Uponer Pex-A for Repipe

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Nebojsa

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PEX should be UV protected both at the manufacturing facility, the distributor, the local store
Keep PEX covered
It makes sense, the question is why it is not done. Is it because the jury is still out, not that big of a issue, localized problem only. To me sounds like they don't want to admit that there is a problem, which is the problem.
What about the other pex that i have seen at my local H.D. ----the Sharkbite pex.
 
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Master Plumber Mark

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The way I see this is that the exposure time isn't a binary thing - if you're at say 25 days exposure you've done no damage but at 32 days you've got garbage. It seems to me that any UV exposure will take life out of the pipe at the far end. 30 days is a short window and tells me that any UV exposure is bad.

I agree that all PEX should be UV protected both at the manufacturing facility, the distributor, the local store, and during and after installation. Even the big box stores have bright LED lighting which puts out a surprising amount of UV light. Probably the safest way to buy PEX is in straight lengths as long as it's boxed, particularly type A.

I wonder how much PEX was stored outside at the plumber contractors or in the back of a pickup truck, and wonder if that might explain the relatively small amount of PEX that fails overall but would also account for the many leaks that seem to occur all at the same location!

John


I wonder how much light and exposure pex receives just in a simple open , unfinished area in a basement??
Lots of Pex is exposed to light for decades on end that has been installed in garages, basements ect......

So you we talking about DIRECT sunlight only here or IN-DIRECT light just coming through doors and windows .....and how much exposure is bad......??

Then you have to factor in the amount of chlorines that the water company is putting in the water and how
it has a tendency to break down pexes over time....

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now I have found this issue Recently ( 3 weeks ago)


I installed about 60 feet of Blue Uponor pex through a crawl space for a water softener insallation
and I found that the BLUE coloring was actually just lightly sprayed onto the outside of the pipe.....

you can take a peice of sandpaper and sand off the coloring --and they claim it was Uponor pipe

I have used sharkbite fittings for well over 20 years on clear pex pipe with no issues many times before so I just installed a sharkbite elbow in the crawl space attaching to the main copper line coming into
the home..to the blue pex line

Then I come to find out after about a month,
that the fitting started to slightly leak on the blue pex side of the connection...

I took the fitting apart to find that the blue coloring had degraded and actually washed off the pipe
and it was leaking through the "o" ring.....

I guess I discovered you cant use shark bite fittings on colored pexes and

I will have to go back out next week and change this line out to a clear pex

This was very frustrating....... when you find they are putting a film on the pipes now and
I suppose the pipe is only supposed to be used with the expandable rings and not sharkbites

They were shocked about this issue at the supply house and I am supposed
to give them back about 30 feet of this defective roll next week and get a free 100 foot
roll of the clear stuff...
 

JohnCT

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So one might say if you buy any PEX, should be wrapped in a black covering to eliminate UV while stored slash transported. Wondered why all PEX makers don't do this? Most all the PEX at Home Depot is naked to the eye if I recall.

I wonder how much light and exposure pex receives just in a simple open , unfinished area in a basement??
Lots of Pex is exposed to light for decades on end that has been installed in garages, basements ect......

So you we talking about DIRECT sunlight only here or IN-DIRECT light just coming through doors and windows .....and how much exposure is bad......??

Then you have to factor in the amount of chlorines that the water company is putting in the water and how
it has a tendency to break down pexes over time....

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now I have found this issue Recently ( 3 weeks ago)


I installed about 60 feet of Blue Uponor pex through a crawl space for a water softener insallation
and I found that the BLUE coloring was actually just lightly sprayed onto the outside of the pipe.....

you can take a peice of sandpaper and sand off the coloring --and they claim it was Uponor pipe

I have used sharkbite fittings for well over 20 years on clear pex pipe with no issues many times before so I just installed a sharkbite elbow in the crawl space attaching to the main copper line coming into
the home..to the blue pex line

Then I come to find out after about a month,
that the fitting started to slightly leak on the blue pex side of the connection...

I took the fitting apart to find that the blue coloring had degraded and actually washed off the pipe
and it was leaking through the "o" ring.....

I guess I discovered you cant use shark bite fittings on colored pexes and

I will have to go back out next week and change this line out to a clear pex

This was very frustrating....... when you find they are putting a film on the pipes now and
I suppose the pipe is only supposed to be used with the expandable rings and not sharkbites

They were shocked about this issue at the supply house and I am supposed
to give them back about 30 feet of this defective roll next week and get a free 100 foot
roll of the clear stuff...

Yes, UV exposure is cumulative. So even indirect sunlight on exposed basement pipes will have a long term effect on the PEX.

I don't use Sharkbites (or Propress either for that matter) because I don't like the idea of relying on an O ring for sealing, but I also wonder if the stiffener was used on the Sharkbite that is necessary for PEX. For copper I sweat the pipe, for PEX I expand it. Both connections are virtually lifetime, and although I don't crimp PEX, I would still prefer crimped PEX over a Sharkbite because all PEX is flexible.

Regarding the blue pipe, Uponor does NOT color their pipes all the way through. They do a color additive process to the pipe, at least the first generation. I heard that Uponor reintroduced colored pipe, and I don't know if the color is through the pipe like everyone else does or is still additive.

I have never used any red and blue pipe ever because it looks so amateurish installed, at least to my eye.

John
 

Jeff H Young

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I wonder how much light and exposure pex receives just in a simple open , unfinished area in a basement??
Lots of Pex is exposed to light for decades on end that has been installed in garages, basements ect......

So you we talking about DIRECT sunlight only here or IN-DIRECT light just coming through doors and windows .....and how much exposure is bad......??

Then you have to factor in the amount of chlorines that the water company is putting in the water and how
it has a tendency to break down pexes over time....

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now I have found this issue Recently ( 3 weeks ago)


I installed about 60 feet of Blue Uponor pex through a crawl space for a water softener insallation
and I found that the BLUE coloring was actually just lightly sprayed onto the outside of the pipe.....

you can take a peice of sandpaper and sand off the coloring --and they claim it was Uponor pipe

I have used sharkbite fittings for well over 20 years on clear pex pipe with no issues many times before so I just installed a sharkbite elbow in the crawl space attaching to the main copper line coming into
the home..to the blue pex line

Then I come to find out after about a month,
that the fitting started to slightly leak on the blue pex side of the connection...

I took the fitting apart to find that the blue coloring had degraded and actually washed off the pipe
and it was leaking through the "o" ring.....

I guess I discovered you cant use shark bite fittings on colored pexes and

I will have to go back out next week and change this line out to a clear pex

This was very frustrating....... when you find they are putting a film on the pipes now and
I suppose the pipe is only supposed to be used with the expandable rings and not sharkbites

They were shocked about this issue at the supply house and I am supposed
to give them back about 30 feet of this defective roll next week and get a free 100 foot
roll of the clear stuff...
Interesting I guess since the paint isnt that good a bond we assume thats the failure and not the sharkbite. My guess their are hundreds of thousands if not millions of shark bites on colored pipe especialy at anglestop locations.
I thought Uponnor was not available in colors any longer , because of issues with pipe but what isnt clear was if the problem was caused by the coloring i think that was a cracking issue . since the coloring isnt rewally bonded wouldnt a bad sharkbite or installation that leaked maybe that would wash away some paint.
What about the 70 ft left over from the roll ? just run it?
 

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According to Uponor, the colored pipe is back in stock. I seem to recall they said it was a supply issue post covid, not any particular failure with the product... :rolleyes:

John
Well They also might not cop to changing the process if there was a quality issue I dont want to i8nfer the color had anything to do with the issues. In Master Marks case I wasent sure why it was the paint and not the sharkbite? maybe he knows or can let us know
 

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Well They also might not cop to changing the process if there was a quality issue I dont want to i8nfer the color had anything to do with the issues. In Master Marks case I wasent sure why it was the paint and not the sharkbite? maybe he knows or can let us know

Bites are reliable and PEX is reliable. I've used Sharkbites for quick repairs or emergencies and have never had any fail (small sample yes an only with copper), but my understanding is that virtually all Bite failures are install issues. Don't some Bites have that inner sleeve to stiffen PEX and some don't? The O ring needs to push against something that won't give, maybe that Bite leaked because it didn't have the inner stiffening sleeve intact.

John
 

Jeff H Young

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Bites are reliable and PEX is reliable. I've used Sharkbites for quick repairs or emergencies and have never had any fail (small sample yes an only with copper), but my understanding is that virtually all Bite failures are install issues. Don't some Bites have that inner sleeve to stiffen PEX and some don't? The O ring needs to push against something that won't give, maybe that Bite leaked because it didn't have the inner stiffening sleeve intact.

John
I thought of the stiffiner as well yea pretty much leaks on solder joints or pex are installer , I think Mark been around a while knows what he is doing So I doubt he screwed up I really try but I did make a mistake once Ive used shark bites not much but never a problem. If the joint had no stress on it I doubt a stiffener is needed but cant remember if they come with them or if the stiffener is only on compression joints.
One thing For sure Id save some of that pipe just for my own curiosity I hate mysterys that lead no where conclusive
 

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I thought of the stiffiner as well yea pretty much leaks on solder joints or pex are installer , I think Mark been around a while knows what he is doing So I doubt he screwed up I really try but I did make a mistake once Ive used shark bites not much but never a problem. If the joint had no stress on it I doubt a stiffener is needed but cant remember if they come with them or if the stiffener is only on compression joints.
One thing For sure Id save some of that pipe just for my own curiosity I hate mysterys that lead no where conclusive


They all come with the stiffners already inserted in them.... and I always use them on both pex and copper...
We have never had an issue forever with this stuff....

I should have taken a picture of the defect when I took the fitting apart but this was deep in a crawl space

I got about a 30 foot roll left and they said to bring it back in so it can be examined... All I know it is like a thin lacquer type coloring on the pipe that can be sanded off and apparently the water and maybe even the sharkbite itself
causes cuts in the coloring when you push it on...

this barely leaked but I am gonna go back out and change out the blue pipes I installed on this water softener job.... I am gonna pull it all apart and replace all the blue lines
you see in this picture and install the clear stuff with new fittings

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I guess what you like is the full flow of the shark bites and the fact you never had issue till now.
 

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Full flow? LOL Look at the parts count of a shark fitting. Not a fan. Rubber O-rings on chlorinated city water. Only a matter of time.......
 

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I guess what you like is the full flow of the shark bites and the fact you never had issue till now.


I have only had a few issues when the outside of the pex pipe had been handled roughly and had streaks
on the pipe from being dragged across a floor or gotten shop worn riding around in the truck.... I have to be aware and feel the end of the pipe to be sure its smooth without scrapes....

We never used many sharkbites until the day a re-pipe I was doing probably back in 2007 became a disaster because the expansion tool I was using came out of calibration and about a dozen joints leaked at the end of the day and the only way to get the water on in time was to cut out the defects and use sharkbites.....
they got me out of a huge jam and saved the day.....

I threw away that expansion tool and got a new Milwaukee one but still in the back of my mind I dont trust
the expander tools like I used to and just would rather use the sharkbites unless its a whole house re-pipe
 

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Full flow? LOL Look at the parts count of a shark fitting. Not a fan. Rubber O-rings on chlorinated city water. Only a matter of time.......

Full Flow?? The expansion type rings and fittings that go into the pipe
restricts the flow FAR much worse thana sharkbite does

But You wont know or feel the difference on a 2 bathroom home
or even a 5 bathroom home.....with 75psi coming into the home whichever fitting you use...
\
I sometimes wonder how long the 0 rings will last, because the same identical 0 rings

have been used in all sorts of autotrol water softeners
and many other softener controls since the 60s and some are used for moving part seals....

so I am not too worried about them causing me grief at this point in time.....

Now, If the water company pulls a stunt like they did up in Flint Michigan and throws a bunch of crap into
the water system without proper R+D then I guess anything is possible
 
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Jeff H Young

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Full Flow??
You wont know the difference on a 2 bathroom home or even a 5 bathroom home.....with 75psi
\
I wonder how long the 0 rings will last but they have been used in all sorts of autotrol water softeners
and other softener controls since the 60s so I am not too worried about them at this point.....

If the water company pulls a stunt like they did up in Flint Michigan and throws a bunch of crap into
the water system without proper R+D then anything is possible
Dont use them much very rarely never had a problem with a sharkbite , I dont do propress either but have in the past highrise , commercial and hospitol seems ok , Ran a fair amount of victaulic thats just rubber too I think that lasts pretty good.
 

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Slomoola said:
Full Flow??
You wont know the difference on a 2 bathroom home or even a 5 bathroom home.....with 75psi
\
I wonder how long the 0 rings will last but they have been used in all sorts of autotrol water softeners
and other softener controls since the 60s so I am not too worried about them at this point.....

If the water company pulls a stunt like they did up in Flint Michigan and throws a bunch of crap into
the water system without proper R+D then anything is possible
Dont use them much very rarely never had a problem with a sharkbite , I dont do propress either but have in the past highrise , commercial and hospitol seems ok , Ran a fair amount of victaulic thats just rubber too I think that lasts pretty good.


Propress is a nice tool but basically it is a glorified sharkbite fitting that you
cannot remove or take apart after you have installed it..... it uses the same kind of 0 ring
and the tool cost thousands of dollars........
 

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Propress is a nice tool but basically it is a glorified sharkbite fitting that you
cannot remove or take apart after you have installed it..... it uses the same kind of 0 ring
and the tool cost thousands of dollars........

The advantage of Propress is that the pressing action mechanically joins and stabilizes the two pieces of copper for rigidity and that the O -ring is more tightly compressed against the pipe compared to a Bite.

The downside is that they can't be serviced like either a Bite or sweated copper without having to section the copper, and they still rely on an O ring..

John
 

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The advantage of Propress is that the pressing action mechanically joins and stabilizes the two pieces of copper for rigidity and that the O -ring is more tightly compressed against the pipe compared to a Bite.

The downside is that they can't be serviced like either a Bite or sweated copper without having to section the copper, and they still rely on an O ring..

John


Their have been a lot of times I have had to cut all the propress fittings lout on top of a water heater just to repair a simple pin hole leak.. ..... propress is a one time shot which is ok

the best applications for the propress is where you have an emergency 1 1/2 water line that has burst or is leaking badly and their is no way to shut the water completely off to solder...... you just throw the fittings onto the running pipe and clamp them down....
 

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Another "best reason" to use pro press is when you need to man a crew of men to plumb a job and you have issues finding people that can solder a joint , its way faster and Ive been on hospitol and high rises where they used. unskilled incompetetant help is another reason to use propress and pex for that matter as are shark bites but there are many reasons to concider options in material and process
 

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Another "best reason" to use pro press is when you need to man a crew of men to plumb a job and you have issues finding people that can solder a joint

Probably why one or two man-shop plumbers seem to still sweat copper and the bigger companies don't.

John
 
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