Plumbing makeover in upstate N.Y. senior living apartments

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Built in the early 1970s, the 96,000-square-foot De Chantal Apartments needed to have its plumbing system entirely repiped — and not just because of its age. Water supplies, once drawn from a nearby lake, now came from private wells, whose water chemistry played havoc with the copper tubing, especially the solder joints where the vast majority of the leaks originated.

The remedy? Repipe the entire building with PEX-a tubing (“AquaPEX”), manufactured by Uponor. Backed by a 25-year transferable warranty, this material will not pit, scale or corrode and is highly resistant to freeze damage — a key consideration in Saranac Lake, located in the far northern section of Upstate New York.

The complex chose Uponor AquaPEX for the re-pipe due to its fast installation and durability that is resistant to corrosion and scale buildup.

Not only did Hall Plumbing & Heating use the smaller diameter PEX pipe (1/2-inch and 3/4-inch), but also the larger diameters — up to 3 inches — required in a multi-story building like De Chantal.

The copper piping, which was ultimately replaced, exposed to corrosion. The original copper plumbing in the senior living complex began to corrode when the city changed its water source from a nearby lake to private wells.

De Chantal owners understandably wanted to restore the plumbing system as quickly as possible. Hall Plumbing & Heating was able to meet their demanding project timeline and stay within budget, while also cutting its labor costs in half, according to owner Tom Hall. The flexibility of the pipe made it easier for installers to maneuver the pipe runs through the older building’s tight spaces, while maintaining minimum distances between fittings. In addition, using ProPEX fitting system enabled Hall’s crews to comply with the local building-code prohibition of the use of torches in the ceiling.

Thomas Hall, owner of Hall Plumbing and Heating

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