“Over time the CPVC is becoming brittle and cracking, so I no more utilize it,” he says. “Occasionally I need to use it with a repair once the system already has it in there, having said that i don’t use CPVC for repipes anymore.”
Grzetich is just not alone. Though still an accepted material for piping, CPVC is losing favor with a few plumbers because they encounter various issues with it while on the job. They say it’s less an issue of if issues will occur however when.
“On some houses it lasts quite quite a while before it gets brittle. Other houses, I believe it provides more to do with temperature and placement of the pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But with time, any type of CPVC is going to get brittle and in the end crack. And as soon as it cracks, it cracks excellent after which you’re going to get a steady stream of water from it. It’s nothing like copper where you have a leak within it plus it just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it goes. I used to be at the house yesterday, and there were three leaks within the ceiling, all from CPVC. So when I tried to correct them, the pipe just kept cracking.”
Sean Mayfield, a master plumber working for Water heater replacement Missouri City, Colorado, says in the work he encounters CPVC piping about 20 percent of times.
“It’s approved to place in houses, but I think it’s too brittle,” he says. “If it’s coming from a floor and also you kick it or anything, you will have a good chance of breaking it.”
He doesn’t use it for repiping and prefers copper, partly as a result of craftsmanship linked to installing copper pipe.
“I’m a 25-year plumber and so i want to use copper. It actually takes a craftsman to put it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe and then make it look nice to make it look right.”
But as a more affordable option to copper that doesn’t carry some of the problems connected with CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich and other plumbers say they frequently use PEX as it allows more leeway for expansion and contraction, and in addition comes with a longer warranty than CPVC. For Mayfield and Grzetich it’s all the about the ease of installation because it is providing customers something that may be less likely to cause issues long term.
Related: HeatLink Appeals Uponor Patent Ruling
“A great deal of it boils down to budget, yes, but in addition if you’re doing a repipe on a finished house where you need to cut the sheetrock and everything, it’s always easier just to accomplish it in PEX because you can fish it through such as an electrical wire,” Mayfield says. “It cuts the labor down without a doubt.
“And CPVC uses glue joints that set up for a certain amount of time,” he adds. “With the PEX, you merely work by using a plastic cutter, expand it using a tool and placed it across a fitting. It’s way less labor intensive in terms of gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you must glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you can probably run 30 or 40 feet of it through some holes and you also don’t possess joints.”
Any piping product will likely be prone to problems if it’s not installed properly, but Mayfield notes that CPVC features a smaller margin for error than PEX as it is a much more rigid pipe that appears to get especially brittle after a while.
“If a plumber uses CPVC and is also, say, off by half an inch on his or her holes, they’ll need to flex the pipe to have it inside a hole,” he says. “It will probably be fine for a long time after which suddenly, due to the strain, build a crack or leak. Everything has to be really precise about the measurements with CPVC. Then it’s additionally a little nerve-wracking to be effective on because if you are taking an angle stop that’s screwed onto CPVC and you’re using two wrenches, you more often than not flex the pipe somewhat. You’re always concerned about breaking the pipe because it’s brittle.”
“We did a house inside a new subdivision – your home was only 6 yrs old – so we were required to replumb the full house mainly because it is at CPVC. We actually ended up being doing three other jobs in the same neighborhood. Following that, the first repipe we did was in CPVC because we didn’t really know what else to utilize. However we investigated it and discovered a much better product.”
“I’ve done about 20 repipes with Uponor. I’ve had zero callbacks, zero issues,” he says. “I make use of it over copper usually. The only real time I personally use copper is designed for stub-outs so it will be look nice. Copper continues to be an excellent product. It’s just expensive.
“I do know plumbers who still use CPVC. Some people just stick with their old guns and when something such as Uponor is released, they wait awhile before they start using it.”
But according to Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC can nevertheless be a reliable material for the plumbing system as long as it’s installed properly.
In the blog on his company’s website, Forbes writes about some of the concerns surrounding CPVC, noting that in the experience, CPVC pipe failures are based on improper installation and often affect only hot-water lines.
“CPVC will expand when heated, and if the device is installed that is not going to permit the hot-water lines to freely move when expanded, this will cause a joint to fail,” he says. “Each instance We have observed was due to an improperly designed/installed system.”
Based on CPVC pipe manufacturer Lubrizol, CPVC will expand about an inch for every 50 feet of length when subjected to a 50-degree temperature increase. Offsets or loops are crucial for very long runs of pipe in order to accommodate that expansion.
“I assume that the issue resides in this many plumbers installed CPVC the same as copper, and did not enable a further expansion and contraction of CPVC systems,” Forbes says in his blog. “If the piping is installed … with enough variations in direction and offsets, expansion and contraction is no problem.”
Forbes does acknowledge that CPVC could get brittle, and further care should be taken when attempting to repair it. Still, he stands behind the merchandise.
“CPVC, if properly installed, is great and does not need to be replaced,” he says. “I repiped my own house with CPVC over several years ago – no problems.”
More often than not though, PEX has become the fabric of preference.
In their Los Angeles service area, Paul Rockwell of Rocksteady Plumbing says CPVC plumbing is rare.
“Sometimes the truth is it in mobile homes or modular homes, having said that i can’t think of a foundation home that I’ve seen it in, from the 20 years I’ve been working here,” he says. “I don’t know why it’s not around here. We used a lot of it doing tract homes in Colorado in the 1990s when I was working there.”
Copper and PEX are what Rockwell usually encounters in the work. He typically uses Uponor PEX on repiping jobs.
“PEX is nice since you can snake it into places and also you don’t ought to open several walls when you would with copper,” he says. “If somebody arrived at me and desired to conduct a copper repipe, I’d dexspky68 it but it might be 2 1/2 times the price of a PEX repipe just because of the material as well as the extra time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for the.”
Within his limited experience dealing with CPVC, Rockwell says they have seen the identical issues explained by others.
“The glue has a tendency to take an especially long time to dry and i also do mostly service work so the notion of repairing CPVC and waiting hours for the glue to dry isn’t very appealing,” he says. “And I’ve seen it get pretty brittle over time. I don’t have a lot of knowledge of it, but even if it were popular here, I do believe I would still use PEX over CPVC. Given that it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any difficulties with it.”