“Over time the CPVC gets brittle and cracking, so I will no longer make use of it,” he says. “Occasionally I have to use it over a repair as soon as the system already has it inside, nevertheless 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 because they encounter various issues with it while on the job. They say it’s less a matter of if issues will occur but once.
“On some houses it lasts quite quite a while before it gets brittle. Other houses, I believe it provides more concerning temperature and placement of your pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But after a while, any kind of CPVC will probably get brittle and eventually crack. As soon as it cracks, it cracks pretty decent then you’re going to get a steady stream of water out of it. It’s not like copper where you get a leak within it and it also just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it goes. I was with a house a few days ago, there were three leaks from the ceiling, all from CPVC. And whenever I attempted to repair them, the pipe just kept cracking.”
Sean Mayfield, a master plumber employed by Water heater replacement Missouri City, Colorado, says within his work he encounters CPVC piping about 20 % 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 the surface and you also kick it or anything, you have a pretty good chance 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 would rather use copper. It genuinely requires a craftsman to set it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe and make it look good making it look right.”
But as a more affordable replacement for copper that doesn’t carry a number of the problems connected with CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich and also other plumbers say they frequently consider PEX mainly because it allows more leeway for expansion and contraction, as well as posesses a longer warranty than CPVC. For Mayfield and Grzetich it’s the maximum amount of about the simplicity of installation since it is providing customers something that is unlikely to cause issues in the long term.
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“A large amount of it boils down to budget, yes, but also if you’re doing a repipe with a finished house where you must cut the sheetrock and everything, it’s always easier just to do it in PEX because you can fish it through as an electrical wire,” Mayfield says. “It cuts the labor down for sure.
“And CPVC uses glue joints that setup for some time,” he adds. “With the PEX, you simply work using a plastic cutter, expand it by using a tool and place it more than a fitting. It’s much less labor intensive in terms of gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you must glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you might probably run 30 or 40 feet from it through some holes and you don’t possess joints.”
Any piping product is going to be susceptible to problems if it’s not installed properly, but Mayfield notes that CPVC includes a smaller margin for error than PEX since it is a far more rigid pipe that has a tendency to get especially brittle after a while.
“If a plumber uses CPVC and is also, say, off by half an inch on their holes, they’ll have to flex the pipe to get it in the hole,” he says. “It will be fine for many years and then suddenly, due to the strain, create a crack or leak. Everything should be really precise in the measurements with CPVC. Then it’s also a little nerve-wracking to function on because by taking an angle stop that’s screwed onto CPVC and you’re using two wrenches, you more often than not 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 – the home was only 6 years – therefore we were required to replumb the full house as it is in CPVC. We actually wound up doing three other jobs within the same neighborhood. Next, the initial repipe we did is at CPVC because we didn’t really know what else to utilize. However we considered it and located an improved 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 personally use copper is made for stub-outs to really make it look nice. Copper is still a good product. It’s just expensive.
“I know plumbers who still use CPVC. Some people just adhere to their old guns and once such as Uponor comes out, they wait awhile before they begin making use of it.”
But according to Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC may still be a trusted material for the plumbing system so long as it’s installed properly.
In a blog on his company’s website, Forbes writes about some of the concerns surrounding CPVC, noting that in their experience, CPVC pipe failures are based on improper installation in most cases affect only hot-water lines.
“CPVC will expand when heated, and when the device is installed that does not allow the hot-water lines to freely move when expanded, this can produce a joint to fail,” he says. “Each instance I have observed was as a result of an improperly designed/installed system.”
According to CPVC pipe manufacturer Lubrizol, CPVC will expand about an inch for each and every 50 feet of length when exposed to a 50-degree temperature increase. Offsets or loops are important for very long runs of pipe so that you can accommodate that expansion.
“I think that the issue resides in that many plumbers installed CPVC just like copper, and failed to allow for a further 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 not an issue.”
Forbes does acknowledge that CPVC can get brittle, and additional care needs to be taken when seeking to repair it. Still, he stands behind the product.
“CPVC, if properly installed, is great and will not have to be replaced,” he says. “I repiped my very own house with CPVC over ten years ago – no problems.”
Most of the time though, PEX is becoming the fabric of choice.
In 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, however i can’t consider a foundation home that I’ve seen it in, inside 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 from the 1990s after 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 and you also don’t must open several walls when you would with copper,” he says. “If somebody got to me and wished to perform a copper repipe, I’d dexspky68 it but it will be 2 1/2 times the buying price of a PEX repipe just as a result of material along with the extra time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for that.”
In his limited experience utilizing CPVC, Rockwell says he has seen the identical issues explained by others.
“The glue is likely to take an especially number of years to dry and so i do mostly service work so the notion 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 huge amount of knowledge of it, but even if it were popular here, I feel I would still use PEX over CPVC. As long as it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any issues with it.”