Red flag alert Uponor PEX

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breplum

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I posted this over on professional plumbers site but figured worth sharing here:
Well, I’ve been an Uponor fan boy and own the tools and carry the training certificate.
A colleague got a call for some water leaking issues at a nine year old house and pulled out a number of leaking Uponor tube sections and they are scary bad cracks in the tube.
We are helping the homeowner pursue warranty RMA claims and the damage pieces are being sent to the Uponor labs.
But, I have to say, in the absence of anything abnormal at the house, this is red flag warning time.
From what I can see so far there is absolutely nothing wrong with the installation except on the return re-circ return loop pipe, Because it’s a Navien internal pump tankless, it should’ve been three-quarter return loop size and not half inch but that is not the issue because it’s not erosion that is the problem. The splits in the pipe are at the fitting joints and the fittings all look to be Uponor’s.
I will update when Uponor gets back to us.
 

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sarg

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Thank you for this.
Shivers thinking about the polybutylene failure that only time disclosed.
 

Jim Jensen

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me too, glad I had my Mom's 60 year old house re-piped with CPVC, back in 2018..... ( it had been re-piped with PB )
 

JG plumbing

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I'm betting they will say it was exposed to UV light. This was a common problem when pex a first came onto the market in mass. The supply houses weren't properly storing it.

The installer likley had this out in the sunlight too long.

Any type of plastic pipe used that was exposed to UV light for a time would do this whether it was pex a (which is real pex) or any variant or polybutylene or just plain polyethylene, pvc, cpcv, ect.
 
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Twowaxhack

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Could it have been over expanded by the tool? was it subjected to any repeated freezing ?

I use rehau and have never had a problem with pipe splits.
 

tocker

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Just received a 300' shipment that was delivered on the front porch in the sun. It was only wrapped in white plastic around the pipe with clear plastic covering the middle. The clear plastic middle was ripped wide open. It is possible that the direct sunlight hit it for a few hours. Honestly I hate the thought of plastic anything, but can't get anyone around here to use copper.
 

SHEPLMBR

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I posted this over on professional plumbers site but figured worth sharing here:
Well, I’ve been an Uponor fan boy and own the tools and carry the training certificate.
A colleague got a call for some water leaking issues at a nine year old house and pulled out a number of leaking Uponor tube sections and they are scary bad cracks in the tube.
We are helping the homeowner pursue warranty RMA claims and the damage pieces are being sent to the Uponor labs.
But, I have to say, in the absence of anything abnormal at the house, this is red flag warning time.
From what I can see so far there is absolutely nothing wrong with the installation except on the return re-circ return loop pipe, Because it’s a Navien internal pump tankless, it should’ve been three-quarter return loop size and not half inch but that is not the issue because it’s not erosion that is the problem. The splits in the pipe are at the fitting joints and the fittings all look to be Uponor’s.
I will update when Uponor gets back to us.
Is this a regional thing? I have MANY clients who use this piping system. The hardest thing right now is just getting fittings. Do you think maybe it was just stored incorrectly before installation? What's your take?
 

Duckbutter

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PEX has always made me wary in the PB sense, I also dislike the expansion method for PEX and the crimp types restrict flow.

In my area most plumbers shun CPVC and use PEX, I use flowguard and have yet to have a problem, it's proven to be higher quality than other CPVC.

I'd bet money the PEX pictured was originally exposed to sunlight too long, the cracks are right at the stretch point of the expansion fittings.
 

JG plumbing

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Definitely no cpvc for water supply on a house. Too easy to break. Easy to twist a valve and break the pipe. Bump your head break a pipe. Lean wrong break a pipe.

The connections are strong and pretty dependable, there's zero freeze protection.
 

Twowaxhack

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Definitely no cpvc for water supply on a house. Too easy to break. Easy to twist a valve and break the pipe. Bump your head break a pipe. Lean wrong break a pipe.

The connections are strong and pretty dependable, there's zero freeze protection.
I’ve read the literature that says romex wire plastic sheath can degrade it if it touches it...... Hahahaha it’s garbage pipe.
 

Duckbutter

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Definitely no cpvc for water supply on a house. Too easy to break. Easy to twist a valve and break the pipe. Bump your head break a pipe. Lean wrong break a pipe.

The connections are strong and pretty dependable, there's zero freeze protection.
True about freezing - the one advantage PEX has, for valves or external stubs I transition to copper with brass drop ears and block them, I do the same for PEX as well.

I cringe recalling a time or two seeing Shutoffs connected directly to floppy PEX stubs under sinks....

As to brittleness, yes, I've seen instances where it's brittle in as little as 20 years, that's rare and I suspect it's a result of excess treatment by local muni's (copper would be even worse with electrolysis in that case) ....inverse to that, there are a lot of basements with windows with PEX runs in the ceiling, UV ruins PEX fast, I've seen PEX go white in just days sitting in sunlight.

In my state, you can't use PEX in bldg's over 3 stories, CPVC can be used up to 6, PEX has 1/3rd the pressure rating of CPVC. (400 psi vs 160 psi @ 73f)

If it were my choice, I'd do all copper, but since the advent of cheaper plastics I'd go broke bidding copper against other plumbers.
 
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arctic bill

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I like the starter of the post have taken the courses and am a firm believer in Uponor . If Uponor does not honour the guarantee please let us know.
 
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