“Over time the CPVC is to get brittle and cracking, therefore i not any longer utilize it,” he says. “Occasionally I need to use it on the repair when the system already has it within, having said that i don’t use CPVC for repipes anymore.”
Grzetich is not alone. Though still an accepted material for piping, CPVC is losing favor with some plumbers as they encounter various difficulties 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 a very long time before it gets brittle. Other houses, I feel it offers more with regards to temperature and placement from the pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But with time, just about any CPVC will almost certainly get brittle and ultimately crack. And as soon as it cracks, it cracks pretty decent after which you’re getting a steady stream of water out of it. It’s nothing like copper where you have a leak inside and it also just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it is going. I used to be in a house yesterday, where there were three leaks inside the ceiling, all from CPVC. And once I used to correct them, the pipe just kept cracking.”
Sean Mayfield, a master plumber doing work for Whole House Repipe Missouri City, Colorado, says in his work he encounters CPVC piping about 20 % of the time.
“It’s approved to place in houses, however i think it’s too brittle,” he says. “If it’s coming from the surface so you kick it or anything, you have a good possibility of breaking it.”
He doesn’t apply it repiping and prefers copper, partly because of the craftsmanship involved in installing copper pipe.
“I’m a 25-year plumber therefore i choose to use copper. It really needs a craftsman to get it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe and make it look great to make it look right.”
But as a less expensive replacement for copper that doesn’t carry some of the problems linked to CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich along with other plumbers say they generally choose PEX since it allows more leeway for expansion and contraction, and also posesses a longer warranty than CPVC. For Mayfield and Grzetich it’s the maximum amount of about the ease of installation as it is providing customers a product that is less likely to cause issues in the long run.
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“A great deal of it boils down to budget, yes, but additionally if you’re performing a repipe on a finished house where you will need to cut the sheetrock and everything, it’s always easier just to do it in PEX since you can fish it through such as an electrical wire,” Mayfield says. “It cuts the labor down for certain.
“And CPVC uses glue joints that setup for a certain amount of time,” he adds. “With the PEX, you simply work having a plastic cutter, expand it using a tool and place it across a fitting. It’s much less labor intensive with regards to gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you have to glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you can probably run 30 or 40 feet than it through some holes so you don’t possess any joints.”
Any piping product will be vulnerable to problems if it’s not installed properly, but Mayfield notes that CPVC has a smaller margin for error than PEX because it is a more rigid pipe that appears to get especially brittle after a while.
“If a plumber uses CPVC which is, say, off by half an inch on his or her holes, they’ll need to flex the pipe to get it within a hole,” he says. “It is going to be fine for a long time and after that suddenly, as a result of strain, develop a crack or leak. Everything must be really precise on the measurements with CPVC. Then it’s another 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 usually flex the pipe somewhat. You’re always worried about breaking the pipe because it’s brittle.”
“We did a residence in the new subdivision – the home was just 6 yrs old – so we was required to replumb the complete house since it was in CPVC. We actually ended up being doing three other jobs from the same neighborhood. After that, the very first repipe we did is in CPVC because we didn’t understand what else to utilize. However we looked at it and discovered an improved product.”
“I’ve done about 20 repipes with Uponor. I’ve had zero callbacks, zero issues,” he says. “I apply it over copper usually. The sole time I personally use copper is made for stub-outs to really make it look nice. Copper is still an excellent product. It’s just expensive.
“I do know plumbers who still use CPVC. A lot of people just stay with their old guns and when such as Uponor originates out, they wait awhile before they start utilizing it.”
But according to Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC can still be a reliable material to get a plumbing system so long as it’s installed properly.
Within a blog on his company’s website, Forbes writes about a number of the concerns surrounding CPVC, noting that within his experience, CPVC pipe failures are related to improper installation and usually affect only hot-water lines.
“CPVC will expand when heated, of course, if the program is installed that fails to permit the hot-water lines to freely move when expanded, this can cause a joint to fail,” he says. “Each instance I have observed was as a consequence of an improperly designed/installed system.”
Based on CPVC pipe manufacturer Lubrizol, CPVC will expand about an inch for every single 50 feet of length when subjected to a 50-degree temperature increase. Offsets or loops are very important for long runs of pipe to be able to accommodate that expansion.
“I feel that the issue resides because many plumbers installed CPVC much like copper, and did not permit a further expansion and contraction of CPVC systems,” Forbes says within his blog. “If the piping is installed … with sufficient changes in direction and offsets, expansion and contraction is not a problem.”
Forbes does acknowledge that CPVC could possibly get brittle, and further care needs to be taken when trying to repair it. Still, he stands behind this product.
“CPVC, if properly installed, is useful and will not must be replaced,” he says. “I repiped my very own house with CPVC over 10 years ago – no problems.”
Usually though, PEX has become the fabric associated with preference.
In their Southern California service area, Paul Rockwell of Rocksteady Plumbing says CPVC plumbing is rare.
“Sometimes you can see it in mobile homes or modular homes, having said that i can’t imagine a foundation home that I’ve seen it in, within the fifteen years I’ve been working here,” he says. “I don’t know why it’s not around here. We used a variety of it doing tract homes in Colorado from the 1990s after i was working there.”
Copper and PEX are what Rockwell in most cases encounters in the work. He typically uses Uponor PEX on repiping jobs.
“PEX is nice since you can snake it into places and you also don’t need to open several walls while you would with copper,” he says. “If somebody came to me and desired to do a copper repipe, I’d dexspky68 it but it will be 2 1/2 times the buying price of a PEX repipe just due to material along with the extra time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for that.”
In their limited experience working with CPVC, Rockwell says they have seen the same issues explained by others.
“The glue is likely to take an especially very long time to dry and so i do mostly service work so the idea of repairing CPVC and waiting hours for that 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 about it, but even if it were popular here, I think I would still use PEX over CPVC. Provided that it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any troubles with it.”