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  1. #1
    Michael Vasquez's Avatar
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    Default Exposed PEX outdoors

    On an inspection today, exposed PEX tubing was observed at the service below the main shutoff valve to the house. The PEX is exposed to sunlight (probably 2 inches in length). Would this be in need of repair?

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    PEX should not be exposed to DIRECT sunlight.
    However, indirect light will not harm it.

    Best

    Ron


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    PEX should not be exposed to DIRECT sunlight.
    However, indirect light will not harm it.

    Best

    Ron
    From the Vanguard PEX installation Guide:

    DO NOT INSTALL WHERE EXPOSED TO DIRECT OR INDIRECT SUNLIGHT FOR MORE THAN 60 DAYS. PEX tubing shall be stored under cover, shielded from direct and indirect sunlight when the material is stored for any length of time. Short exposure times, not exceeding a total accumulated time of 60 days maximum, are permissible.


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  4. #4
    Michael Vasquez's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    Thanks for the help


  5. #5
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    From the Vanguard PEX installation Guide:

    DO NOT INSTALL WHERE EXPOSED TO DIRECT OR INDIRECT SUNLIGHT FOR MORE THAN 60 DAYS. PEX tubing shall be stored under cover, shielded from direct and indirect sunlight when the material is stored for any length of time. Short exposure times, not exceeding a total accumulated time of 60 days maximum, are permissible.
    Jerry do they have a shield for PEX. I have never incountered any!
    I see this in our area all the time next to air vents, in open garage walls, in the attice areas with indirect light...

    To what degree of indrect light are they talking about...

    Best

    Ron


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Jerry do they have a shield for PEX. I have never incountered any!
    Ron,

    The best shield from UV would be insulation, the cheapest shield would be latex paint, provided there is not a chemical compatibility problem (would need to be checked out prior to painting).

    How much indirect light is acceptable? 60 days worth.

    I don't have that answer, but have you seen that old Owl Flex flexible duct? It also had UV resistance problems, starting from the day the box was opened for installation ... it began deteriorating, and never stopped.

    To me, a garage is like being in a porch, as soon as that big garage door opens, the garage is full of direct and reflected sunlight.

    Attics a little less troublesome, but if you are in an attic with turbines or vents and you see the light shining on the PEX (you would have to be there at the right time of day and right time of year as that light beam moves with the sun), to me, that is a problem.

    But not to worry in an attic in a house above I-10 (the freeze line) as it is supposed to be within the thermal envelope of the house anyway (meaning it is not exposed to sunlight - it is inside the insulation).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    I should ask the Q. to all inspectors.

    do you call this or make notes of this issue in your reports ?

    Best

    Ron


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Jerry do they have a shield for PEX. I have never incountered any!
    I see this in our area all the time next to air vents, in open garage walls, in the attice areas with indirect light...

    To what degree of indrect light are they talking about...

    Best

    Ron
    I've used aluminum foil duct tape to protect the exposed foam insulation on my HVAC lo pressure line for years.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    Define Indirect? We have allot of crawl spaces with foundation vents on all walls. Light shining through them will harm the pex?

    Makes me wonder if all the homes in NC should be called out. I do call out water pipes to close to the vents to be insulated to prevent freezing.

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  10. #10
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Define Indirect? We have allot of crawl spaces with foundation vents on all walls. Light shining through them will harm the pex?

    Makes me wonder if all the homes in NC should be called out. I do call out water pipes to close to the vents to be insulated to prevent freezing.
    Im on the same page with you mike.

    Best

    Ron


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    THE BELOW LINK FROM A PEX SUPPLIER CAUTIONS AGAINST DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR FLUORESCENT LIGHT EXPOSURE FOR 30 DAYS. SEE PAGE 4.

    http://www.pexconnection.com/PEX%20CONNECTION%20CATALOG%202004.pdf

    TO MIKE-NOTES FROM VANGARD ABOUT USE OF PEX IN CRAWLSPACE-NOT RECOMMENDED-SEE DIY'ER STORY.

    Pex - Crosslink PolyEthylene questions - FAMOUS PLUMBING SUPPLY

    Last edited by John Paul Jones; 02-12-2009 at 07:08 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    From the link JPJ provided:


    •PEX should not be connected within 6” of the vent on a water heater and not within the first 18” of piping connected to a water heater.
    I always call out pex and insulation too close (6") to a draft hood but never considered pex restrictions from heat sources.
    I am not too confident about the document since it seems to be a hodge podge of different requirements from different sources but this definitely spurs me to check the actual manufacturers instructions more closely.



    Jim Luttrall
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    We received the following letter from Vanguard Piping Systems Inc. in 1999:
    (and we have received written permission to quote the letter, word for word)

    "I appreciate you notifying your customers that PEX should not be exposed to DIRECT sunlight, however, indirect light will not harm PEX products which are manufactured to ASTM standards and NSF listed.
    Hmmmmm makes you wonder...........

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Define Indirect? We have allot of crawl spaces with foundation vents on all walls. Light shining through them will harm the pex?

    Makes me wonder if all the homes in NC should be called out. I do call out water pipes to close to the vents to be insulated to prevent freezing.
    Mike,

    If you can see the PEX, yes, you should call it out ... but for a different reason:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    But not to worry in an attic in a house above I-10 (the freeze line) as it is supposed to be within the thermal envelope of the house anyway (meaning it is not exposed to sunlight - it is inside the insulation).
    That freeze line which runs basically along I-10 runs across the top of the state of Florida, above which the pipes *are required* to be protected by insulation, heating tape, or both. If you see PEX (because it is outside the insulation thermal envelope of the house), you should be seeing heating tape on it - it is an IRC requirement.

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  15. #15
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    That freeze line must run above NC.
    We don't get long periods of freezing. All water pipes here in crawl spaces are exposed in the crawl space.

    Funny thing is though they make you insulate the pipes in garages and attic spaces but not in the crawl space. But crawl spaces are normally warmer then attics.

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    That freeze line must run above NC.
    We don't get long periods of freezing. All water pipes here in crawl spaces are exposed in the crawl space.
    Mike,

    All of NC is above the freeze line, which runs basically along I-10.

    The attached is from the chart in the IPC which the IRC refers to when addressing the Winter Design Temperature. As you can see, all of NC is well below the 32 degree Winter Design Temperature level which is the level - below 32 degree Winter Design Temperature where all pipes outside the thermal envelope are required to be protected by freezing by either insulation or heating tape or both.

    Whether or not it is enforced, that is up to you to point out if it is not being enforced.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    This was today's inspection, I call out pipes to close to foundation vents. I would be pissing in the wind if I called out all plumbing in the crawl space. It's a battle that would not be won in our area.

    Thread drift: This new home is 5400 sq. ft. and about a mil. It had no weep holes above the doors and windows in the veneer. Cracked foundation (failed footer) on the front porch and the brick was lifting horizontally along the width. The porch butted against the garage wall and there was water stains in the garage at the foundation where water was penetrating through the porch. There was a arched window on the front and wood lath was used around the perimeter of the window instead of steel for the brick. No weeps along the roof line that was butted against a wall. Had a 16' pan on the roof that was made in three sections. One overlapped the other just a few inches with no adhesive and faced nailed. None of the counter flashings where cut into the mortar joints. The third floor furnace had the blower motor laying out on the floor in the attic. No access to the pump motor for the whirlpool and outlets above the tub (also posted in another thread).

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    This was today's inspection, I call out pipes to close to foundation vents. I would be pissing in the wind if I called out all plumbing in the crawl space. It's a battle that would not be won in our area.

    I suspect you would ultimately win that battle, given time, patience, and the right way of addressing it with the code inspectors/officials.

    It took years in South Florida, but several of us spent the time, took the patience, and got involved in the code inspectors/officials meetings, we learned a lot, they learned we were wanting to learn 'their way' and they eventually (on almost all issues, not all, but most) saw things from our viewpoint over time and understood what we were saying (we were saying in an asking way) and things changed ... given time (years, with that 's' meaning plural).

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  20. #20
    Dennis Webber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposed PEX outdoors

    Quote Originally Posted by John Paul Jones View Post
    THE BELOW LINK FROM A PEX SUPPLIER CAUTIONS AGAINST DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR FLUORESCENT LIGHT EXPOSURE FOR 30 DAYS. SEE PAGE 4.
    http://www.pexconnection.com/PEX%20C...LOG%202004.pdf
    You know, I never thought about protecting PEX from a fluorescent lighting; just sunlight.

    Consider that so many household's are now converting their lighting over from incandescent to the new compact fluorescent bulbs in their basements. (I did, but my water line are copper.)

    Typically the PEX runs on the bottom of joists in the basement, and would be directly exposed to this new lighting. Possibly located quite close the bulbs.

    This could create one heck of a problem. Convert your lighting over to conserve energy and melt your water lines.

    Ok, that might be a extreme, but I wonder if they could be damaged over a period of years.

    Anyone?


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