“Over time the CPVC is to get brittle and cracking, so I no longer use it,” he says. “Occasionally I have to use it on the repair as soon as the system already has it within, however 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 since they encounter various problems with it while at 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 think it offers more related to temperature and placement of your pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But as time passes, any sort of CPVC will probably get brittle and in the end crack. And when it cracks, it cracks excellent then you’re getting a steady flow of water from it. It’s unlike copper where you get a leak inside and it just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it goes. I used to be in a house the other day, where there were three leaks from the ceiling, all from CPVC. So when I tried to mend them, the pipe just kept cracking.”
Sean Mayfield, a master plumber working for Whole House Repipe Richmond, Colorado, says in their 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 out of a floor and you also kick it or anything, you have a good possibility of breaking it.”
He doesn’t apply it for repiping and prefers copper, partly due to craftsmanship linked to installing copper pipe.
“I’m a 25-year plumber therefore i choose to use copper. It actually takes a craftsman to put it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe making it look really good and make it look right.”
But being a cheaper option to copper that doesn’t carry a few of the problems related to CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich as well as other plumbers say they generally choose PEX since it allows more leeway for expansion and contraction, and also comes with a longer warranty than CPVC. For Mayfield and Grzetich it’s just as much about the simplicity of installation since it is providing customers a product or service that may be not as likely to cause issues long term.
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“A lots of it boils 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 make it happen in PEX because you can fish it through like an electrical wire,” Mayfield says. “It cuts the labor down for sure.
“And CPVC uses glue joints that setup for a certain amount of time,” he adds. “With the PEX, you simply make the grade by using a plastic cutter, expand it by using a tool and place it over a fitting. It’s way less labor intensive with regards to gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you must glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you could potentially probably run 30 or 40 feet from it through some holes and you don’t possess joints.”
Any piping product will be vulnerable to problems if it’s not installed properly, but Mayfield notes that CPVC features a smaller margin for error than PEX because it is an even more rigid pipe that seems to get especially brittle with time.
“If a plumber uses CPVC and it is, say, off by half an inch on his or her holes, they’ll ought to flex the pipe to obtain it within a hole,” he says. “It will probably be fine for several years after which suddenly, due to strain, build a crack or leak. Everything has to be really precise around the measurements with CPVC. Then it’s another little nerve-wracking to be effective on because if you take an angle stop that’s screwed onto CPVC and you’re using two wrenches, you usually flex the pipe a little bit. You’re always concered about breaking the pipe because it’s brittle.”
“We did a residence within a new subdivision – your home was only 6 years – so we needed to replumb the complete house mainly because it is in CPVC. We actually ended up being doing three other jobs from the same neighborhood. After that, the first repipe we did is in CPVC because we didn’t know what else to use. However we looked at 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 time I personally use copper is for stub-outs so it will be look nice. Copper is still an excellent product. It’s just expensive.
“I know plumbers who still use CPVC. Some people just stay with their old guns and once such as Uponor arrives, they wait awhile before they begin making use of it.”
But in accordance with Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC can still be a dependable material to get a plumbing system as long as it’s installed properly.
In the blog on his company’s website, Forbes writes about a few of the concerns surrounding CPVC, noting that in his experience, CPVC pipe failures are related to improper installation and usually 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 may create a joint to fail,” he says. “Each instance I have got 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 exposed to a 50-degree temperature increase. Offsets or loops are essential for long runs of pipe so that you can accommodate that expansion.
“I feel that the issue resides in this many plumbers installed CPVC the same as copper, and failed to enable the additional expansion and contraction of CPVC systems,” Forbes says within his blog. “If the piping is installed … with sufficient alterations in direction and offsets, expansion and contraction is no problem.”
Forbes does acknowledge that CPVC will get brittle, and additional care ought to 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.”
Most of the time though, PEX has become the content associated with preference.
In the 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, but I can’t consider a foundation home that I’ve seen it in, within 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 inside the 1990s when I was working there.”
Copper and PEX are what Rockwell in most cases encounters in his work. He typically uses Uponor PEX on repiping jobs.
“PEX is nice because you can snake it into places and you also don’t must open as many walls while you would with copper,” he says. “If somebody arrived at me and planned to execute a copper repipe, I’d dexspky68 it but it would be 2 1/2 times the buying price of a PEX repipe just due to the material along with the additional time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for this.”
In their limited experience working with CPVC, Rockwell says he has seen the identical issues explained by others.
“The glue will take an especially long time to dry and that i do mostly service work so the notion of repairing CPVC and waiting hours to 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 lot of exposure to it, but even though it were popular here, I do believe I might still use PEX over CPVC. Provided that it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any problems with it.”