Because these items are typically cast or fabricated from mild steel the premature deterioration would indicate excess oxygen was allowed to enter the system. None was found, albeit on a limited sample and limited knowledge of what chemical to look for. From the visual inspections, it appears no attempts were made to support the pipe per manufacturer’s requirements nor were any attempt to provide expansion compensation per the manufacturer’s requirements. Figure 16: This ECS failure attributed to poor workmanship as excess cement was allowed to pool inside the pipe. Homeowners want piping that does its job, without problems, for as long as possible. CPVC pipes and fittings are advertised for use in hot chlorinated water service because of its high heat resistance. Taken together, the system appears to have become fragile in its entirety, as repair records further suggest. When CPVC is mechanically stressed, it will increase absorption of hydrocarbons (contaminants) in an effort to relieve that stress. Besides, gluing Pex adapters on you still have to wait an hour or so to turn the water back on. However no mention of expansion compensation was observed on readily available mechanical drawings. It has been available since the mid-1960s, and has an estimated lifespan of 50 to 80 years, with an average of 70 years. This elevated view is contrasted with a typical hydronic system plan view. The cause of failure was due to simply laboratory personnel allowing small amounts of hand lotion to get into the sink drains. Berger Montague is asking to hear from home and property owners who have experienced problems with their FlowGuard Gold CPVC pipes and fittings. Figure 4: Sample 3, CPVC thread vs brass nut tightened to .080 gap. Compared to other plastic pipes like PVC, CPVC is a stronger material. Some homes use CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl-chloride) as their hot water supply pipes (i.e. This is precursor to a failure due to excess mechanical forces applied to threads and the propensity for CPVC to absorb contaminants at such stress zones; a textbook case. There is no clear failure pattern evident with the possible exception of the B&C and symmetric F&G stack associated with dollar value. CPVC piping with water damage from SPF application. Hydronic Heating & Cooling System Failures. The setting of the PRV should provide approximately 5 PSIG at the highest point in the system with the circulating pump not operating. Oxygen introduced to “closed” system: It was reported that the air separator and pump impeller deteriorated and were replaced. A heat exchanger installed to closely to CPVC piping. Defects in the Resin. 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. 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. Priddy has over 100 scientific publications, over 60 US patents, and has authored several encyclopedia articles on various aspects of plastics. A major concern related to pipes and fittings is the potential for damage when they fail and leak. CVPC pipe was developed in the 1980s and has proven to be more durable, safer and easier to install, and longer lasting than the PVC pipe of before. David Coles, PE, Coles Consultants, LLC assisted with the overview of system operations and best installation practices. CPVC piping is not chemically compatible with many chemicals, especially esters and amines. Taken together, these observations would explain how excess oxygen was allowed to enter the system. Figure 3: Sample 2, CPVC thread vs. brass nut tightened to .084 gap. The first CPVC plumbing products were created by Genova Products in 1962. CONTACT US FOR A FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP. 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. Because of the lengths of piping involved and coefficient of expansion of CPVC piping in this design, it would seem reasonable that some indication expansion compensation would be required. 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. Some of these oils and lubricants have been found to chemically affect CPVC leading to failures [1]. For … CPVC pipe and fittings offer installers a viable alternative to copper. The first set of photographs suggests a case where the threaded brass connections throughout the installation were improper for this application. CPVC: CPVC and PVC are time-tested products that have been in use for over fifty years in the plumbing industry. 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. CPVC (and sometimes PVC) is often specified as piping for hydronic heating/cooling system piping. Common Pipe Failures Below are the most common pipe failures and the causes of those failures. The Dos and Don’ts of Gluing PVC Pipe Speed and accuracy count when gluing PVC pipe, so avoid mishaps with this guide to creating an airtight connection with fast-acting cement. Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC) and green pipe (PPR) are both popular piping options in today’s market. The engineers designed a hydronic system without providing readily obvious identification of material. 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. At the time of this CPVC Pipe Failure Investigation, the facility was in renovation and the problematic hydronic system was roughly 90% removed. Complete the form to download your copy of the slide deck, 6 common misconceptions about CPVC fire protection pipes, today. Figure 7: Evidence of Leakage and corrosion of Brass observed on all samples. For example, it is common for CPVC pipework used in sprinkler systems to be orange in colour, whereas pipework used for hot and cold water distributions systems is typically black or dark brown. Something as simple as hand-lotion getting into the drain will cause the CPVC drain pipe to fail! Potable water systems and fittings utilizing CPVC tend to degradate and often fail after only a few years of service. Figure 13: Radial and Longitudinal ESC Failure were present in the cross-threaded sample, Figure 14: Two complete cracks form inside the threaded section of sample 5. The CPVC system was installed in 2006 as new construction, and experienced repetitive failures throughout its relatively short service life. Two couplings and pipe would be a lot better and cheaper then Pex adapters. 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). 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). Figure 2: Sample 1 CPVC thread vs. brass nut tightened to .o83 gap. Community Engineering Services (Coengineers, PLLC) provides affordable, high-quality engineering services that meet our diverse client needs, budget and schedule. It may have been during this time that someone introduced an incompatible corrosion inhibitor, cleaning agent, or MIC inhibitor. Classic environmental stress fracturing was found at the inside wall of the threaded area of pipe. 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. So, if all you have to bond two PVC pipes and fittings together is CPVC cement, it will work, but PVC cement cannot be used to bond CPVC pipes and fittings. The first may be described as the general disregard for manufacturer installation recommendations. However, no specifications for hydronic piping material were called out, nor was any statement deferring the material selection to another party apparent. This CPVC Pipe Failure Investigation demonstrates these shortcomings. Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipe, more commonly known as “CPVC pipe,” is a plumbing material made of highly durable thermopastic. Class action suits have been filed alleging national cover-ups of defects, exposing condominium and townhome owners to risk of personal injury as well as loss of life.*. From a property claims perspective, however, there are many concerns to evaluate when it comes to pipe … The samples were photographed as collected and cleaned of extensive rust staining. A pile of samples were salvaged from the demo and laid out on the floor by the contractor for our review. PLLC and assembled into this document. Wow, obviously working by the hour and wasting time. It is chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipe and fittings. Today I'm telling you why I don't use Sharkbites and why I don't let my plumbers use them either. Natural Gas piping, sheet metal ductwork, and other mechanical specifications were provided. PEX or CPVC can't be run to a tub spout or the water will be forced up to the shower head while filling the tub. These systems were designed to provide an inexpensive alternative to other materials and to reduce the effects of acidic water on pipe longevity. Portions of the ceilings on floors first and second where open during the site visit. The pipes that failed in residential settings considering these variables in order to accurately replicashow significantly larger crack propagations, more bifurcations, and less pipe bulging. Like all piping materials, the most common mode of failure is improper design and poor craftsmanship. 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. 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. A leaking heat exchanger allows for refrigerant to leak into, and then contaminate, the water in the piping system. We were looking for evidence of multiple failure scenarios offered by the owners, including a reported lightning strike event. 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. Little is known about the failures prior to this time. A site visit was conducted on June 11, 2014. In the absence of this specification, the builder or sub-contractor took it upon himself or herself to use an otherwise reliable industry standard such as CPVC piping product. Also, markings on the pipe with the following acronyms or names will be present for CPVC: CPVC… Knowing what type of pipe has been installed in your walls, however, can often help you prevent developing problems before they result in costly repair bills. 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. CPVC delivers superior resistance to degradation and provides a long service lifespan. 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. Figure 8: Dark Staining on threads and thread root is typical of contaminant absorption under material stress conditions, Figure 9: Rust deposits, brass corrosion, evidence of leakage, and teflon tape remnants are consistent across all samples. CPVC has been around for more than 55 years and many of its initial installations are still up and running without problems. However, strict adherence to CPVC manufacturers installation requirements would have alerted the installer to seek additional information, if not to attend to industry practices. This sample provides a particularly egregious demonstration of combined deficiencies observed in this CPVC installation. The Architectural building specifications did not make it clear to engineering what material would be used for the piping of the hydronic system. The SPFA stance on the matter of SPF-related CPVC failures is subjectively stated: Objectively, the tests were not properly conducted, the results were not published in any scientific journal; instead the SPFA published a white paper synopsis of their findings. Coengineers collected all data. Several samples were split using a manual hack saw to avoid generating heat. Below are the most common pipe failures and the causes of those failures. Many failures of CPVC have resulted from exposure to spray foam. Once contaminated, the entire piping system must be replaced. ... can-rust-from-old-drinking-water-pipes-cause-health-problems. Likewise, insecticides, antibacterial additives and coatings, caulks, and cables or wires that may contact the exterior surface of the pipe can be incompatible with CPVC. Dr. Duane Priddy, CEO Plastic Failure Labs, was retained to validate our findings and identifying the observed CPVC failure modes. 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