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Thread: PEX and CPVC

  1. #1
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Default PEX and CPVC

    There is always a lot of discussion of these materials on the forums.

    The 2006 California Plumbing Code ( based on 2006 UPC ) basically allows PEX, but not adopted by certain state agencies.
    As far as I know, this is still the status of PEX in San Diego:
    http://www.sandiego.gov/development-...pdf/pexltr.pdf

    As for CPVC, the code grants to local authority the power to approve the use of CPVC, subject to some severe requirements. The plumbing contractor must provide written certification that he will comply with the flushing and worker safety measures of section 301.0 of Appendix I. There is also a provision that a contractor or subcontractor who fails to comply with the flushing, gloves, and ventilation of section 1.2.2 of appendix I, and IAPMO IS 20-2005, shall be subject to penalties.....etc.

    Not surprising that I don't see much CPVC being used here either!

  2. #2
    DIY Member brother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post

    Not surprising that I don't see much CPVC being used here either!
    so is it mostly copper being used there??

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brother View Post
    so is it mostly copper being used there??

    Exactly. I am talking San Diego county. I have seen both PEX and CPVC in Riverside county. That is an area which has a lot of mobile homes and manufactured homes. A lot of plastic pipe comes in via those routes, and you have to be able to repair it, I guess.

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    DIY Senior Member Phil H2's Avatar
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    It looks like California is considering a more widespread use of PEX. Here is link to a notice that says they are going to prepare an Eniviromental Impact Report for the use of PEX. http://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/bsc/...2010.31.07.pdf

    The letter from San Diego is a little old and was written before the new plumbing code. A quick search on San Diego's website provided some information on the new codes. http://www.sandiego.gov/development-...fchanges07.pdf

  5. #5
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking an Eniviromental Impact Report ...LOL

    someone has landed the job of provideing the
    state of california with an Eniviromental Impact Report

    I would love to know who got to do this report and how much
    that is going to cost the state of Cali-forni-cation to have it done.....


    a few million dollars probably to tell explain to the lawyers in the
    legislature how great the stuff is and how it wont hurt the environment....

    The REAL environmental impact wont be from the actual PEX
    pipe but from all the failures and flooding disasters that will surely
    arise over the next 10 years.....

    I would think it would be best if this Eniviromental Impact Report
    was actually performed by the insurance companies in the State
    who will eventually get stuck holding the bag with the enormous
    lawsuits, litigations, and property damages that will eventually arise
    throughout the state...over the next 10 years........

    All they really got to do is look at Las-Vegas and Minnesota. to see what
    the eivironmental impact will be like for them..


    my bet is Governer Arnie or some of his freinds are
    being bribed handsomely by the people that make all the
    different forms of pex to get pex ram-rodded through... ..

    I'll be back.......

  6. #6
    DIY Member brother's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by master plumber mark View Post
    someone has landed the job of provideing the
    state of california with an Eniviromental Impact Report

    I would love to know who got to do this report and how much
    that is going to cost the state of Cali-forni-cation to have it done.....


    a few million dollars probably to tell explain to the lawyers in the
    legislature how great the stuff is and how it wont hurt the environment....


    The REAL environmental impact wont be from the actual PEX
    pipe but from all the failures and flooding disasters that will surely
    arise over the next 10 years.....

    I would think it would be best if this Eniviromental Impact Report
    was actually performed by the insurance companies in the State
    who will eventually get stuck holding the bag with the enormous
    lawsuits, litigations, and property damages that will eventually arise
    throughout the state...over the next 10 years........

    All they really got to do is look at Las-Vegas and Minnesota. to see what
    the eivironmental impact will be like for them..


    my bet is Governer Arnie or some of his freinds are
    being bribed handsomely by the people that make all the
    different forms of pex to get pex ram-rodded through... ..

    I'll be back.......
    so is PEX a bad product??I was told that it was ok and even better than cpvc. is this not true?? Is it best to stay with copper??

  7. #7
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking copper is best.....

    Of course Copper is the absolute best...

    but it is the most expensive way to do a home...

    probably adds about $ 700 ---$1500
    to the cost of any plumbing system..
    (ballpark estimate )


    money is the only thing that matters $$price price price....

    followed probably by CPVC.... which is pretty good all in all

    then along comes a whole bunch
    of untested- un-proven new Pexes you can choose from....


    but only the WIRSBO pex seems to be the best


    all the others have a long string of disaster stories
    across the USA...

    and probably a few to come to your town soon.

  8. #8
    Plumbing Company Owner smellslike$tome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by master plumber mark View Post
    Of course Copper is the absolute best...

    but it is the most expensive way to do a home...

    probably adds about $ 700 ---$1500
    to the cost of any plumbing system..
    (ballpark estimate )


    money is the only thing that matters $$price price price....

    followed probably by CPVC.... which is pretty good all in all

    then along comes a whole bunch
    of untested- un-proven new Pexes you can choose from....


    but only the WIRSBO pex seems to be the best


    all the others have a long string of disaster stories
    across the USA...

    and probably a few to come to your town soon.
    I repair failed copper systems almost every week. I have yet to be called to repair a pex system. I repair PB (always in mobile homes) all the time too but not pex. When the first pin hole leak shows up in copper I tell people to begin preparing to re-pipe the house. No one can predict how long it might be until the next one comes but it will come and at some point it does not make sense to keep repairing them. When we re-pipe a house we do it in pex. As for CPVC, I have run miles of it in the past when I worked for another plumbing company. We used it as an alternative to copper in an area where copper systems were not lasting 5 years. Within just a very short time cpvc will become very brittle to the point that it is very difficult to cut with hand cutters because it tends to want to shatter at the end. Cpvc has NO FREEZE TOLERANCE nor does copper really, pex on the other hand will swell up to twice it's normal size when water freezes inside of it but will not burst or split. When it thaws it resumes it's original shape.

  9. #9
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking True true true

    This debate has gone on for quite a while here

    I really hate to stir it up again....

    Yes the copper can develope pin holes, but on
    average its in a system well over 30 years old

    (in our region it has served us well)


    You have not run across a failed pex system becasue most
    of them are not over 10 years old yet.......

    my own personal home was built in 1964 with copper L
    and is stil fine.......

    I dread the day it finally
    does fail in the slab.... I will probably start crying..

    but what more can you ask than having a system
    last from 1964 to 2007??? thats 43 years and counting

    again we dont realy know how long Wirsbo, vanguard,
    Kitech, Zurn, or whatver will last
    with the chlorine in the water systems and whatever
    other inhibitors that they might add to the water some day....

    your guess is as good as mine.....
    and if we are very lucky...
    it will be some other dumb-ass that will
    have to change all it out 15 years from now

    would you like to be one of the fellows being sued
    in the Kitech fiasco in Las Vegas??? 50,000 homes...


    In all Honesty....one of the main reasons everyone has gone to PEX

    is that pex wont grow legs and walk off a job site after it has been installed....

    and the copper has to be guarded
    till someone moves into the home...

  10. #10
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Default Plastic is lawsuit prone

    Copper works well but everyone ignores the water condition problem. Sounds like alabama has no method or willingness to fix the core problem, just employ the symptom fixers.



    Another debate of piping choices?



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    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  11. #11
    Plumbing Company Owner smellslike$tome's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by master plumber mark View Post
    This debate has gone on for quite a while here

    I really hate to stir it up again....

    Yes the copper can develope pin holes, but on
    average its in a system well over 30 years old

    (in our region it has served us well)

    my own personal home was built in 1964 with copper L
    and is stil fine.......

    I dread the day it finally
    does fail in the slab.... I will probably start crying..

    but what more can you ask than having a system
    last from 1964 to 2007???

    again we dont realy know how long Wirsbo, vanguard,
    Kitech, Zurn, or whatver will last
    with the chlorine in the water systems and whatever
    other inhibitors that they might add to the water some day....

    your guess is as good as mine.....
    and if we are very lucky...
    it will be some other dumb-ass that will
    have to change all it out 20 years form now


    Honestly....one of the main reason everyone has gone to PEX

    is that pex wont grow legs and walk off a job site after it has been installed....

    and the copper has to be guarded
    till someone moves into the home...
    The copper thieves have gotten so bad in my area that local pd set up stings to try and slow it down.

    For the record I am certainly not anti copper. Copper installs mean more revenue for the company. As piping systems go however, I personally hold pex to be at least equal and probably superior to copper. Ultimately it is up to the client. I am happy to install either but when they see the cost difference they usually go with the pex. I have a 60 year old ranch house w/crawl space. I have all copper water distribution piping. I have yet to experience my first copper pipe failure. This home was even originally on well water although it hasn't been for at least 25 years and probably longer.
    Should it become necessary to re-pipe I will do it in pex.

  12. #12
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Default

    CPVC is good enough for industrial piping and is qualified for use in fire sprinkler systems. It is certainly adequate for residential water systems.

    http://www.harvel.com/tech-specs-cpvc-pipe.asp

    In addition to tube sizes 1/2" to 2", CPVC is available in Schedule 40 and Schedule 80 Iron Pipe Sizes from 1/8" to 24". I have not seen the pipe sizes, or tube sizes greater than 3/4", sold in the Big Box stores.

    FROM THE LINK ABOVE:
    CPVC PIPE
    Click here to download specification sheet
    APPLICATION:
    Corrosion resistant pressure pipe, IPS sizes 1/8" through 24", for use at temperatures up to and including 200F. Pressure rating (130 psi to 1130 psi) varies with schedule, pipe size, and temperature as shown on page 2 of this specification, and as stated in Harvel Plastics, Inc. engineering bulletin (Product Bulletin 112/401). Generally resistant to most acids, bases, salts, aliphatic solutions, oxidants, and halogens. Chemical resistance data is available and should be referenced for proper material selection. Pipe exhibits excellent flammability characteristics (ULC Listed for Surface Burning Characteristics) and other physical properties. Typical applications include: chemical processing, plating, high purity applications, hot and cold potable water systems, water and wastewater treatment, and other industrial applications involving hot corrosive fluid transfer.

    Here is another link:
    http://www.ppfahome.org/cpvc/index.html


    CODE STATUS
    CPVC piping for potable hot and cold water distribution systems is recognized in all model plumbing codes.
    Also, CPVC plumbing pipe is safe for installation in return air plenums; however, the installation must be approved by the local jurisdiction. Even though CPVC is considered a combustible material it will not burn without a significant external flame source. Once the flame source is removed CPVC will not sustain combustion. Testing indicates that water filled CPVC in diameters 3" or less will pass the 25/50 flame smoke developed requirements for non-metallic material in return air plenums. CPVC fire sprinkler pipe tested and listed in accordance with UL 1887, "Fire Test of Plastic Sprinkler Pipe for Flame and Smoke Characteristics," meets the requirements of NFPA 90A for installation in return air plenums.

  13. #13

    Default

    I have to say I like pex so far. Granted my house is only 2 years old, but this morning I had my pex pipe freeze because some insulation fell out of a fresh air inlet for the house. My plumber told me to put a heater under the pipe and thaw it out. The pipe had expanded a little where it was frozen. After about ten minutes the pex thawed and water started flowing again. I've checked it just a while ago and the pipe looks like nothing had happened. I'm almost certain if it were copper it would have burst. After reading this thread I may come back in 8 years saying pex stinks, but for now it's great.

  14. #14
    Plumbing Company Owner smellslike$tome's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
    CPVC is good enough for industrial piping and is qualified for use in fire sprinkler systems. It is certainly adequate for residential water systems.

    http://www.harvel.com/tech-specs-cpvc-pipe.asp

    In addition to tube sizes 1/2" to 2", CPVC is available in Schedule 40 and Schedule 80 Iron Pipe Sizes from 1/8" to 24". I have not seen the pipe sizes, or tube sizes greater than 3/4", sold in the Big Box stores.

    FROM THE LINK ABOVE:
    CPVC PIPE
    Click here to download specification sheet
    APPLICATION:
    Corrosion resistant pressure pipe, IPS sizes 1/8" through 24", for use at temperatures up to and including 200F. Pressure rating (130 psi to 1130 psi) varies with schedule, pipe size, and temperature as shown on page 2 of this specification, and as stated in Harvel Plastics, Inc. engineering bulletin (Product Bulletin 112/401). Generally resistant to most acids, bases, salts, aliphatic solutions, oxidants, and halogens. Chemical resistance data is available and should be referenced for proper material selection. Pipe exhibits excellent flammability characteristics (ULC Listed for Surface Burning Characteristics) and other physical properties. Typical applications include: chemical processing, plating, high purity applications, hot and cold potable water systems, water and wastewater treatment, and other industrial applications involving hot corrosive fluid transfer.

    Here is another link:
    http://www.ppfahome.org/cpvc/index.html


    CODE STATUS
    CPVC piping for potable hot and cold water distribution systems is recognized in all model plumbing codes.
    Also, CPVC plumbing pipe is safe for installation in return air plenums; however, the installation must be approved by the local jurisdiction. Even though CPVC is considered a combustible material it will not burn without a significant external flame source. Once the flame source is removed CPVC will not sustain combustion. Testing indicates that water filled CPVC in diameters 3" or less will pass the 25/50 flame smoke developed requirements for non-metallic material in return air plenums. CPVC fire sprinkler pipe tested and listed in accordance with UL 1887, "Fire Test of Plastic Sprinkler Pipe for Flame and Smoke Characteristics," meets the requirements of NFPA 90A for installation in return air plenums.
    PB is still code approved as far as I know but that doesn't mean I am going to use it. I'm not sure if I could even find a place to buy it if I wanted to although I'm sure it could still be obtained somewhere. Everyone has their favorite I guess but cpvc is not even an option that I offer. I will leave the research for others. All I can go on is my own experience with the product and based on that I will not offer it and will not warranty it if someone insists on having it. On the other hand we offer written 20 year warranties for both copper and pex when we are doing whole house repipes.

  15. #15
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    When CPVC freezes and bursts, it usually runs longways down the pipe and is very hard to detect this until you reconnect and find out the hard way.

    When I did busted/frozen water lines this past winter I wouldn't even bother doing anything other than replacing the entire section between fittings where a leak was.

    Has a tendency to spread water damage a great deal more because that water will fan out of that longways leak...covering a larger area until the water is shut off.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

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