Pipe, Fittings and Valves: A 2016 PVC market report found that pipes and fittings make up 62% of PVC revenue. Taken together, the system appears to have become fragile in its entirety, as repair records further suggest. No evidence of lightning strike was observed and no documentation of the strike and related insurance claim were forwarded for our review and is therefore omitted from this investigation pending identification of failure modes. CPVC failures are not limited to these particular problems. Priddy has over 100 scientific publications, over 60 US patents, and has authored several encyclopedia articles on various aspects of plastics. Contains extra chlorine increasing its safety for potable water; Pipes and fittings are easy to work with which makes them ideal for novice home … CPVC pipes share many of the advantages of PVC, plus one more: Longevity: Like PVC, since CPVC is a plastic material, it does not react to corrosive substances and does not rust, so its lifespan is indefinite. Observations of the new system were made in comparison to remnants of the old system in place. The remainder of this report will identify multiple violations of manufacturer installation recommendations, classic failure patterns in a small sample, and additional conditions that could impact the integrity of a CPVC system. The copper tube sizing system is an entirely different sizing system from Nominal Pipe Size, and as the name implies it is the same system used for copper tube pipe. CPVC, as we explained earlier, is a stronger version of PVC pipe with a higher melting point and tougher chemical structure. The second observation strongly suggests that the system was contaminated at some time in its past with a chemical or agent known to degrade CPVC. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Two couplings and pipe would be a lot better and cheaper then Pex adapters. You can always contact us via email or phone. Natural Gas piping, sheet metal ductwork, and other mechanical specifications were provided. Coengineers collected all data. Heating water is intended to circulate at 180o F. leaving the heaters. A site visit was conducted on June 11, 2014. Once contaminated, the entire piping system must be replaced. Improper Installation or Engineering. A failed embrittled drainage system pulled from a hospital. These pipes provided an inexpensive alternative to several other piping materials and reduced the degrading effects of acidic waters on the longevity of pipe. Figure 7: Evidence of Leakage and corrosion of Brass observed on all samples. A closed hydronic system would not hold enough oxygen to cause the iron corrosion that was observed. It was our recommendation to replace the entire CPVC system with an “Engineered System” that is specified from beginning to end to perform the function of a modern and reliable hydronic heating and cooling system. The ease of installation and corrosion resistance makes it a valuable replacement to alternative materials. The Architectural building specifications did not make it clear to engineering what material would be used for the piping of the hydronic system. Also, why not just glue back cpvc. Brown stains are rust deposits remaining after gentle cleaning of the sample. It has been available since the mid-1960s, and has an estimated lifespan of 50 to 80 years, with an average of 70 years. CPVC Pipes Could Spell Major Headaches for Houston Homeowners Posted on January 18, 2016 Most people never give their home plumbing a second thought until something goes wrong. I would have replaced pipe with cpvc. In our personal opinion, what makes CPVC so dangerous is it will simply become brittle with age due to the aggressive water (very high chlorine content). Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC) and green pipe (PPR) are both popular piping options in today’s market. It’s also prone to several kinds of failures. Additional tests would need to be carried out for more specific diagnostic. CPVC is commonly specified as pipe, fittings and valves where heat, pressure and chemical resistance are concerns. For older homes, PEX pipe serves as a great retrofitting option. In general, pipes and tubes made with CPVC are significantly more flexible and can withstand higher temperatures than pipes and tubes … Having to vent air continuously from the system indicates that the make-up water PRV (pressure reducing valve) was not set correctly to prevent air entrainment. However, these are fairly expensive test whose ultimate value ought to be weighed against the value of pursuing additional action in this matter. A random failure patter suggests whole system fragility. Any piping product will be susceptible to problems if it’s not installed properly, but Mayfield notes that CPVC has a smaller margin for error than PEX since it is a more rigid pipe that seems to get especially brittle over time. It is the most commonly used piping in building construction in most parts of the world, outpacing ordinary polyvinyl and metal and copper alternatives. Turn off the water supply, then cut your pipes where you’d like to tie in. Mechanical specifications were observed in the mechanical drawing set. CPVC pipes and fittings are joined using a fast and reliable solvent welding process that produces a unique connection that is the strongest point of the system surpassing the strength of pipe and fitting individually. From visual inspections it was obvious that the installation did not include compensation for expansion or contraction that would occur during operation. Unlike copper, CPVC piping systems will maintain drinking-water quality even if the pH of the potable water source falls below 6.5 (pH measures the relative acidity of water; the pH of natural potable water should be between 6.5 and 8.5). Manufacturers requirements for supports were every 3 feet for up to one-inch diameter and every 4 feet for pipe 1 ¼ to 2 inches in diameter. After review of the facility, collection of samples, and extended discussion, the samples were returned to Coengineers lab for analysis. Figure 5: CPVC Thread effectively “bottomed out” on all samples. It was reported that the air separator and pump impeller deteriorated and were replaced. Before gluing PVC pipe, lay out all the pieces of pipe and make sure that when they’re … Ferran Services & Contracting uses it on a regular basis. It may have been during this time that someone introduced an incompatible corrosion inhibitor, cleaning agent, or MIC inhibitor. Joining CPVC to copper. PVC / CPVC plumbing supply or drain pipe installation: This article provides step by step advice for preparing and installing PVC or CPVC plastic water supply or drain piping used at or in buildings. Taken together, these observations would explain how excess oxygen was allowed to enter the system. There are many different CPVC pipe manufacturers, and whilst the bulk of the material used to make the pipe will be CPVC, each manufacturer may add their own blend of fillers and pigments. We were looking for evidence of multiple failure scenarios offered by the owners, including a reported lightning strike event. Complete the form to download your copy of the slide deck, 6 common misconceptions about CPVC fire protection pipes, today. It is clear that these unions where tool tightened to the point of CPVC material deformation as the brass nut bottomed out on the CPVC male connector. Homeowners want piping that does its job, without problems, for as long as possible. A site visit occurred on Thursday June 11, 2014 and the following was observed; A set of mechanical drawings was made available. Since the 1950s, plastic water pipes have been the material of choice for plumbers and home builders. The first set of photographs suggests a case where the threaded brass connections throughout the installation were improper for this application. Pros. Since CPVC is non-metallic, it will never pit, scale, or corrode. Community Engineering Services, PLLC (d.b.a. Today I'm telling you why I don't use Sharkbites and why I don't let my plumbers use them either. CPVC pipes have a … The only failure records on hand covered a relatively short period between 2011 and the present. Samples were sanded with 100 Grit paper then 600 grit paper to produce a smooth finish for photography. An additional sample provided by the Heating Contractor demonstrates a condition where insufficient cement was applied allowing the CPVC tube to fall out of the connector. Features such as thermal expansion loops and brass-inlaid connectors were not specified, so the contractor may not have known to include them. The engineers designed a hydronic system without providing readily obvious identification of material. However no specifications for hydronic piping were called out, nor was any statement deferring the material selection to another party apparent. Low cost: Metal and PVC water supply pipes require thrust blocks, costly additions used to restrain pipes and prevent damage from unsupported movement. The problems with CPVC pipes can range from: Turning off the valve by the toilet and having it snap off in the wall; Mopping your floor and hitting the connection, causing it to snap; To be fair, some plumbing companies prefer CPVC. Compared to other plastic pipes like PVC, CPVC is a stronger material. Classic environmental stress fracturing was found at the inside wall of the threaded area of pipe. Therefore the CPVC piping system would be subjected to temperature variation of between 45o F and 180o F. The building is three stories above grade and is approximately 250-300 feet long. He has recently authored/edited a book entitled, As the founder of Plastic Failure Labs, Inc. (. Figure 2: Sample 1 CPVC thread vs. brass nut tightened to .o83 gap. Main Difference – UPVC vs CPVC. CPVC piping with water damage from SPF application. Yet only oxygen in the water would corrode the pump impeller. In fact, the first piping systems using CPVC occurred in 1959 and are still working without a problem. A known failure record was assembled from maintenance records. In a proper application of CPVC threads (which this was not), the manufacturer installation recommendations for CPVC threads is to hand tighten for no more than 1-2 turns beyond finger tight using a strap wrench. Know why a time tested material like CPVC has been safely used in fire protection to assure lives and property for decades. A tour of the facility was performed including entry to several suites, the basement boiler room, and the roof mounted chiller. CPVC pipe and fittings offer installers a viable alternative to copper. What is certain is that they would have continued until all components were replaced individually. CPVC typically works well for hydronic applications however, leakes in a local heat exchanger can destroy entire systems. We started to become concerned about ten years ago and confronted the manufactures Rep who admitted that they were in essence experiencing problems with the product going brittle. FlowGuard Gold systems can be installed in residential or commercial buildings. CPVC failures are not limited to these particular problems. Now, if a CPVC line was routed through a hole or area that is too tight, you'll hear a rubbing/clicking/knocking noise anytime hot water runs through that pipe. I would have replaced pipe with cpvc. The most common failure modes for CPVC are associated with improper installation, contamination, and incompatible chemicals. Even a small leak will destroy the piping system causing the CPVC pipes and fittings to turn brittle and fail. A catastrophic failure at this union was imminent. Assuming the horizontal branch piping on each floor is 300 feet long then the pipe will expand approximately 18.5 inches (1.14 x 3 x135/25). In the manufacturing of PVC, plasticizers are added in order to make it easy to bend and to increase flexibility. CPVC pipe manufacturers are well aware of the incompatibility of CPVC drain piping toward most hydrocarbon based chemicals and yet they continue to promote the use of CPVC piping for sink drain piping in laboratories. DO a dry fit. David Coles, PE, Coles Consultants, LLC assisted with the overview of system operations and best installation practices. Because of the significant risk of contamination we do not recommend the use of CPVC (or PVC) piping in the hydronic piping application. Most major cities and large towns add chlorine to the water supply to kill viruses and bacteria. Easy to install and economical, plastic plumbing pipes are commonly made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) and polybutylene (PB). Plastic pipe failures can lead to water damage, mold, and hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in repairs! This introduced mechanical stresses in the material. Potable water systems and fittings utilizing CPVC tend to degradate and often fail after only a few years of service. One of the main positive aspects is that PEX does not need glue to be held up. The resin used to create PVC and CPVC pipes must be carefully mixed to avoid defects. Like all piping materials, the most common mode of failure is improper design and poor craftsmanship. A site visit as attended by [customer name withheld], Dan Robles, PE, Coengineers, PLLC, David Coles, PE, Coles Consultants, LLC, and [Contractor name withheld]. A lack of expertise can destroy entire systems. Portions of the ceilings on floors first and second where open during the site visit. We have found that most failures are caused by exposure to incompatible chemicals, on the inside (e.g., Allied ABF) and outside (e.g., fire caulk, spray foam, etc.). Attention: Anyone who has experienced leaking or other problems with their FlowGuard Gold Pipe & Fittings plumbing system. Homeowners want piping that does its job, without problems, for as long as possible. 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Meanwhile lawsuits regarding failures of CPVC pipes and fitting exposed to spray foam continue. This CPVC Pipe Failure Investigation demonstrates these shortcomings. Wow, obviously working by the hour and wasting time. When plumbing began to move indoors in the early 20th century, the materials of choice were terra-cotta, cast iron, copper and galvanized steel. Note micro-cracking surface patterns, Figure 15: “dry desert” cracking pattern is typical of ESC. Extended portfolio of photographs were sent electronically to Dr. Duane Priddy, owner of Plastics Lab, a specialty chemist and consultant on CPVC and other types of plastic piping. Note obvious leak path. The scope of my search is only fire sprinkler systems and only CPVC pipe failures in the US. Note tooling marks on CPVC connector. A sample was taken of residual water contained in the remaining CPVC system and tested for presence of hydrocarbons. Little is known about the failures prior to this time. A heat exchanger installed to closely to CPVC piping. The use of CPVC materials offer significant advantages over metal piping materials including ease of installation and the pipes are not affected by microbial induced corrosion (MIC). Plumbers told Local 6 that CPVC pipes, which are plastic with glued joints, are a ticking time bomb because it’s not if a leak is going to happen, but when it will happen. A pile of samples were salvaged from the demo and laid out on the floor by the contractor for our review. It also comes in handy with remodels due to its extreme flexibility. The following chart shows a box rendering of the building elevation identified by suite numbers and approximate costs of recent repairs (as a proxy for severity of the leak). These are all long lasting materials, but after 70 years or service, they can begin to develop pin-hole leaks and rust/corrosion build up inside the pipes. Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipe is a thermoplastic created by the chlorination of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin. Some failures were minor and some catastrophic. Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipe, more commonly known as “CPVC pipe,” is a plumbing material made of highly durable thermopastic. From the outside, CPVC pipe resembles the PVC pipe that preceded it. It's possible that the problems consumers have experienced may stem from the resin used in FlowGuard Gold CPVC and that this may be causing the pipes to become brittle to the point where they fall apart. The value of FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings isn’t limited to high-performance, cost-effective plumbing materials. Berger Montague is asking to hear from home and property owners who have experienced problems with their FlowGuard Gold CPVC pipes and fittings. Bernice Dockery is dealing with the problem right now “Improve their product, the material is no good,” Dockery said, referring to the CPVC pipes behind her walls that were installed 14 years ago. CPVC pipe is non‐toxic. However, as with all plumbing products including metal piping, occasionally a pipe or fitting may fail. This CPVC Pipe Failure Investigation demonstrates also demonstrates possible hydrocarbon degradation. While CPVC has more than 40 years of proven performance, Berko first began evaluating FlowGuard Gold® pipe and fittings while trying to solve the corrosion and water quality problems generated by aggressive well water. Inconspicuous chemicals are leading causes of failure. My environmental engineer friends too confirmed this: Iron pipes are much better for water transport and supply any day than PVC pipes. The high chlorine content in our water in the metro Orlando area is drying the product out and forcing it to split. Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipe is a thermoplastic created by the chlorination of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin. (CPVC), or Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, is a thermoplastic produced by the chlorination of polyvinyl chloride resin. Additional records, if submitted, may be instrumental in determining if or when any system contamination occurred. pipes have been detected inside of CPVC pipes. Advantages of CPVC. The CPVC system was installed in 2006 as new construction, and experienced repetitive failures throughout its relatively short service life. Recently we visited a research hospital that had to replace their entire sink drainage system because the CPVC pipes and fittings had turned brittle, cracked and failed. If your PEX or CPVC pipes are failing and you want to know why, we can help. Schedule 80 CPVC is light gray in color and is more resistant to crushing and puncture than Schedule 40 CPVC pipe. One common problem is the use of too much cement to bond a pipe to a fitting. Many failures of CPVC have resulted from exposure to spray foam. PLLC and assembled into this document. In fact, attorneys are looking into whether FlowGuard Gold pipes meet the American Society for Testing Materials' (ASTM) standards for strength. Cross-linked polyethylene, commonly abbreviated PEX, XPE or XLPE, is a form of polyethylene with cross-links.It is used predominantly in building services pipework systems, hydronic radiant heating and cooling systems, domestic water piping, and insulation for high tension (high voltage) electrical cables. Something as simple as hand-lotion getting into the drain will cause the CPVC drain pipe to fail! However, as a result of several major leaks occurring over the years and the lack of isolation valves required the system to be drained down to repair leaks which would introduce more substantial oxygen amounts. The system began to weaken as generalized fragility ensued. It was also learned from the HVAC contractor that a flange at the chiller on the roof was loosened during operation to vent air continuously from the system. Also, unlike CPVC, cold temperatures are no problem for PEX pipe. The hydronic supply and return piping (from a below grade mechanical room that houses the heating boilers, expansion/compression tank, air separator, and pump) rises up through the building approximately in the center. Problems with CPVC Pipes Genova Products was the first company to create CPVC plumbing products. A major concern related to pipes and fittings is the potential for damage when they fail and leak. You can do this by checking the color of the pipe: CPVC is a gold/yellow/tan color, whereas Schedule 40 PVC plumbing pipe is a dull white. Because these items are typically cast or fabricated from mild steel the premature deterioration would indicate excess oxygen was allowed to enter the system. 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