Bad plumbing contributes to one of the main headaches of Costa Rican constructions for their future owners. To start with there is no trade called a plumber in Costa Rica – or at least I have not met one jet in my +10 years in the country. Which means that basically anybody on the job site thinks he can do the plumbing and everybody knows how to do it. Well sort of …
Here are the problems:
- Plumbing the hot and cold water line is done here mainly with PVC and CPVC pipes which are 6m long plastic tubes which get glued together on the job with fittings. I have so far never seen copper installed in a house in Costa Rica.
- There are at least 3 different qualities of PVC tubing from cheap thin tubes to expensive high water pressure tubes. In depends on the builder usually which ones he chooses.
- Even if the high pressure quality is used the tubing has to be installed with care. They should be sanded on the ends and cleaned with acetone before gluing them together. Again very often that will not happen.
- Also since there is usually no plumbing plan to speak off tubes get just cut off and put together on the spot.
- Also since those tubes come in 6m pieces and they don’t bend they have to be cut more and elbows and unions have to be used so more cutting and gluing and more problems with faulty connections in the future.
- In addition those tubes get thrown usually into the slab often without even closing the ends off so when the slab gets poured often concrete ends up in the tubing which plugs them forever.
Here is the solution:
- The PEX plumbing system is a far superior and environmental friendly method for cold and hot water plumbing.
- Tubes come in rolls of up to 1000ft and they can be bent around obstacles without the need for fittings.
- Tubes are color coded and suitable for hot and cold water and prices are below the high pressure water tubes in Costa Rica
- Less or no fittings are used behind walls or in floors therefor there is less chance of leakage in the future.
- Faster hot water delivery – properly sized lines deliver hot water up to four times faster than conventional plumbing systems.
- Better control of the plumbing system – individual shutoff valves provide a simple way of servicing a fixture or adding on to the system.
- Balanced water delivery – multiple fixtures can be used simultaneously without noticeable pressure or temperature changes.
- Much faster and securer install with high end crimp tooling.
We install the PEX plumbing as a parallel system using Manabloc manifolds and Ox box outlet boxes in which case we can plumb a whole house with no fittings hidden inside walls or floors. By installing a manifold system near the hot water source, tubing can be run directly to each fixture without using further fittings. This system provides the lowest pressure losses as well as eliminating interference between fixtures. Often each fixture can be fed with smaller diameter tubing which is easier and faster to install.
We further recommend a filter system like the Big Boy Pura water filter system which consists of a sediment filter a carbon filter and a UV filter system in one unit. This system will keep the dirt and sediments out of the plumbing and the fixtures and in addition will provide save drinking water with the UV lamp.