarified this because I had about 5 pool builders laugh at me and think i was crazy when I insisted that they use Rigid PVC over Flex in their quotes for me in New York. Based on alot of misinformation here, I was persistent in trying to persuade them that Rigid PVC is superior then Flex.
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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    Bruce: I absolutely agree that the two things you highlighted are indictments of builders, not rigid pipe. However, I don't think they're "excuses". I'd much rather have builders that are honest with me about risks and costs, and help me make an informed choice. If rigid takes longer, it must by definition cost more - the guys doing the plumbing don't work for free, and even if I pay for that, the builder still has to eat the opportunity cost of finishing jobs more slowly. If a builder is uncomfortable working with rigid, I'd rather know ahead of time than have him pretend to be an expert just to get my business.

    The builder I like best really, really doesn't want to use rigid. His references are fantastic (all 7 that I checked). They even raved about his concrete decking, which can be a real problem here in the frozen north. On balance, I'm going to let the rigid vs. flex thing slide, and worry about hose diameter and concrete mix instead. So much to nitpick, so little time
    Hydraulically mundane 20x40 rectangular polymer (~30K gal.), IntelliFlo VS+SVRS pump, IntelliChlor IC40 SWCG, Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter, LED light, 2xDeck Jets, SR Smith Turbo Twister slide

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rico Laguno
    BK, Im glad you clarified this because I had about 5 pool builders laugh at me and think i was crazy when I insisted that they use Rigid PVC over Flex in their quotes for me in New York. Based on alot of misinformation here, I was persistent in trying to persuade them that Rigid PVC is superior then Flex.
    If that misinformation that you got here was from me, then I will apologize for your embarrassment in requesting it from the builders you spoke with.

    Now, I also want to clarify, and suggest a little common sense come in to play. If freezing is an issue, and deep burial is not an option, then I totally understand that flex may be a good (or maybe the only) option in this case. That is not what I was trying to convey. My point on flex is that it is an inferior strength product to rigid PVC, with much greater opportunity for failure. It is more susceptible to abrasion from rocks, puncture from tie wire or penetration from a shovel, if accidentally hit. If termites are present, they will eat it. None of those issues are present with rigid PVC.

    Where I am located (and it does not freeze) flex is an inferior way to plumb a pool. A good plumber does not worry about his joints leaking (we keep all plumbing under pressure until plaster, so we know if we have a leak) and I cannot recall a leak from a fitting in the last 15 years that I have been in pools, or in all the miles of grove plumbing I did prior to getting in to the pool industry. We all (in my group) plumb everything above ground with clear glue as well, so that it looks neater, and we do not have leaks, even though we cannot see the primer/glue for coverage. A good plumber can plumb a pool in rigid PVC, with no leaks. The only reason (again, here) for flex is to go faster; it is not a better product, it is just faster and easier to work with than PVC.

    Again, I am sorry if I embarrassed anyone, and I apologize.

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    Re: Why not Flexpipe? Why 2" rigid?

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    it is not a better product

    .
    Again, your opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz

    puncture from tie wire
    You still assume gunite. Vinyl pools use no tie wire.

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    Where I am located (and it does not freeze) flex is an inferior way to plumb a pool.
    Your opinion. I can find dozens who would disagree. All im trying to show here is that we all have opinions. I just want people to understand that statements like those above are opinion, not fact. There is no pool builders code book that says it's inferior. Vinyl pools are built totally different than gunite. The plumbing is much simpler and can be done in about 2 hours. Sure, it's faster. Thats one reason a vinyl pool is about half the price of a gunite. I just dont want people to think that all builders up here are inferior and cant figure out how to build a pool that will last just because they dont use rigid PVC.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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