“Over time the CPVC is becoming brittle and cracking, so I no longer apply it,” he says. “Occasionally I need to use it with a repair when the system already has it inside, however 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 bit of plumbers since they encounter various problems 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 quite a while before it gets brittle. Other houses, I do believe it has more to do with temperature and placement of the pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But with time, any kind of CPVC will probably get brittle and in the end crack. As soon as it cracks, it cracks very good and then you’re getting a steady stream of water out of it. It’s nothing like copper where you get yourself a leak within it plus it just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it goes. I was at the house a few days ago, and there were three leaks within the ceiling, all from CPVC. And once I used to fix them, the pipe just kept cracking.”
Sean Mayfield, a master plumber working for Water heater replacement Missouri City, 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 out of the surface and you kick it or anything, you have a pretty good possibility of breaking it.”
He doesn’t use it for repiping and prefers copper, partly due to the craftsmanship associated with installing copper pipe.
“I’m a 25-year plumber thus i want to use copper. It actually has a craftsman to place it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe and make it look nice and then make it look right.”
But as a less costly option to copper that doesn’t carry a few of the problems linked to CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich and other plumbers say they generally choose PEX as 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 because it is providing customers something which is not as likely to result in issues in the long run.
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“A lots of it comes down to budget, yes, and also if you’re performing a repipe with a finished house where you must 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 without a doubt.
“And CPVC uses glue joints that create for some time,” he adds. “With the PEX, you merely work using a plastic cutter, expand it with a tool and place it across a fitting. It’s a lot less labor intensive as far as gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you need to glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you can probably run 30 or 40 feet of it through some holes so you don’t possess joints.”
Any piping product is going to be vulnerable to problems if it’s not installed properly, but Mayfield notes that CPVC carries a smaller margin for error than PEX as it is a much more rigid pipe that seems to get especially brittle as time passes.
“If a plumber uses CPVC and it is, say, off by half an inch on his or her holes, they’ll have to flex the pipe to obtain it within a hole,” he says. “It will likely be fine for quite some time then suddenly, due to the strain, develop a crack or leak. Everything needs to be really precise on the measurements with CPVC. Then it’s another little nerve-wracking to work on because if you take 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 a new subdivision – the home was just 6 years old – therefore we needed to replumb the full house mainly because it was 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 know what else to use. Then again we looked at 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. Really the only time I prefer copper is for stub-outs making it look nice. Copper remains an excellent product. It’s just expensive.
“I do know plumbers who still use CPVC. Some individuals just stay with their old guns so when something such as Uponor originates out, they wait awhile before they start working with it.”
But as outlined by Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC may still be a trustworthy material to get a plumbing system given that it’s installed properly.
Inside a blog on his company’s website, Forbes writes about a number of the concerns surrounding CPVC, noting that in the experience, CPVC pipe failures are based on improper installation and in most cases affect only hot-water lines.
“CPVC will expand when heated, and in case the machine is installed that does not enable the hot-water lines to freely move when expanded, this may result in a joint to fail,” he says. “Each instance I actually have observed was as a result of an improperly designed/installed system.”
As outlined by CPVC pipe manufacturer Lubrizol, CPVC will expand about an inch for each and every 50 feet of length when subjected to a 50-degree temperature increase. Offsets or loops are essential for too long runs of pipe so that you can accommodate that expansion.
“I feel that the issue resides in that many plumbers installed CPVC much like copper, and did not enable the added expansion and contraction of CPVC systems,” Forbes says in his blog. “If the piping is installed … with plenty of variations in direction and offsets, expansion and contraction is no problem.”
Forbes does acknowledge that CPVC will get brittle, and additional care needs to be taken when trying to repair it. Still, he stands behind the product.
“CPVC, if properly installed, is great and does not need to be replaced,” he says. “I repiped my own, personal house with CPVC over a decade ago – no problems.”
Usually though, PEX is now the material of preference.
In the Los Angeles service area, Paul Rockwell of Rocksteady Plumbing says CPVC plumbing is rare.
“Sometimes you can see it in mobile homes or modular homes, nevertheless i can’t visualize 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 generally encounters in their work. He typically uses Uponor PEX on repiping jobs.
“PEX is nice because you can snake it into places so you don’t must open as many walls when you would with copper,” he says. “If somebody arrived at me and wished to perform a copper repipe, I’d dexspky68 it but it could be 2 1/2 times the buying price of a PEX repipe just as a result of material along with the more time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for the.”
Within his limited experience utilizing CPVC, Rockwell says he has seen the identical issues described by others.
“The glue will take an especially very long time to dry and 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 as time passes. I don’t have a lot of knowledge about it, but even if it were popular here, I believe I would still use PEX over CPVC. Given that it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any difficulties with it.”