“Over time the CPVC is to get brittle and cracking, therefore i will no longer utilize it,” he says. “Occasionally I have to use it over a repair as soon as the system already has it inside, but I don’t use CPVC for repipes anymore.”
Grzetich is not alone. Though still an accepted material for piping, CPVC is losing favor with many plumbers while they encounter various troubles with it while at the job. People say it’s less dependent on if issues will occur but once.
“On some houses it lasts quite a very long time before it gets brittle. Other houses, I think they have more to do with temperature and placement of the pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But after a while, any type of CPVC will get brittle and eventually crack. And once it cracks, it cracks excellent and after that you’re getting a steady stream water out of it. It’s not like copper where you get a leak inside it and it also just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it goes. I found myself with a house the other day, and then there were three leaks within the ceiling, all from CPVC. And whenever I tried to fix them, the pipe just kept cracking.”
Sean Mayfield, a master plumber doing work for Water heater replacement Missouri City, Colorado, says in their work he encounters CPVC piping about 20 percent of times.
“It’s approved to set in houses, but I think it’s too brittle,” he says. “If it’s coming from a floor and also 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 craftsmanship involved in installing copper pipe.
“I’m a 25-year plumber and so i choose to use copper. It genuinely has a craftsman to place it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe and make it look great and then make it look right.”
But as a less expensive option to copper that doesn’t carry a few of the problems linked to CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich and other plumbers say they frequently use PEX since it allows more leeway for expansion and contraction, plus has a longer warranty than CPVC. For Mayfield and Grzetich it’s just as much about the ease of installation because it is providing customers a product or service which is unlikely to cause issues eventually.
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“A large amount of it boils down to budget, yes, but additionally if you’re carrying out a repipe over a finished house where you must cut the sheetrock and everything, it’s always easier just to accomplish it in PEX because you can fish it through like 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 just make the grade using a plastic cutter, expand it having a tool and placed it more than a fitting. It’s significantly less labor intensive in terms of gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you have to glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you might probably run 30 or 40 feet from it through some holes and you also don’t possess 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 as it is a more rigid pipe that has a tendency to get especially brittle with time.
“If a plumber uses CPVC and is, say, off by half an inch on their holes, they’ll have to flex the pipe to obtain it in the hole,” he says. “It will probably be fine for many years and then suddenly, due to strain, build a crack or leak. Everything has to be really precise about the measurements with CPVC. Then it’s yet another little nerve-wracking to function on because by taking an angle stop that’s screwed onto CPVC and you’re using two wrenches, you typically flex the pipe a bit. You’re always concered about breaking the pipe because it’s brittle.”
“We did a home inside a new subdivision – your house was just 6 years – so we were required to replumb the full house mainly because it was in CPVC. We actually ended up doing three other jobs inside the same neighborhood. Afterward, the very first repipe we did is in CPVC because we didn’t know what else to use. But we looked into it and found a greater 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 real time I take advantage of copper is designed for stub-outs to make it look nice. Copper remains a very good product. It’s just expensive.
“I know plumbers who still use CPVC. Some people just stick to their old guns so when something such as Uponor is released, they wait awhile before they start utilizing it.”
But according to Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC may still be a dependable material for the plumbing system given that it’s installed properly.
Within 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 machine is installed that does not permit the hot-water lines to freely move when expanded, this can create a joint to fail,” he says. “Each instance I actually have observed was due to an improperly designed/installed system.”
As outlined by CPVC pipe manufacturer Lubrizol, CPVC will expand about an inch for each 50 feet of length when put through a 50-degree temperature increase. Offsets or loops are very important for very long runs of pipe so that you can accommodate that expansion.
“I feel that the situation resides for the reason that many plumbers installed CPVC just like copper, and did not provide for an added expansion and contraction of CPVC systems,” Forbes says in his blog. “If the piping is installed … with sufficient variations in direction and offsets, expansion and contraction is not a problem.”
Forbes does acknowledge that CPVC could get brittle, and additional care needs to be taken when seeking to repair it. Still, he stands behind the item.
“CPVC, if properly installed, is useful and fails to have to be replaced,” he says. “I repiped my own house with CPVC over ten years ago – no problems.”
Generally though, PEX is becoming the material associated with preference.
In their Southern California service area, Paul Rockwell of Rocksteady Plumbing says CPVC plumbing is rare.
“Sometimes the truth is it in mobile homes or modular homes, however i can’t think of a foundation home that I’ve seen it in, in the 15 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 in the 1990s when I was working there.”
Copper and PEX are what Rockwell generally encounters in his work. He typically uses Uponor PEX on repiping jobs.
“PEX is nice since you can snake it into places so you don’t must open as numerous walls as you would with copper,” he says. “If somebody stumbled on me and wanted to conduct 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 and also the more time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for your.”
In their limited experience dealing with CPVC, Rockwell says they have seen the same issues described by others.
“The glue is likely to take an especially while to dry and so i do mostly service work so the idea 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 over time. I don’t have a huge amount of experience with it, but even when it were popular here, I believe I might still use PEX over CPVC. So long as it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any problems with it.”