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DeChantal Apartments
Saranac Lake NY

Half-century-old senior housing complex repipes leaky copper plumbing with an Uponor AquaPEX® system

The DeChantal Apartments located in Saranac Lake, N.Y. is an affordable senior housing complex in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains in the northeast portion of the state. As the apartments began to age, it became clear the 96,000-square-foot building was in need of a plumbing repipe. The team at Hall Plumbing & Heating called upon Uponor for a PEX plumbing system to confidently and reliably repipe the 45-year-old building.

The town’s water supply was previously connected to Lake Placid, but after the Health Department codes changed, the town had to drill private wells to supply water to the rest of the village. Due to the poor water conditions, explained Tom Hall of Hall Plumbing & Heating, the copper plumbing system began to fail.

“Ninety percent of the copper leaks are hot water in the solder joints,” explained Steve Ziamandanis from Northeast Sales Associates LLC. “There was no way they were going to repipe the failing copper pipes with copper again, and CPVC would have taken far too long. They chose PEX for the system reliability and efficient installation.”

The renovation called for repair of the leak damage from the copper pipes in the walls and ceilings as well as a repipe with Uponor AquaPEX® in ½" to 3" pipe sizes. “Installers at Hall Plumbing & Heating worked with Uponor PEX their entire career in ¾" to 1" pipe sizes, but Uponor really responded to their need when they found out about the industry-first Uponor PEX pipe and ProPEX® fitting offering in 2½" and 3" sizes.”

The biggest challenge, as in most repipe jobs, is maintaining the minimum distances between fittings in the preexisting tight spaces. “PEX added the flexibility we needed to maneuver though the building repipe,” said Hall. The building codes and construction would not allow for the use of torches in the ceiling, which made upgrading to the Uponor ProPEX fitting system a smart business choice for the project as it does not require torches, glues or gauges.

For the tenants and crew, staying within the project timeline was nonnegotiable and Uponor PEX was able to deliver a high-quality system on time and within budget. “PEX has a much quicker installation versus copper with half the labor costs,” explained Hall.

Project Highlights:

• 96,000-square-foot multifamily complex
• Failing copper plumbing repiped with Uponor AquaPEX
• Contractor: Hall Plumbing & Heating
• Rep: Northeast Sales Associates LLC
• Wholesaler: VP Supply

Benefits of repiping with Uponor PEX

• Pipe's flexibility minimizes impact on existing structure, allowing smaller holes in walls and faster repair times for residents
• Uponor PEX won't pit, scale or corrode and is highly resistant to freeze damage
• Uponor system backed by a 25-year transferable warranty for confidence the system is designed to last