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Thread: Pex issues

  1. #1
    Gene South's Avatar
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    Default Pex issues

    Anybody seeing any Pex issues, like connection failures, etc ? I searched the forum and not find or get a lot of "Pex hits" or Pex threads. I have seen it used on some new builds, residential contstruction here in DFW area and I saw it again this morning. I have not seen any Pex failures. Anybody got any news of comments on long term performance of this product ?

    Thanks

    Gene

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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Just a couple of leaks at poorly applied connections. Other than that I have not really seen any.

    Most, not all, but most new homes have PEX. There are some that still use only copper.

    I have seen it used a lot in remodel with many homes I have inspected that have had repiping. It is easier to run through the attics and crawls.

    I guess it has been, what, 10 years or so since its major use. I guess only time will tell. There were many complainta in the very begining but not much now.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    A.D. Miller started a thread last week regarding a class action lawsuit. I copied and saved the link to a file:

    WASHINGTON, July 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Plumbing fittings sold by Uponor, Inc. (Uponor) and its wholly-owned subsidiary Radiant Technology, Inc. (RTI) are defective and fail prematurely, causing extensive water damage to homes, commercial buildings and other property, according to allegations in a putative class action lawsuit filed May 15 in the United States District Court in Minnesota.
    Minnesota-based Uponor has admitted in court filings that fittings it sold for its plumbing systems are "defective" and "unreasonably dangerous." However, the company refuses to replace all affected plumbing systems or otherwise reimburse all property owners as required under warranties it issued, according to the complaint.
    The fittings Uponor admits are defective and unreasonably dangerous were used in plumbing systems installed in homes and buildings across the country. While it has replaced the fittings in homes built by some of the nation's largest home builders, Uponor refuses to do the same for individual homeowners. "Uponor's conduct in choosing to honor its responsibilities to large, important construction companies while ignoring the damage and costs its defective products have caused the 'little guy' is reprehensible," explained Charles J. LaDuca, attorney for the plaintiffs and a partner with Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP in Washington, DC.
    "The named plaintiffs in this lawsuit, John and Helen McGregor, who live in the small community of Mead, Washington, are among the thousands of property owners who simply cannot afford to tear apart the walls and floors of their homes and replace defective plumbing systems," explained Shawn Raiter, attorney for the plaintiffs and a partner with Larson · King, LLP in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

    The products at issue are brass fittings inserted into crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing. Although Uponor and RTI advertised and warranted their brass PEX fittings for as long as 25 years, the fittings began failing -- sometimes only months after installation. When the fittings fail, water leaks can extensively damage walls, floors and other personal property.

    The lawsuit, John and Helen McGregor, et al v. Uponor, Inc., seeks certification as a class action and compensation for damages suffered by home owners, the replacement of the defective and unreasonably dangerous systems and other remedies. For more information about the lawsuit, email sraiter@larsonking.com



  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Ted, In Houston, is looks like CPVC is king. I see it on budget to high dollar homes. I would say its followed by PEX and then copper in use.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Once you've worked with PEX, you'll never go back to that other stinky glue stuff.
    We see copper stubs at the water heater (sometimes), the rest is PEX.
    Also, when they use the red and blue colors, hot is hot and cold is cold.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by imported_John Smith View Post
    Ted, In Houston, is looks like CPVC is king. I see it on budget to high dollar homes. I would say its followed by PEX and then copper in use.
    In DFW nobody uses CPVC except for TPR drain lines. Mostly PEX and then copper on new construction. High-end homes are all copper, in my experience.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    I think the fittings that are in question as you can guess were made in China. Can you belive that a factory in China made defective fittings!

    This reared its head a few years back. The article that is shown in this thread does not have date on it other than July 9th and May 15th. Anyone know if this is this a new problem or is it an old article?

    All of the problems that I have found with PEX go back to improper installation and folks just not reading the manufacturers instructions.

    This is a picture of one of the defective PEX fittings from China.

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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Pex has issues with the fittings and splitting. Here is some pictures. CPVC also has issues breaking at the fittings as well.

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    Default Re: Pex issues

    PEX is not the problem. It's the fittings and installation that is giving everybody problems.

    PEX is a good product. IMO


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    PEX is not the problem. It's the fittings and installation that is giving everybody problems.

    PEX is a good product. IMO
    Then how do you explain pex splitting like shown in the first two pictures?


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Who knows! Maybe it was damaged before installation. A bad batch that came from the manufactuer. Exposed to higher pressures than manufactured for. Maybe someone drove over it prior to installation. All kinds of possibilities that could have damaged it causing it to split.

    A picture of a split piece of PEX does not make it bad.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    I have seen copper pipe split as well.

    PEX has been in use in Europe for over 30 years, it is a good product as long as it is installed properly and you do not have bad fittings. Pretty much the same with all plumbing products.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I have seen copper pipe split as well.

    PEX has been in use in Europe for over 30 years, it is a good product as long as it is installed properly and you do not have bad fittings. Pretty much the same with all plumbing products.
    I understand that PEX has been used in Europe in hydronic - closed systems - conditions for over 30 years . But they do not use it with chlorine and in open systems. Also recently there where reports where some brands of the PEX piping cannot pass (very) high concentrations (4 parts per million or more) of chlorine. We understand that most potable water never sees over 2 ppm. The concern is that with time and the chlorine will cause premature failers. There has been many reports as well as pex that has been properly handled and installed splitting just as in that picture.


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    Default Re: PEX issues

    Why not install PEX as complete home runs to each fixture from a manifold with NO FITTINGS installed anywhere except outside the walls.

    That eliminates the PEX from causing the problems if PEX is not the problem.

    Once many, many, many installation have been installed as such with no problems developing inside the walls, then (and only then) would PEX have proved itself.

    In the meantime, the various fittings outside the walls would have been under watch for failures too, as a live use testing ground for the various fittings.

    Only after PEX has proven itself in live use installs over years, and only after each fitting type has proven itself in live use installs over years, then and only then are fittings allowed in the walls.

    Let PEX prove itself first instead of making homeowners suffer the consequences of the failures.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    And how are you going to let PEX prove itself?

    Any material/product is susceptible to failure by a number of different conditions. You can test products until the cows come home but time will be the ultimate test! And how do you get time under your belt without installing it.

    I believe that PEX has been in use in the northern states a long time before it came to the south.

    People speak of "many" issues with PEX. How many? 10...20...1,000...1,000,000? Out of the, I would say millions of miles installed, I would think the failures are minuscule compared to the amount of installations performed.

    Yes when a product fails, you are going to here about it. However, I think PEX has proven itself in my opinion.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    And how are you going to let PEX prove itself?

    Any material/product is susceptible to failure by a number of different conditions. You can test products until the cows come home but time will be the ultimate test! And how do you get time under your belt without installing it.

    I believe that PEX has been in use in the northern states a long time before it came to the south.

    People speak of "many" issues with PEX. How many? 10...20...1,000...1,000,000? Out of the, I would say millions of miles installed, I would think the failures are minuscule compared to the amount of installations performed.

    Yes when a product fails, you are going to here about it. However, I think PEX has proven itself in my opinion.
    Pex has proven itself in hydronic systems, which is a closed system. But they have been failing left and right in open potable water systems.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Is there any documentation to support your statement " But they have been failing left and right in open potable water systems."


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    Is there any documentation to support your statement " But they have been failing left and right in open potable water systems."
    Sure google "pex class action lawsuits" All the failures reported are in domestic potable water systems.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Okay, I google it. I have to admit, I did not open every hit. But what I gather from the web sites is that the class action law suit is with the fittings not the PEX itself. And it's with the Zurn fittings only. I know, I know you are going to say that it is a system and the fittings are part of the pipe. However, the pipe does not seem to be the problem. It appears it is the fittings not PEX pipe.

    This class action suit has a total of three couples.
    http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com...-complaint.pdf


    Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Zurn Pex and Zurn Industries Relating to Failure of PEX Plumbing Systems in Homes
    According to Cox's attorney, Shawn Raiter, the problems with Zurn's brass fittings can cause significant damage to homes.


    Zurn Pex Faces Class Action Lawsuits plumbing systems significant water damage brass plumbing fittings Zurn Industries |LawyersandSettlements.com
    One such lawsuit was filed in August 2007. The class action lawsuit, filed by Denise and Terry Cox, alleges that brass plumbing fittings used in their residential plumbing system failed, causing extensive damage to their home. The lawsuit seeks to represent all owners with Zurn Pex plumbing systems that have brass fittings. The plaintiffs are seeking replacement of all Zurn fittings, regardless of whether or not they have already failed

    Meanwhile, a different lawsuit was filed by a man and woman who claim that Zurn Pex plumbing systems caused damage to their home. According to the Bismark Tribune, the plaintiffs are requesting the lawsuit be certified class action. The lawsuit alleges that the Zurn Pex brass fittings failed just months after they were installed, causing extensive damage and resulting in health problems.


    Zurn Pex Inc. Defective Plumbing
    Brass plumbing fittings for Pex plumbing systems sold by Zurn Pex, Inc. are allegedly fail prematurely. Reports of failing fittings appear to be escalating. And that's where the concern lies—the brass fittings that join two pieces of flexible PEX pipe together are failing with the potential to cause water and mold damage.

    NOV-05-07: A lawsuit filed by a North Dakota couple claims that Zurn Pex plumbing crimp fittings are poorly designed and have failed only months after installation, causing water damage and mold.

    Zurn&reg Pex Class Action Informational Website
    Q Pex Fittings
    This is an informational web site for putative class actions against the maker of Zurn Pex plumbing systems. Zurn's fittings are identified by a Q Pex or a QPex stamped on their side.

    I could post more but there's no use.

    Like I say, PEX pipe is a good product. The Zurn fittings??? Need a little work.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    Sure google "pex class action lawsuits" All the failures reported are in domestic potable water systems.
    The lawsuits I know of are related to fittings. I think the first was against ZURN and then they progressed to the others.

    I could not locate any that were just about the pipe itself.

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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The lawsuits I know of are related to fittings. I think the first was against ZURN and then they progressed to the others.

    I could not locate any that were just about the pipe itself.

    I think (just my opinion) the amount of calls for leaking copper or galvy, even in the new installs are far outwaying the calls for Pex pipe problems and I will assume includingf the fittings.


    Fairly new widely used product is going to have every call about a leak published and someone suid until they actually check on the number of water line leaks, breaks, bad fittings, splits in copper, poor workmanship etc compaired to copper. Class action law suit for fittings that were cheaply made does not make the pipe bad.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    REHAU Pex pipe is one that has a class action lawsuit against the pipe and fittings. Another manufacture was Goodyear that had a lawsuit. Also Kitec has had class action lawsuits. Seems right now Zurn is dominating the search engines since it is the hot button topic at the moment.

    Here is some Reports I was able to dig up.

    http://www.sbaypipe.org/assets/pdf/pex_report_08.pdf

    http://www.sbaypipe.org/assets/pdf/p...u_failures.pdf

    And a coalition statement about Environmental, consumer groups, Firefighters, and the California State Pipe Trades Council Oppose PEX. http://www.sbaypipe.org/assets/pdf/p..._statement.pdf

    A couple more good reads I found on the same site. California Adoption of Statewide Regulations Allowing the Use of PEX Tubing

    Comments of Coalition For Safe Building Materials on the above linked report

    Oh You all say you seen copper split. Only time I ever seen that happen is when it freezes.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    Oh You all say you seen copper split. Only time I ever seen that happen is when it freezes.
    I've never seen copper split. The only issues I've seen with copper is pinhole leaks which is widely attributed to our local city water supply. Even then the copper piping will last a good 10-15 years at a minimum.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Here is one more picture of pex pipe that went bad. This is from a different job, and a different part of the country.

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    Here is one more picture of pex pipe that went bad. This is from a different job, and a different part of the country.
    RH: I, for one, am not a proponent of PEX for potable water supply lines. It is the CSST of water plumbing - crap.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    RH: I, for one, am not a proponent of PEX for potable water supply lines. It is the CSST of water plumbing - crap.
    Another unprofessional opinion IMHO

    PEX has a long track record of good performance.

    CSST is in millions of homes with few problems if properly bonded.

    Maybe its true-you can't teach an old dog new tricks.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Larson View Post
    Another unprofessional opinion IMHO

    PEX has a long track record of good performance.

    CSST is in millions of homes with few problems if properly bonded.

    Maybe its true-you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
    ML: And, I assume (read: am absolutley certain), you are not sufficiently insightful to even consider that Uponor may have a vested interest in telling you that?

    Take another puff. The real world will not miss you . . .


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    ML: And, I assume (read: am absolutley certain), you are not sufficiently insightful to even consider that Uponor may have a vested interest in telling you that?

    Take another puff. The real world will not miss you . . .
    Well of course they do Mr. Miller.

    And other than poor installation technique and defective crimp rings I assume you have voluminous evidence of PEX failures on file in your professional capacity of course. You do, right?


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Larson View Post
    Well of course they do Mr. Miller.

    And other than poor installation technique and defective crimp rings I assume you have voluminous evidence of PEX failures on file in your professional capacity of course. You do, right?
    ML: If you spent as much time reading or thinking (if that indeed is even an option for you), you might notice that, though the industry claims 50-year durability of the product, none offers a warranty exceeding 25 years. Why do you suppose that is?

    Additionally, and in no small part because it resembles a Lego-like material, it is often installed in a child-like fashion. It, for the most part, cannot be exposed to sunlight as it is not UV-resistant. It is more easily damaged than copper or even CPVC.

    Now then, if you will put down that crack pipe for a moment and go back to my original post, you will see that I was expressing a personal opinion about PEX. It may also be my professional opinion, but that was not stated. In either event, and in spite of GWB's best efforts, there is still a Constitution in this country. Among those few rights remaining is mine to speak my mind. And, even if it does not square with your demented view of things.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    ML: If you spent as much time reading or thinking (if that indeed is even an option for you), you might notice that, though the industry claims 50-year durability of the product, none offers a warranty exceeding 25 years. Why do you suppose that is?

    Additionally, and in no small part because it resembles a Lego-like material, it is often installed in a child-like fashion. It, for the most part, cannot be exposed to sunlight as it is not UV-resistant. It is more easily damaged than copper or even CPVC.

    Now then, if you will put down that crack pipe for a moment and go back to my original post, you will see that I was expressing a personal opinion about PEX. It may also be my professional opinion, but that was not stated. In either event, and in spite of GWB's best efforts, there is still a Constitution in this country. Among those few rights remaining is mine to speak my mind. And, even if it does not square with your demented view of things.
    How long is the warranty on a copper pipe installation?

    Do you think before you post?


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Larson View Post
    How long is the warranty on a copper pipe installation?

    Do you think before you post?
    ML:

    How long has copper been used in plumbing? At least 5000 years.

    How long can you leave copper exposed to sunlight? Forever.

    Which can you cut more quickly with a utility knife, copper or PEX?

    I would ask if you relieve yourself before you post here, but from the crap that flows forth from your keyboard, I already know the answer to that.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    ML:

    How long has copper been used in plumbing? At least 5000 years.

    How long can you leave copper exposed to sunlight? Forever.

    Which can you cut more quickly with a utility knife, copper or PEX?

    I would ask if you relieve yourself before you post here, but from the crap that flows forth from your keyboard, I already know the answer to that.
    I see you couldn't answer the question only provided diversionary tactics.

    Please keep trying though. I'm highly entertained.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    I'm highly entertained.
    ML: Simple pleasures for simple minds.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    ML: Simple pleasures for simple minds.
    I like your Avatar too.
    It describes you very well and I see it has you pegged near maximum B.S.


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    I like your Avatar too.
    ML: See, we did find something we can agree on.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Hey Michael

    Did you have a falling out with Nachi? I see you are posting quite a bit here.

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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Pex warranty = 10 years.
    Copper warranty = 50 years


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    Pex warranty = 10 years.
    Copper warranty = 50 years
    Is it true that copper pipe can not be used in areas of the country due to the mineral content of the water? I seem to recall that it is mostly in FL.

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  39. #39
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    Default Re: PEX issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Is it true that copper pipe can not be used in areas of the country due to the mineral content of the water? I seem to recall that it is mostly in FL.
    Some parts of Florida, like over by the Tampa Bay area, some places (not all) the water will eat through copper pipe in a couple of years if soft copper is used, longer if hard copper is used.

    To me, though, if the water does that to the pipes, how healthy can it be for the people?

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  40. #40
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Is it true that copper pipe can not be used in areas of the country due to the mineral content of the water? I seem to recall that it is mostly in FL.
    It is or used to be prohibited in Cape Coral for residential construction. As I stated before, a house that is 15-20 years with copper is about on borrowed time and due for a repipe. The copper was failing in houses on the city water supply system.

    My house is 10 years old, very well built in comparison to alot of houses in the neighborhood with similar value and piped with CPVC. I did have a leak about three years ago but that was at an elbow and seemed more like an installation issue rather than a fitting or material failure. The elbow looked good just leaked a little under the flange. FWIW I would like to use copper and I'm not sold on PEX for various reasons.

    Interesting read although a little dated.

    Attached Files Attached Files

  41. #41
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    Default Re: PEX issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Some parts of Florida, like over by the Tampa Bay area, some places (not all) the water will eat through copper pipe in a couple of years if soft copper is used, longer if hard copper is used.

    To me, though, if the water does that to the pipes, how healthy can it be for the people?
    Where copper is used here it is a minimum Type L.


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Here is one more picture of pex pipe that went bad. This is from a different job, and a different part of the country.
    Attached Thumbnails

    Can PEX be used for aboveground outdoor applications?
    No. PEX is currently designed for indoor and buried applications only and is not recommended for outdoor, aboveground use. Short exposures to sunlight during construction are permissible, but should not exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations. PEX should be stored under cover, shielded from direct sunlight or in the original packaging. In the future, PEX products rated for outdoor use may be developed.


  43. #43
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Butczynski View Post
    Here is one more picture of pex pipe that went bad. This is from a different job, and a different part of the country.
    Attached Thumbnails

    Can PEX be used for aboveground outdoor applications?
    No. PEX is currently designed for indoor and buried applications only and is not recommended for outdoor, aboveground use. Short exposures to sunlight during construction are permissible, but should not exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations. PEX should be stored under cover, shielded from direct sunlight or in the original packaging. In the future, PEX products rated for outdoor use may be developed.
    That picture is of a plumber friend pressurizing it outside to take a picture of where the leak was. It was inside a home originally never was installed outdoors.

    One other issue that Pex has it allows chemicals like pesticides, and petroleum products to bond with it and leach into the drinking water. This issue has been brought up in many states that like California, that is reviewing the installation of pex piping.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Ron,

    How/ why would you disconnect an interior run to the exterior to prove a point? Show me a picture of the soaked floor, wall, or ceiling area and I'm a believer. No disrespect intended, but your argument is flawed.

    Last edited by Bud Butczynski; 07-15-2009 at 07:12 PM. Reason: Error!

  45. #45
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Butczynski View Post
    Ron,

    How/ why would you disconnect an interior run to the exterior to prove a point? Show me a picture of the soaked floor, wall, or ceiling area and I'm a believer. No disrespect intended, but your argument is flawed.
    Well as a plumber getting called on a job to stop a leak in a wall. We tend to find the offending pipe and remove it. Then insurance company has a look at the pipe and says there is nothing wrong with it the part we removed. Unlike copper where once it is broken you can always tell its broken, pex can be hard to see if there is a slice or a leaking part unless it is under some sort of pressure. So we hook it up to a hose and show the working pressure that is applied to the removed piece of pipe and with water spraying out it is a good visual for everyone to see.

    So what you are saying to me you rather have me turn on the water in the home make a video of it spraying out of the wall but you still would not be able to see if it is a failed fitting or the piece of pipe, till after I cut it out. I been in homes that had many burst pipes due to freezing, some of the bursts I could not see due to they where facing away from me, but I was able to feel where the spray was coming from and remove that section. Once it removed every can see the burst with ease and with out adding to the water damage.

    I know I repeated what i said here in a few different ways, I am just hoping one of them will get you to see it from a service plumbers eyes.


  46. #46
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Touche', brother! Still like to see the photos, though......insurance claim and all that (there gotta be more photos). My partner's a master plumber; we've been using Watts Pex & fittings for the last 3 years with no call backs. We're both pretty good with a torch, but Pex sure got us through some tight spots. Can't beat the price, ease of installation, and expansion & memory after freezing (Northeast PA, here). He starting using it 3 years before I met him. We gotta believe.


  47. #47
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    I've gotta come clean, though. I was the project manager for a high end residential addition back in 2000 when I first encountered Pex (I have no idea what brand, I think it was white/ opaque). Continuous loops (Jerry's home runs) in the first and second floor, floor joists supplied radiant heat throughout. I was totally impressed with the concept, the tidy tie-ins at the manifolds, and the time it took to run all of that piping. That was until the flooring sub didn't check his nail gun to clean out the clips from the previous days job. We arrived at the site the next day to greet the owner in the driveway with, "You're not going to believe what happened"........

    Luckily, water damage was contained to a freshly rocked living room beneath the stapled pex. Maybe copper would have deflected the oversized staples. I don't know. The one thing that sticks in my mind the most, though is that everybody but the flooring sub made out on the deal.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Butczynski View Post
    I've gotta come clean, though. I was the project manager for a high end residential addition back in 2000 when I first encountered Pex (I have no idea what brand, I think it was white/ opaque). Continuous loops (Jerry's home runs) in the first and second floor, floor joists supplied radiant heat throughout. I was totally impressed with the concept, the tidy tie-ins at the manifolds, and the time it took to run all of that piping. That was until the flooring sub didn't check his nail gun to clean out the clips from the previous days job. We arrived at the site the next day to greet the owner in the driveway with, "You're not going to believe what happened"........

    Luckily, water damage was contained to a freshly rocked living room beneath the stapled pex. Maybe copper would have deflected the oversized staples. I don't know. The one thing that sticks in my mind the most, though is that everybody but the flooring sub made out on the deal.
    See now using pex for radiant heat, I am all for that. It is been proven to be great stuff (except for the Goodyear made stuff) But for potable water systems, chlorine causes it to break down, it allows pesticides and petroleum products to leach into the potable water, it has to be handled with kid gloves (kept in the dark and 100 other precautions must be taken). One of the guys said the spit in the first set of pictures could of happened if some one drove over the pex before it was installed or it was exposed to direct sunlight which could be true. Thing with copper is if some one drove over it, the installer would be able to see the damage and not install that piece. Also copper can sit in the hot sun all day, and still be installed with out the fear of it breaking down.

    They do allow pex to be used in Illinois, so do not think its a Union thing here. Just as a plumber I rather put in a pipe I know I can stand by, and the only way it will fail is if I installed it in a poor manner.


  49. #49
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    To our plumbing professionals:

    Please provide a rough price comparison of copper, CPVC, and PEX for new construction. Style of home is 2 story traditional, 4/2.5 with master and guest on second floor. Powder room on first floor. Unfinished basement.

    Please provide the warranty you would typically offer for the 3 types of materials.

    Thank you plumbing pros.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    In my opinion PEX is a great product. There are many different manufactures of PEX pipe and many different types of fittings. As others have mentioned there has been some recalled fittings, but for the most part PEX has proven to be reliable. I have not seen copper pipe used on new construction in my area since about 2002, everyone is using PEX or Wirsbo PEX. I recently used some PEX fittings sold at Home Depot called Shark-Bite. They are a brass fitting that you simply push the end of the pipe into and it bites and makes a water tight connection without any special tool. These types of fittings seem like they would have a higher chance of failure than the crimp connectors or the Wirsbo type.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    I recently used some PEX fittings sold at Home Depot called Shark-Bite. They are a brass fitting that you simply push the end of the pipe into and it bites and makes a water tight connection without any special tool.
    'Shark-Bite', eh? Sounds like something a lawyer came up with.


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Here is a good thread for all you to read if you do not believe that the pex tubing can fail. The thread started in 08 but has more recent posts of people having issues with it just splitting. Why would PEX split (lengthwise) and leak? - Terry Love's Plumbing & Remodel DIY forum


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Any plumbing system can fail for numbers of reasons. Improper installs, crimpers not regularly calibrated. Using cutters that are not proper for the material, not cutting straight, lubricants on cutters getting on pipe, installs during cold weather, piss poor quality fittings, using bent crimp rings. I have played attic monkey more times than I want to admit. I have seen failures in copper from flux, ro systems, cheap copper, bent soft copper, soft copper without sleeving, Cpvc failures in cold weather due to cracking. Plastic tubing doesn't do well in the cold while cutting it period. Other trades don't help you by doing stupid stuff, I have seen sovent systems fail from a block of wood and roofers pouring lightweight concrete down a roof vent. We used a fish tape to find the blockage. The most important thing is to water test everything and find what works and stick with it. I don't know PEX but I know plumbing, training, tools and attitudes is what it takes to deliver a quality product. I quit a job that was roughed in by people who shouldn't ever touched a pipe, with every pipe and measurement off and stubouts barely in the cabinet. I went on a job with a guy that did layouts and before inspection he asked me what I thought, I said it is screwed? How can you tell? I said as you have this clubhouse laid out now I could sit on the toilet and wash my hands at the same time. I rescued him, helped him fix it before inspection, barely. I've seen my old boss tell people they needed a repipe and went in the kitchen and said you don't need a repipe tbe solenoid is bad on the fridge (the owners didn't care). There is a pattern to failures like these and a bunch of it is common sense. Another argument can be said for being a cheapskate or lazy.


  54. #54
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    This thread is labeled "HOT" because someone posted to it after more than 4 years?
    I guess now that two people have posted it's "REALLY HOT".

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    I guess any type of supply piping could have problems if it was installed like this! DSCN9958.jpg


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    Default Re: Pex issues

    The forum found at: Why would PEX split (lengthwise) and leak? - Terry Love's Plumbing & Remodel DIY forum posted by Ron Hasil, has been active into 2013. I don't know how I did not see this back in 2009 and am now a little concerned do to the number of incidents in the Charlotte area.

    I had never heard of any problems with the pex tubing before this, only fittings. Now that I know that I am aware of the problem what to do? I know that I have seen thousands of feet of PEX over the years and it is obvious that the problem doesn't show itself until it leaks.

    Even though there have been numerous failures, what percentage of PEX does this represent? In the thread there is only 15 to 30 feet referenced out of how many million feet? Do I tell the client that the mfg. of the PEX has had faulty product? If I do, and it is used to back out of the contract, will the seller come after me for the lost earnest money? Who else might come after me as well?

    Greg Subick likes this.
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    The forum found at: Why would PEX split (lengthwise) and leak? - Terry Love's Plumbing & Remodel DIY forum posted by Ron Hasil, has been active into 2013. I don't know how I did not see this back in 2009 and am now a little concerned do to the number of incidents in the Charlotte area.

    I had never heard of any problems with the pex tubing before this, only fittings. Now that I know that I am aware of the problem what to do? I know that I have seen thousands of feet of PEX over the years and it is obvious that the problem doesn't show itself until it leaks.

    Even though there have been numerous failures, what percentage of PEX does this represent? In the thread there is only 15 to 30 feet referenced out of how many million feet? Do I tell the client that the mfg. of the PEX has had faulty product? If I do, and it is used to back out of the contract, will the seller come after me for the lost earnest money? Who else might come after me as well?
    As you alluded to in your post, it is all relative. In today's world, real lumber would not be approved as a new building material. It shrinks, swells, rots, burns, molds, and termites love it.
    No way it would be approved as a building material had it not been for the centuries of past experience to prove it is acceptable if you treat it right. Same IMHO with any product, learn how to install it according to the manufacturers instructions.

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  58. #58
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    I am curious as to the brands of PEX which are failing.

    There are two basic ways to manufacturer PEX:
    - 1) Cross link the molecular structure in the polymer stage prior to extruding so the entire PEX polymer material is the same through and through.
    - 2) Cross link the molecular structure after extruding, this may leave the cross-linking incomplete within the PEX material.

    There is one brand which does it as in 1) above.

    There are multiple brands which have developed their own way to do it as in 2) above.

    The brand of PEX which does it as 1) above does not have to have crimping bands, the other brands all have crimping bands.

    The crimping bands can, and have, failed. The PEX piping can, and has, failed (mostly due, I suspect, to the cross-linking process which resulted in incomplete cross-linking). Incomplete cross-linking could lead to PEX piping splitting.

    I prefer the brand which does it as 1) above, and, in fact, they were the ones which invented/discovered the process and made PEX polymer, and made PEX piping from that polymer.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    As you alluded to in your post, it is all relative. In today's world, real lumber would not be approved as a new building material. It shrinks, swells, rots, burns, molds, and termites love it.
    No way it would be approved as a building material had it not been for the centuries of past experience to prove it is acceptable if you treat it right. Same IMHO with any product, learn how to install it according to the manufacturers instructions.
    Jim,
    The issue is not about the suitability of PEX or its installation but about defective PEX. There is growing evidence of a particular brand name that has had a defective process or batch of PEX. The defect does not show itself until it fails. The question is; what should we do as home inspectors regarding the possibility of some of this product being in a home we inspect?

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  60. #60
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I am curious as to the brands of PEX which are failing.

    There are two basic ways to manufacturer PEX:
    - 1) Cross link the molecular structure in the polymer stage prior to extruding so the entire PEX polymer material is the same through and through.
    - 2) Cross link the molecular structure after extruding, this may leave the cross-linking incomplete within the PEX material.

    There is one brand which does it as in 1) above.

    There are multiple brands which have developed their own way to do it as in 2) above.

    The brand of PEX which does it as 1) above does not have to have crimping bands, the other brands all have crimping bands.

    The crimping bands can, and have, failed. The PEX piping can, and has, failed (mostly due, I suspect, to the cross-linking process which resulted in incomplete cross-linking). Incomplete cross-linking could lead to PEX piping splitting.

    I prefer the brand which does it as 1) above, and, in fact, they were the ones which invented/discovered the process and made PEX polymer, and made PEX piping from that polymer.
    Hi Jerry,
    We hit xmit to reply to Jim's post at the same time. We as HI's did not and can not pick which brand of PEX is installed in the home. I ask you the same question I asked Jim; what do we do when we find suspect (not proven) to be faulty PEX?

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  61. #61
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    Default Re: Pex issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Hi Jerry,
    We hit xmit to reply to Jim's post at the same time. We as HI's did not and can not pick which brand of PEX is installed in the home. I ask you the same question I asked Jim; what do we do when we find suspect (not proven) to be faulty PEX?
    Vern,

    Yep, we did respond at the same time.

    As a code inspector and plan examiner I cannot choose which type of piping to use or which brand to use, just like you guys.

    Like you guys, all I can do is approve what the code allows, and at time express my concerns about their (the contractors choices) in a manner which is educational only, such as ... (talking with contractor) 'I'm sure you have heard of the issues with CSST ... PEX ... etc ... , right? Just making sure you are aware of what has been reported related to what you are installing.', then I approve it (if installed correctly) or disapproved it (if not installed correctly). I have had some contractors say 'No, I have not heard, what is it?, then I direct them to do an internet search, check with other contractors, their supplier, etc., and add 'What I have heard and read about some installations is ... ' (then leave it to them to either do their own research or not - after all, they are the contractor and are the party responsible for what they do, which includes the material they choose to use.

    As home inspectors all that you can do is to relay to your client what you have found out, it is up to them to take it from there. If they respond with 'Yeah, I heard about that house in Texas/Florida/wherever exploding/catching fire/whatever too but I didn't think anything about it until you just mentioned it.' The conversation either goes from there or it stops from lack of interest on their part.

    Is CSST 'bad'? Is PEX 'bad'? I don't know, but either some has been 'bad' or the installations were 'bad' and allowed for what happened to happen. Sometimes it is the product and not the installation, sometimes it is the installation and not the product (every product can fail is installed incorrectly in just the wrong way for it to fail).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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