“Over time the CPVC is becoming brittle and cracking, therefore i will 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, nevertheless 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 bit of plumbers as they encounter various issues with it while on the job. They say it’s less an issue of if issues will occur but when.
“On some houses it lasts quite a long time before it gets brittle. Other houses, I feel it has more concerning temperature and placement in the pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But with time, any type of CPVC is going to get brittle and ultimately crack. And as soon as it cracks, it cracks very good and after that you’re getting a steady flow water out of it. It’s nothing like copper where you have a leak in it and it also just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it is. I found myself in a house the other day, and then there were three leaks inside the ceiling, all from CPVC. And once I used to mend 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 twenty percent of the time.
“It’s approved to put in houses, however i think it’s too brittle,” he says. “If it’s coming from the ground so you kick it or anything, you have a pretty good possibility of breaking it.”
He doesn’t apply it repiping and prefers copper, partly due to the craftsmanship involved in installing copper pipe.
“I’m a 25-year plumber therefore i prefer to use copper. It genuinely needs a craftsman to set it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe making it look really good and make it look right.”
But as being a cheaper option to copper that doesn’t carry several of the problems related to CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich and other plumbers say they frequently turn to PEX mainly because it allows more leeway for expansion and contraction, plus 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 an item that is unlikely to cause issues in the long term.
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“A large amount of it boils down to budget, yes, but in addition if you’re performing a repipe on the finished house where you will need to cut the sheetrock and everything, it’s always easier just to get it done in PEX since 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 put in place for some time,” he adds. “With the PEX, you simply work having a plastic cutter, expand it with a tool and placed it more than a fitting. It’s significantly less labor intensive as far as gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you must glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you can probably run 30 or 40 feet from it through some holes and you also don’t possess joints.”
Any piping product will probably be vulnerable to problems if it’s not installed properly, but Mayfield notes that CPVC includes a smaller margin for error than PEX as it is a more rigid pipe that has a tendency to get especially brittle with time.
“If a plumber uses CPVC which is, say, off by half an inch on the holes, they’ll ought to flex the pipe to get it within a hole,” he says. “It is going to be fine for many years and then suddenly, because of the strain, build a crack or leak. Everything should be really precise around 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 almost always flex the pipe slightly. You’re always concerned about breaking the pipe because it’s brittle.”
“We did a home inside a new subdivision – your home was just 6 yrs old – so we were required to replumb the complete house because it is at CPVC. We actually ended up being doing three other jobs in the same neighborhood. Next, the initial repipe we did is at CPVC because we didn’t really know what else to work with. But then we looked into it and located a better product.”
“I’ve done about 20 repipes with Uponor. I’ve had zero callbacks, zero issues,” he says. “I utilize it over copper usually. Really the only time I take advantage of copper is designed for stub-outs to make it look nice. Copper remains to be an excellent product. It’s just expensive.
“I do know plumbers who still use CPVC. Many people just stick with their old guns and whenever such as Uponor is released, they wait awhile before they begin making use of it.”
But as outlined by Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC can still be a dependable material for a plumbing system provided that it’s installed properly.
In the blog on his company’s website, Forbes writes about some of the concerns surrounding CPVC, noting that within his experience, CPVC pipe failures are related to improper installation and in most cases affect only hot-water lines.
“CPVC will expand when heated, and if the system is installed that fails to allow the hot-water lines to freely move when expanded, this can create a joint to fail,” he says. “Each instance We have observed was as a consequence of an improperly designed/installed system.”
As outlined by 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 so that you can accommodate that expansion.
“I think that the issue resides in this many plumbers installed CPVC much like copper, and failed to provide for the added expansion and contraction of CPVC systems,” Forbes says in their blog. “If the piping is installed … with plenty of modifications in direction and offsets, expansion and contraction is no problem.”
Forbes does acknowledge that CPVC will get brittle, and extra care must be taken when seeking to repair it. Still, he stands behind the merchandise.
“CPVC, if properly installed, is nice and is not going to should be replaced,” he says. “I repiped my very own house with CPVC over several years ago – no problems.”
More often than not though, PEX is becoming the fabric associated with preference.
In their Los Angeles 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 15 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 from the 1990s after 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 you also don’t must open several walls as you would with copper,” he says. “If somebody came to me and wanted to do a copper repipe, I’d dexspky68 it but it could be 2 1/2 times the price tag on a PEX repipe just as a result of material along with the more time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for this.”
In the limited experience working together with CPVC, Rockwell says he has seen the same issues explained by others.
“The glue tends to take an especially while to dry and that i do mostly service work so the notion 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 with time. I don’t have plenty of experience with it, but even if it were popular here, I believe I would personally still use PEX over CPVC. Given that it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any problems with it.”