“Over time the CPVC is getting brittle and cracking, therefore i no longer make use of it,” he says. “Occasionally I need to use it on a repair as soon as the system already has it inside, having said that i don’t use CPVC for repipes anymore.”
Grzetich will not be alone. Though still an accepted material for piping, CPVC is losing favor with a few plumbers since they encounter various difficulties with it while at work. They claim it’s less a point of if issues will occur but once.
“On some houses it lasts quite a long time before it gets brittle. Other houses, I do believe it offers more related to temperature and placement of your pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But after a while, any type of CPVC will get brittle and finally crack. And when it cracks, it cracks excellent after which you’re going to get a steady flow of water from it. It’s unlike copper where you get yourself a leak inside it and yes it just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it is going. I was with a house the other day, and then there were three leaks in the ceiling, all from CPVC. And once I used to correct them, the pipe just kept cracking.”
Sean Mayfield, a master plumber working for Whole House Repipe Missouri City, Colorado, says in the work he encounters CPVC piping about twenty percent of times.
“It’s approved to put in houses, but I think it’s too brittle,” he says. “If it’s coming from the floor and you also kick it or anything, you have a pretty good chance of breaking it.”
He doesn’t apply it for repiping and prefers copper, partly as a result of craftsmanship linked to installing copper pipe.
“I’m a 25-year plumber therefore i choose to use copper. It genuinely takes a craftsman to put it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe to make it look nice and then make it look right.”
But as being a cheaper substitute for copper that doesn’t carry a number of the problems related to CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich along with other plumbers say they frequently turn to PEX because it allows more leeway for expansion and contraction, and in addition posesses a longer warranty than CPVC. For Mayfield and Grzetich it’s all the about the ease of installation as it is providing customers something that is less likely to cause issues in the long term.
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“A lot of it comes down to budget, yes, but in addition if you’re carrying out a repipe on the finished house where you will need to cut the sheetrock and everything, it’s always easier just to accomplish it in PEX since you can fish it through like an electrical wire,” Mayfield says. “It cuts the labor down for certain.
“And CPVC uses glue joints that set up for some time,” he adds. “With the PEX, you only make the grade having a plastic cutter, expand it using a tool and put it across a fitting. It’s a lot less labor intensive so far as gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you have to glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you might probably run 30 or 40 feet of it through some holes and 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 since it is a more rigid pipe that seems to get especially brittle with time.
“If a plumber uses CPVC and is also, say, off by half an inch on his or her holes, they’ll have to flex the pipe to obtain it in the hole,” he says. “It will probably be fine for many years after which suddenly, because of the strain, create a crack or leak. Everything must be really precise on the measurements with CPVC. Then it’s additionally a little nerve-wracking to work on because if you are taking an angle stop that’s screwed onto CPVC and you’re using two wrenches, you typically flex the pipe somewhat. You’re always concerned with breaking the pipe because it’s brittle.”
“We did a residence in a new subdivision – the home was only 6 years old – and we had to replumb the full house because it is at CPVC. We actually ended up doing three other jobs within the same neighborhood. Afterward, the very first repipe we did was in CPVC because we didn’t know what else to use. But 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 use it over copper usually. Really the only time I personally use copper is perfect for stub-outs to make it look nice. Copper remains a very good product. It’s just expensive.
“I know plumbers who still use CPVC. Some individuals just adhere to their old guns and once something such as Uponor comes out, they wait awhile before they begin making use of it.”
But according to Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC can nevertheless be a trusted material for any plumbing system so long as it’s installed properly.
In the blog on his company’s website, Forbes writes about several of the concerns surrounding CPVC, noting that within his experience, CPVC pipe failures are related to improper installation in most cases affect only hot-water lines.
“CPVC will expand when heated, and when the device is installed that is not going to enable the hot-water lines to freely move when expanded, this may produce a joint to fail,” he says. “Each instance I actually have observed was as a result of an improperly designed/installed system.”
According to CPVC pipe manufacturer Lubrizol, CPVC will expand about an inch for every single 50 feet of length when exposed to a 50-degree temperature increase. Offsets or loops are very important for too long runs of pipe to be able to accommodate that expansion.
“I believe that the situation resides in that many plumbers installed CPVC the same as copper, and failed to allow for the additional expansion and contraction of CPVC systems,” Forbes says in their blog. “If the piping is installed … with plenty of variations in direction and offsets, expansion and contraction is not an issue.”
Forbes does acknowledge that CPVC could get brittle, and further care should be taken when seeking to repair it. Still, he stands behind this product.
“CPVC, if properly installed, is good and will not need to be replaced,” he says. “I repiped my own house with CPVC over several years ago – no problems.”
Usually though, PEX is now the fabric of preference.
In their Southern California service area, Paul Rockwell of Rocksteady Plumbing says CPVC plumbing is rare.
“Sometimes you see it in mobile homes or modular homes, having said that i can’t think of a foundation home that I’ve seen it in, inside the 10 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 once i was working there.”
Copper and PEX are what Rockwell generally encounters in their work. He typically uses Uponor PEX on repiping jobs.
“PEX is nice since you can snake it into places and you also don’t ought to open as numerous walls as you may would with copper,” he says. “If somebody arrived at me and wished to do a copper repipe, I’d dexspky68 it but it would be 2 1/2 times the price of a PEX repipe just because of the material and also the additional time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for the.”
Within his limited experience dealing with CPVC, Rockwell says he has seen the identical issues explained by others.
“The glue tends to take an especially number of years to dry and so i 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 as time passes. I don’t have a lot of experience with it, but even when it were popular here, I feel I would personally still use PEX over CPVC. So long as it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any troubles with it.”