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  1. #1
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    Question Polyethylene supply lines

    Got a question my inspection brothers. I came across some polyethylene supply lines (pictured below, blue and red lines) in a SFR built in 2006. According to my understanding, polybutylene and polyethylene are within the same family except that polybutylene is more susceptible to deterioration and leaking. What should I look for when inspecting polyethylene and is there any concerns for these type of supply lines.

    Thanks again comrades,
    Edward Rodriguez

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Got a question my inspection brothers. I came across some polyethylene supply lines (pictured below, blue and red lines) in a SFR built in 2006. According to my understanding, polybutylene and polyethylene are within the same family except that polybutylene is more susceptible to deterioration and leaking. What should I look for when inspecting polyethylene and is there any concerns for these type of supply lines.

    Thanks again comrades,
    Edward Rodriguez

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    This is now the nom in most new construction in our area, it has replaced the old poly pipe and since is "cross linked" it is said to be safe. Having stated that you should look at the same things you always look at, workmanship, function, flow and visible defects. It is "code" compliant but the same rules apply as with any system.

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  4. #4
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    The most common deficiencies I see are where the pipes are connected to the manifold. If no manufacturer's installation information is available, I look for the pipes to be supported so that the manifold connection is not under stress and I look for the pipes to be perpendicular to the manifold.

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES


  5. #5

    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Egbert Jager
    Diamond Home Inspection
    http://www.diamondhomeinspection.ca

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Once again I am amazed at the quick response I received on Inspection News,

    Thanks again brothers


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Washington State
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    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    PEX water supply pipe is the most widely used water supply pipe in the US and many other countries. It is the standard in most new home construction.


  8. #8
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    PEX water supply pipe is the most widely used water supply pipe in the US and many other countries. It is the standard in most new home construction.
    Where I am, for new construction, the most prevalent is CPVC, then copper.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Were I am, for new construction, the most prevalent is CPVC...

    They use CPVC for those mulit-million $ homes?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Kalamazoo, MI
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    Wink Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Edward,
    Just to clarify the type of supply piping you were looking at is 'cross linked polyethylene or PEX for short'. It is getting much more common in new construction here in Michigan. Just make sure the piping is adiquately supported, no tight bends, and most importantly no leaks (check closely at all visible connectors).

    RJDalga
    http://homeanalysts.com
    Kalamazoo, MI

  11. #11
    Mark Evans's Avatar
    Mark Evans Guest

    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Hey to of my fellow inspectors. There is a class action law suit that started against one of the major players in PEX connections. If you type in PEX defects the sites will show up. The manufacture is Zurn. I just did an inspection for Home Depot in Savannag GA and they had no idea about the lawsuits or that they carried the defective fittings. The home owner of the house siad he had heard sounds coming from inside his new bathroom walls. A plumbing had already been there and had removed a large section of the sheetrock. I removed a larger section and found the water spraying from a PEX fitting. We have a lot of replumbing jobs around here from slab leaks that have the PEX pipes rerouted into the attic. We shall see what happens when leaks develope in peoples attics. Not to mention all of the new construction.

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  12. #12
    Jerrod Christian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    looks like an impropperly crimped ring (too close to the edge of the tubing ) the ring should be 1/8" to 1/4" away from the edge of the tubing for a proper seal tubing not pushed all the way onto fitting either


  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Mark great pic, and yes in time we will see how well this pex piping will hold up vs the old copper standard. improperly done anything will cause problems


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Charlottesville, Va.
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    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    I think PEX is a great piping system but only when it is used with a manifold and all the runs are home runs with no connections buried in the walls.

    It will be curious to see going forward in the decades ahead how well these buried crimp connections hold up...I have my doubts.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrod Christian View Post
    looks like an impropperly crimped ring (too close to the edge of the tubing ) the ring should be 1/8" to 1/4" away from the edge of the tubing for a proper seal tubing not pushed all the way onto fitting either
    Looks like it is pushed all the way on, but what is the idea of the 3-4" piece? What the heck is the fitting to the right? Looks like PEX pushed down into black rubber hose with a crimp ring! From what I can see, I think I would question the jack-leg installation before the product.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  16. #16
    Jerrod Christian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Looks like it is pushed all the way on, but what is the idea of the 3-4" piece? What the heck is the fitting to the right? Looks like PEX pushed down into black rubber hose with a crimp ring! From what I can see, I think I would question the jack-leg installation before the product.
    After I zoomed in to 300% you can see the line that is spraying water the tubing was not cut square the crimp ring is not back far enough. The line on the right looks like copper tubing coming up thru the wood and a copper by pex adapter with the signs of they did not wipe their flux off good enough or at all with that crimp ring too close as well (right up against the adapter)


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrod Christian View Post
    After I zoomed in to 300% you can see the line that is spraying water the tubing was not cut square the crimp ring is not back far enough. The line on the right looks like copper tubing coming up thru the wood and a copper by pex adapter with the signs of they did not wipe their flux off good enough or at all with that crimp ring too close as well (right up against the adapter)
    That may all be true, but the PVC joint in the picture, without primer and maybe not cement, still looks jack-leg!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  18. #18
    Jerrod Christian's Avatar
    Jerrod Christian Guest

    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    That may all be true, but the PVC joint in the picture, without primer and maybe not cement, still looks jack-leg!
    Jack-leg?


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrod Christian View Post
    Jack-leg?
    "Jack-leg"; preformend by the "Jack-wagon" referenced in Dick Army's Gico commercial.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  20. #20
    Dennis Krouse's Avatar
    Dennis Krouse Guest

    Default Re: Polyethylene supply lines

    Like jam up and jelly tight.


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