“Over time the CPVC is getting brittle and cracking, and so i no longer utilize it,” he says. “Occasionally I have to use it on a repair as soon as the system already has it within, having said that 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 some plumbers because they encounter various troubles with it while at work. They claim it’s less a matter of if issues will occur but when.
“On some houses it lasts quite quite a while before it gets brittle. Other houses, I do believe it provides more concerning temperature and placement of your pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But over time, any sort of CPVC is going to get brittle and finally crack. And as soon as it cracks, it cracks pretty good after which you’re going to get a steady flow water out of it. It’s not like copper where you receive a leak in it and it just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it goes. I was at the house the other day, and there were three leaks in the ceiling, all from CPVC. And when I attempted to mend them, the pipe just kept cracking.”
Sean Mayfield, a master plumber working for Water heater replacement Missouri City, Colorado, says in the work he encounters CPVC piping about 20 % of times.
“It’s approved to place in houses, nevertheless i think it’s too brittle,” he says. “If it’s coming from the ground so you kick it or anything, you will have a good possibility of breaking it.”
He doesn’t utilize it for repiping and prefers copper, partly because of the craftsmanship involved with installing copper pipe.
“I’m a 25-year plumber thus i prefer to use copper. It actually takes a craftsman to put it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe to make it look good making it look right.”
But like a less expensive substitute for copper that doesn’t carry some of the problems related to CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich as well as other plumbers say they frequently turn to PEX since it allows more leeway for expansion and contraction, and in addition has a longer warranty than CPVC. For Mayfield and Grzetich it’s all the about the simplicity of installation since 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, but additionally if you’re doing a repipe on a finished house where you must cut the sheetrock and everything, it’s always easier just to get it done in PEX because you can fish it through just like an electrical wire,” Mayfield says. “It cuts the labor down beyond doubt.
“And CPVC uses glue joints that setup for a certain amount of time,” he adds. “With the PEX, you only work having a plastic cutter, expand it with a tool and put it across a fitting. It’s much less labor intensive as far as gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you need to glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you could probably run 30 or 40 feet than it through some holes and you also don’t possess any joints.”
Any piping product will likely be prone 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 appears to get especially brittle over 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 have it within a hole,” he says. “It is going to be fine for a long time and after that suddenly, due to the strain, develop a crack or leak. Everything must 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 a little bit. You’re always concerned with breaking the pipe because it’s brittle.”
“We did a residence within a new subdivision – your house was just 6 years – and that we needed to replumb the entire house as it is at CPVC. We actually wound up doing three other jobs in the same neighborhood. Next, the 1st repipe we did was in CPVC because we didn’t determine what else to utilize. But we looked into it and found 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. The only real time I take advantage of copper is made for stub-outs to make it look nice. Copper remains to be a really good product. It’s just expensive.
“I know plumbers who still use CPVC. Some people just stick to their old guns and whenever something such as Uponor originates out, they wait awhile before they begin making use of it.”
But based on Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC can nevertheless be a trustworthy material for a 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 his experience, CPVC pipe failures are related to improper installation and in most cases affect only hot-water lines.
“CPVC will expand when heated, of course, if the machine is installed that will not allow the hot-water lines to freely move when expanded, this can produce a joint to fail,” he says. “Each instance I actually 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 every 50 feet of length when put through a 50-degree temperature increase. Offsets or loops are essential for too long runs of pipe so that you can accommodate that expansion.
“I think that the problem resides in this many plumbers installed CPVC exactly like copper, and did not provide for an added expansion and contraction of CPVC systems,” Forbes says in the 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 could get brittle, and further care should be taken when wanting to repair it. Still, he stands behind the product.
“CPVC, if properly installed, is useful and will not should be replaced,” he says. “I repiped my very own house with CPVC over a decade ago – no problems.”
More often than not though, PEX is now the material of preference.
Within his 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, from the 10 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 in 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 because you can snake it into places so you don’t ought to open several walls when you would with copper,” he says. “If somebody arrived at me and desired to execute 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 as well as the more time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for this.”
In their limited experience working together with CPVC, Rockwell says they have seen the same issues described by others.
“The glue tends to take an especially very long time to dry and that i do mostly service work so the thought 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 a lot of exposure to it, but even though it were popular here, I believe I would still use PEX over CPVC. Provided that it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any troubles with it.”