“Over time the CPVC is getting brittle and cracking, therefore i no more use it,” he says. “Occasionally I need to use it on the repair as soon as the system already has it in there, but 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 some plumbers since they encounter various problems with it while on-the-job. People say it’s less an issue of if issues will occur but once.
“On some houses it lasts quite a long time before it gets brittle. Other houses, I think it has more related to temperature and placement of your pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But as time passes, just about any CPVC will almost certainly get brittle and in the end crack. And once it cracks, it cracks very good and after that you’re getting a steady flow water from it. It’s unlike copper where you have a leak within it and it just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it is. I used to be in a house yesterday, where there were three leaks from the ceiling, all from CPVC. And when I attempted to correct them, the pipe just kept cracking.”
Sean Mayfield, a master plumber employed by Whole House Repipe Richmond, Colorado, says within his work he encounters CPVC piping about twenty percent of times.
“It’s approved to place in houses, but I think it’s too brittle,” he says. “If it’s coming from the surface so you kick it or anything, there is a pretty good possibility of breaking it.”
He doesn’t apply it for repiping and prefers copper, partly due to craftsmanship involved in installing copper pipe.
“I’m a 25-year plumber and so i would rather use copper. It really needs a craftsman to place it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe and make it look great to make it look right.”
But like a less expensive alternative to copper that doesn’t carry a number of the problems linked to CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich and also other plumbers say they often times consider PEX as it allows more leeway for expansion and contraction, and in addition has 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 or service which is less likely to result in issues eventually.
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“A lots of it comes down to budget, yes, but in addition if you’re carrying out a repipe on a finished house where you have to cut the sheetrock and everything, it’s always easier just to accomplish it in PEX since you can fish it through such as an electrical wire,” Mayfield says. “It cuts the labor down beyond doubt.
“And CPVC uses glue joints that put in place for a certain amount of time,” he adds. “With the PEX, you merely make the grade with a plastic cutter, expand it having a tool and set it over a fitting. It’s a lot less labor intensive as far as gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you must glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you might probably run 30 or 40 feet than it through some holes and you also don’t have any joints.”
Any piping product will probably be susceptible to problems if it’s not installed properly, but Mayfield notes that CPVC features a smaller margin for error than PEX since it is a much more rigid pipe that seems to get especially brittle after a while.
“If a plumber uses CPVC which is, say, off by half an inch on the holes, they’ll ought to flex the pipe to obtain it in the hole,” he says. “It will likely be fine for quite some time and after that suddenly, due to 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 be effective on because if you are taking an angle stop that’s screwed onto CPVC and you’re using two wrenches, you almost always flex the pipe somewhat. You’re always concerned with breaking the pipe because it’s brittle.”
“We did a house within a new subdivision – the home was just 6 years – and that we was required to replumb the full house mainly because it is in CPVC. We actually ended up being doing three other jobs in the same neighborhood. Afterward, the very first repipe we did is in CPVC because we didn’t determine what else to make use of. Then again we considered it and located a better product.”
“I’ve done about 20 repipes with Uponor. I’ve had zero callbacks, zero issues,” he says. “I use it over copper usually. The only real time I prefer copper is for stub-outs making it look nice. Copper continues to be a good product. It’s just expensive.
“I know plumbers who still use CPVC. Some individuals just adhere to their old guns and whenever such as Uponor originates out, they wait awhile before they begin working with it.”
But based on Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC may still be a trustworthy material for any plumbing system provided that it’s installed properly.
Inside a blog on his company’s website, Forbes writes about a few 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 in case the device is installed that is not going to allow the hot-water lines to freely move when expanded, this could create a joint to fail,” he says. “Each instance I have observed was as a result of an improperly designed/installed system.”
Based on CPVC pipe manufacturer Lubrizol, CPVC will expand about an inch for each 50 feet of length when subjected to a 50-degree temperature increase. Offsets or loops are crucial for long runs of pipe as a way to accommodate that expansion.
“I believe that the situation resides for the reason that many plumbers installed CPVC just like copper, and did not enable the added expansion and contraction of CPVC systems,” Forbes says in their blog. “If the piping is installed … with enough changes in direction and offsets, expansion and contraction is not an issue.”
Forbes does acknowledge that CPVC will get brittle, and additional care must be taken when trying to repair it. Still, he stands behind the item.
“CPVC, if properly installed, is good and is not going to must be replaced,” he says. “I repiped my own house with CPVC over several years ago – no problems.”
Usually though, PEX is now the information of preference.
Within his 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, however 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 variety of it doing tract homes in Colorado inside the 1990s as i was working there.”
Copper and PEX are what Rockwell usually encounters in his work. He typically uses Uponor PEX on repiping jobs.
“PEX is nice since you can snake it into places and you also don’t have to open as many walls when you would with copper,” he says. “If somebody stumbled on me and wished to conduct a copper repipe, I’d dexspky68 it but it would be 2 1/2 times the price tag on a PEX repipe just due to material and the additional time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for this.”
In their limited experience utilizing CPVC, Rockwell says they have seen a similar issues described by others.
“The glue has a tendency to take an especially number of years to dry and so i do mostly service work so the thought 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 after a while. I don’t have a huge amount of experience with it, but even when it were popular here, I think I would still use PEX over CPVC. So long as it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any problems with it.”