“Over time the CPVC is to get brittle and cracking, so I not any longer make use of it,” he says. “Occasionally I have to use it over a repair if the system already has it within, nevertheless i don’t use CPVC for repipes anymore.”
Grzetich is not really alone. Though still an accepted material for piping, CPVC is losing favor with a bit of plumbers as they encounter various problems with it while at the job. They say it’s less a point of if issues will occur but when.
“On some houses it lasts quite quite a long time before it gets brittle. Other houses, I believe it has more concerning temperature and placement of the pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But over time, any kind of CPVC will almost certainly get brittle and finally crack. And as soon as it cracks, it cracks pretty decent then you’re getting a steady stream of water out of it. It’s not like copper where you receive a leak inside it and it also just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it goes. I had been with a house yesterday, and there were three leaks from the ceiling, all from CPVC. And whenever I used to mend them, the pipe just kept cracking.”
Sean Mayfield, a master plumber working for Whole House Repipe Missouri City, Colorado, says in their work he encounters CPVC piping about 20 percent of times.
“It’s approved to put in houses, but I think it’s too brittle,” he says. “If it’s coming from the floor and you kick it or anything, there is a good chance of breaking it.”
He doesn’t apply it for repiping and prefers copper, partly due to the craftsmanship linked to installing copper pipe.
“I’m a 25-year plumber and so i would rather use copper. It actually needs a craftsman to set it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe to make it look good making it look right.”
But as being a cheaper replacement for copper that doesn’t carry a few of the problems connected with CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich along with other plumbers say they often consider PEX as it allows more leeway for expansion and contraction, and in addition comes with a longer warranty than CPVC. For Mayfield and Grzetich it’s all the about the ease of installation because it is providing customers something that may be more unlikely to cause issues in the long term.
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“A lots of it comes down to budget, yes, but in addition if you’re performing a repipe over a finished house where you have to cut the sheetrock and everything, it’s always easier just to make it happen in PEX because you can fish it through such as an electrical wire,” Mayfield says. “It cuts the labor down for certain.
“And CPVC uses glue joints that create for a certain amount of time,” he adds. “With the PEX, you only cut it by using a plastic cutter, expand it with a tool and placed it more than a fitting. It’s much less labor intensive so far as gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you have to glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you could potentially probably run 30 or 40 feet of this through some holes and you don’t have any joints.”
Any piping product will be susceptible 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 far more rigid pipe that has a tendency to get especially brittle as time passes.
“If a plumber uses CPVC and is also, say, off by half an inch on their own holes, they’ll have to flex the pipe to get it within a hole,” he says. “It will probably be fine for quite some time and after that suddenly, due to the strain, develop a crack or leak. Everything needs to be really precise on the measurements with CPVC. Then it’s additionally a little nerve-wracking to work 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 somewhat. You’re always concerned with breaking the pipe because it’s brittle.”
“We did a property in a new subdivision – your house was only 6 years old – and that we needed to replumb the whole house since it was in CPVC. We actually ended up being doing three other jobs within the same neighborhood. Next, the 1st repipe we did is in CPVC because we didn’t determine what else to use. However we looked at it and discovered an improved 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 take advantage of copper is perfect for stub-outs to really make it look nice. Copper is still a really good product. It’s just expensive.
“I know plumbers who still use CPVC. A lot of people just stay with their old guns so when such as Uponor originates out, they wait awhile before they begin using it.”
But in accordance with Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC can still be a dependable material for a plumbing system as long as it’s installed properly.
In the blog on his company’s website, Forbes writes about a few of the concerns surrounding CPVC, noting that in their 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 fails to 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 due to 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 exposed to a 50-degree temperature increase. Offsets or loops are essential for very long runs of pipe to be able to accommodate that expansion.
“I think that the trouble resides because many plumbers installed CPVC much like copper, and failed to enable the additional expansion and contraction of CPVC systems,” Forbes says within his blog. “If the piping is installed … with sufficient variations in direction and offsets, expansion and contraction is not an issue.”
Forbes does acknowledge that CPVC will get brittle, and further care must be taken when trying to repair it. Still, he stands behind the merchandise.
“CPVC, if properly installed, is good and does not must be replaced,” he says. “I repiped my house with CPVC over a decade ago – no problems.”
More often than not though, PEX is becoming 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, nevertheless i can’t consider a foundation home that I’ve seen it in, inside the fifteen 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 after i was working there.”
Copper and PEX are what Rockwell most often encounters in the work. He typically uses Uponor PEX on repiping jobs.
“PEX is nice because you can snake it into places and also you don’t ought to open as many walls as you would with copper,” he says. “If somebody got to me and planned to execute a copper repipe, I’d dexspky68 it but it could be 2 1/2 times the cost of a PEX repipe just because of the material and the more time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for this.”
In the limited experience working with CPVC, Rockwell says he has seen the identical issues explained by others.
“The glue has a tendency to take an especially number of years to dry and that i do mostly service work so the concept of repairing CPVC and waiting hours for your glue to dry isn’t very appealing,” he says. “And I’ve seen it get pretty brittle with time. I don’t have plenty of knowledge of it, but even when it were popular here, I believe I might still use PEX over CPVC. Given that it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any difficulties with it.”