“Over time the CPVC is getting brittle and cracking, so I no more use it,” he says. “Occasionally I have to use it with a repair if the system already has it within, having said that 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 few plumbers while they encounter various troubles with it while on the job. People say 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 to do with temperature and placement in the pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But after a while, just about any CPVC will probably get brittle and finally crack. And when it cracks, it cracks very good and then you’re getting a steady flow of water from it. It’s nothing like copper where you receive a leak inside it and it just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it goes. I was at the house a few days ago, and then there were three leaks inside the ceiling, all from CPVC. So when I used to correct 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 the time.
“It’s approved to set in houses, however i think it’s too brittle,” he says. “If it’s coming from the ground and you kick it or anything, there is a good possibility of breaking it.”
He doesn’t utilize it for repiping and prefers copper, partly due to craftsmanship associated with installing copper pipe.
“I’m a 25-year plumber thus i want to use copper. It genuinely has a craftsman to put it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe making it look good making it look right.”
But as being a less expensive substitute for copper that doesn’t carry some of the problems linked to CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich and also other plumbers say they often times choose PEX since it allows more leeway for expansion and contraction, plus has a longer warranty than CPVC. For Mayfield and Grzetich it’s the maximum amount of about the ease of installation as it is providing customers something that may be more unlikely to cause issues in the long run.
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“A lots of it comes down to budget, yes, but additionally if you’re performing a repipe on the finished house where you have to cut the sheetrock and everything, it’s always easier just to get it done in PEX because you can fish it through as an electrical wire,” Mayfield says. “It cuts the labor down beyond doubt.
“And CPVC uses glue joints that set up for some time,” he adds. “With the PEX, you simply cut it by using a plastic cutter, expand it having a tool and put it across a fitting. It’s way less labor intensive in terms of gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you need to glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you could potentially probably run 30 or 40 feet from it through some holes so you don’t have any 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 an even more rigid pipe that appears to get especially brittle after a while.
“If a plumber uses CPVC and is, say, off by half an inch on the holes, they’ll must flex the pipe to have it in the hole,” he says. “It will be fine for several years and then suddenly, due to strain, establish a crack or leak. Everything must be really precise on the measurements with CPVC. Then it’s yet another little nerve-wracking to function on because if you are taking an angle stop that’s screwed onto CPVC and you’re using two wrenches, you usually flex the pipe slightly. You’re always concerned about breaking the pipe because it’s brittle.”
“We did a property in the new subdivision – the house was just 6 yrs old – so we needed to replumb the complete house because it is at CPVC. We actually wound up doing three other jobs inside the same neighborhood. Following that, the initial repipe we did was in CPVC because we didn’t determine what else to use. But we looked into it and discovered a 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 prefer copper is for stub-outs so it will be look nice. Copper continues to be a really good product. It’s just expensive.
“I know plumbers who still use CPVC. A lot of people just stick to their old guns so when something such as Uponor arrives, they wait awhile before they start utilizing it.”
But in accordance with Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC can nevertheless be a trustworthy material for the plumbing system so long as 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 the experience, CPVC pipe failures are related to improper installation and in most cases affect only hot-water lines.
“CPVC will expand when heated, and in case the system is installed that fails to let the hot-water lines to freely move when expanded, this may 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 single 50 feet of length when put through a 50-degree temperature increase. Offsets or loops are very important for very long runs of pipe to be able to accommodate that expansion.
“I feel that the situation resides for the reason that many plumbers installed CPVC much like copper, and did not enable a further expansion and contraction of CPVC systems,” Forbes says in the blog. “If the piping is installed … with enough variations in direction and offsets, expansion and contraction is not an issue.”
Forbes does acknowledge that CPVC will get brittle, and extra care must be taken when trying to repair it. Still, he stands behind the item.
“CPVC, if properly installed, is great and does not have to be replaced,” he says. “I repiped my house with CPVC over several years ago – no problems.”
More often than not 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 thing is it in mobile homes or modular homes, however i can’t think of a foundation home that I’ve seen it in, from 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 from the 1990s once 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 also you don’t must open several walls as you would with copper,” he says. “If somebody came to me and wanted to execute a copper repipe, I’d dexspky68 it but it will be 2 1/2 times the cost of a PEX repipe just because of the material and also the more time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for that.”
Within his limited experience working together with CPVC, Rockwell says they have seen a similar issues explained by others.
“The glue tends to take an especially very long time to dry and 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 over time. I don’t have plenty of knowledge about it, but regardless of whether it were popular here, I think I would personally still use PEX over CPVC. As long as it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any issues with it.”