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Thread: Why would NIBCO/CPI Durapex PEX split (lengthwise) and leak?

  1. #91
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    Angry Any new developments on CPI/Nibco probem??

    Same thing. House built in 2005. Pipe has split 4 times this year. Insurance paid for clean up not replacing pipe. Builder is bankrupt. Plumber is out of business. Called Nibco and they will not take ownership for CPI pipe. Any lawsuits yet against Nibco??
    Last edited by rroyall; 12-16-2010 at 03:46 PM.

  2. #92
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Any class action suits for NIBCO for its 1970's type M copper water line that falls apart?

  3. #93
    DIY Junior Member tom&jeanne337's Avatar
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    We are new to the site. We have had 6 leaks in NIBCO PEX hot water pipes since last January. NIBCO offered to replace the pipe for free==not the installation. Our insurance company has requested the latest piece for independent testing. If we don't get satisfaction from NIBCO in reimbursing us for new installation of pipe--not from NIBCO, we would be interested in exploring a class action suit. The plumbers estimate is reasonable, but the cutting of drywall, tile, floors etc. is another matter.

  4. #94
    DIY Junior Member tom&jeanne337's Avatar
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    We are definitely interested in a class action suit

  5. #95
    DIY Junior Member Roger1's Avatar
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    Default Class Action... LET'S DO IT!!

    Quote Originally Posted by tom&jeanne337 View Post
    We are definitely interested in a class action suit
    LET'S DO IT!! (Please read my post on page 5, 12-22-2009/ S.W. Alabama home)
    Contact me @ landstarpfl (on yahoo instant messenger)
    Thanks! Roger1

  6. #96
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Now you just need a sleazy lawyer that will get 75% of the proceeds instead of the class parties.

  7. #97
    DIY Junior Member snish's Avatar
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    Default More DuraPex issues / questions from Charlotte area

    Just found this website after experiencing our own issues. We've had 5 leaks in the red 3/4" DuraPex (hot water) and I ended up replacing all of that pipe but did not replace any of the other. I assumed we had gotten a bad batch and the rest was okay.

    Today the contractors were scheduled to arrive to begin fixing all of the holes in the ceilings and walls, but last night we had another leak in a red 1/2" pipe (still hot water). So I called them to postpone their work so I can get all of the 1/2" replaced as well.

    Those of you that had your pipes replaced, did you have all of the cold water lines replaced also or did you just do the hot water side?

    We just bought this house in Lake Wylie, SC 1 year ago (it was built in 2006) and I loved the fact it had so many bathrooms. Now I am cursing that we have 7 bathrooms and 2 kitchens to completely replumb!! All of the Durapex was dated from 2005 and 2005 manufacturing dates.

    After reading all of the previous posts, it looks like it is useless to contact the company, but count me in if it is possible to file a class action.

  8. #98
    Journeyman/Inspector Inspektor Ludwig's Avatar
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    One thing to keep in mind is that one of the selling points of PEX was it's ability to withstand freezing without bursting. This was a big selling point but has proven to be untrue. The manufacturers clearly state that the piping should not be installed in places where freezing can occur or steps should be taken by the installer to make sure that the pipes do not freeze. This includes your garage, outside walls, attic spaces and crawlspace. You may think that if you have your kitchen sink on the outside wall and it's insulated that the pipes are insulated as well but they may not be. If you install pex in an outside wall past the centerline of the stud and put insulation on the front side of the piping, you are exposing the pex to the cold outside air and not allowing any of the warm air in the room to keep the pipes from freezing. Pipes installed in attics spaces, even with individual pipe insulation will still freeze, it's not enough protection. All your doing is keeping the freezing cold in the pipes when the attic space heats up during the day. PEX needs to be installed so that warmth from the living space can get to the pipes. In the wall you would need to have the pipes moved to the front side of the centerline of the studs and have house insulation placed BEHIND the pipes and have NO insulation in front of the pipes, same for the attic and crawl. Keep the pipes as close as possible to the floor or ceiling and put insulation either under the pipes in the crawl or over the pipes in the attic and have no insulation between the pipes and the floor or ceiling. This allows the warmth of the room to penetrate the drywall and move into the space between the insulation and the floor or ceiling, creating a little pocket of warm air. The first thing I would note if you have a leak is where was the pipe located ie; garage, outside wall, ceiling, floor? Before removing any insulation, look to see where within the space the pipe is located, on the outside of the studs, inside of the studs, above the ceiling joists, below the crawl joists, above or below the insulation? Note where the insulation is located, is it in front of the pipe, behind the pipe, all around the pipe? Does it have individual pipe insulation around it but no house insulation like in an attic? Note what you were doing when the leak occured, where you out of town so the hot water wouldn't be used for a while, was it in the winter time? What about hangers and supports, did they use metal plumbers tape or is the piping resting on a sharp metal surface or is it up against concrete (both no no's). The only reason I'm bringing up these scenarios is because the manufacturer will claim that it was a faulty installation and not a defective product so you would need to get your ducks in a row to prove it was faulty BUT in most cases I can tell you that from what I've seen it the number one reason why pex splits is because it was not adequatley protected from freezing. The plumber could have done everything right but if he did not include insulation in his bid then he can't control what the General Contractor will do when it comes to insulation. The plumber may even tell the GC how the insulation should be installed to protect the pipes but he has no control over what the GC decides to do. Also check and see what temperature you have your hot water tank set to. If you're over 120 then they'll say that you didn't install it to code, if your pressure exceeds what your local code says it should be then that's another thing they'll say you didn't do right. Basically your fighting an uphill battle proving a faulty product when chances are they'll say it was a faulty installation.

    Last edited by Terry; 02-20-2011 at 12:20 PM. Reason: added picture

  9. #99
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There are three different recognized methods of producing pex pipe and they are classified as -A, -B, and -C. -A is the oldest, most expensive, and produces the most complete cross-linking of the pipe and produces the most flexible and strongest version. The other types can be good, are usually less expensive, but if there is a little error in the process, much quicker to exhibit problems. -B and -C came about by trying to make it faster and cheaper, and sometimes, you pay for it in the end - stringent QA/QC is required. When pex is not fully cross-linked, it can fail under stressful situations. This could be caused by a slight temperature variation or chemical makeup issue hiccup during manufacturing. If it is exposed to too much UV before installation or after, it will be degraded and could fail. The fittings are not freezeproof, and those can fail. -A pex is the only one that can be safely 'restored' if it gets kinked without having to cut the kink out and replacing with a fitting as required on -B and -C formulated pex tubing. So, take this into consideration when choosing pex. If properly produced, it should survive the expansion caused by freezing if it wasn't already degraded during either manufacturing or exposure to UV or other handling issues (like pulling it through a tight hole and scoring it along the length). But, as noted, the fittings probably won't survive if they also get frozen.

    Proving UV exposure didn't weaken the tubing is probably tough. But, randomly splitting for no obvious other reason may be a manufacturing defect. The tubing could be analyzed to determine how well cross-linked the molecules are, and that would tell, but the test is likely expensive.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #100
    DIY Junior Member snish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inspektor Ludwig View Post
    One thing to keep in mind is that one of the selling points of PEX was it's ability to withstand freezing without bursting...
    I can assure you that the issues we are having are not related to temperature or installation. We have not had any of the large splits shown in early posts, but rather very small pinhole leaks which over a few hours can generate a lot of water and damage. However, the cracks / holes are almost undectectable once the water is turned off.

    All of the leaks we have had so far are between the first and second story of our house where all of our plumbing runs. Both floors are temperature controlled and the pipes are insulated since they carry hot water. The leaks have occured in areas where there in no contact with sharp edges and as I have replaced the lines, they slide easily through the holes through the joists without scraping.

    Apparently some batches of DuraPex was manufactured a few years ago that for whatever reason is now failing.

  11. #101
    DIY Junior Member reirizt's Avatar
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    Angry Add me to the list...

    Add me to the list. I have had 3 leaks on the hot water side (all within just a few feet of the water heater) in the last year. Used one plumber for the first 2 times, then a different one when first one moved out of town. Both plumbers said it looked like a manufacturer's defect in the CPI Dura-Pex piping. My house was built in 2003 and it is in Fort Mill, SC. From what I have read here, it really sounds like a bad batch got through. I would be interested in a class action against Nibco, who bought this company and should be held responsible. I was also lucky to have been home every time the leaks sprouted, and avoided catastrophic damage to my home. But the plumber said it is probably going to keep happening until I replace all the defective piping. I may try replacing the 20 feet or so suggested in previous posts, and the plumber lowered the water pressure to 65 lbs thinking it might help some. Also suggested I replace the expansion tank, as it was full of water. Please contact me if interested in starting a lawsuit. Maybe if we get a decent number, all it would take would be a strongly worded letter from an attorney stating the number of parties involved to get Nibco to settle. Who knows?

  12. #102
    DIY Junior Member Michelle Mull's Avatar
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    We have had 4 leaks where the dura pex split length wise. We have a Henry Company Home built July 2007. I sent a sample of the split pex to Nibco for them to test for defects. They said their testing did not find the pipe defective. I have contacted Henry Homes but they are not cooperating with us. The plumbers we have used for repairs said we need to replace all the pex in our home. Our insurance company will not pay to have the pipe replaced. We are in a mess. Has anyone contacted a lawyer about this? We need help ASAP!

  13. #103
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I dunno, sending the material to the company that makes it is sort of like asking a murderer if he is innocent. They have a huge liability issue if they say yes, it is defective/guilty.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #104
    DIY Junior Member chowell's Avatar
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    I had the same problem with cpi durapex home built in 2004 bought it this year had the entire house replumbed after owning it for only 2 months due to severe leaks at the hot water heater and under the kitchen sink. The builder, plumber, nor supplier will take responsability i have talked to several attorneys and gotten no where nibco will not accept responsibility for cpi brand pipe they bought out in 2006. Class action needed yes, please contact me with any info. I hate to tell yall but that pipe is all through your houses and in yr slab like a bomb waiting to go off i made the decision to replumb the entire house instead of using that money to hire and attorney to fight these bastards. Tough decision live in yr house with water or fight for whats right!!!!!!!!!

  15. #105
    DIY Junior Member yuttay's Avatar
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    We're in Fort Mill, house built in 2003, and we've had two leaks within 5 feet of the water heater. The first was before I bought the house and the second just happened. The pipe is now replaced with new pex from the hot water heater into the crawl space, so hopefully any new leaks will be limited to there. I would certainly be interested in a class action suit as this is the second time the house has been torn apart to remediate water damage.

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