Acid Neutralizer Installation Questions

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by ACEschborn, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. ACEschborn

    ACEschborn New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Hello All,

    I recently purchased an acid neutralizer for my house and had a couple questions regarding the installation. A lot of my questions have to do with recent reading - it appears PVC pipe (not CPVC) is NOT allowed IN the house for cold water applications. This has me worried as the previous owner plumbed in a softener with PVC piping (it does say "drinking water" on it)...

    • I have a call in to my local code enforcement office (SE PA - uses IPC 2003), but, in the meanwhile, can anyone confirm that it is/is not against code to use PVC in the aforementioned application?
    • If PVC is against code, is there anything else that's okay to use (other than CPVC, PEX, and Cu)? Flex PE (black)? Others?
    • Any pipe preferred over the others?
    • If PVC is against code, why is the acid neutralizer adapter (to house plumbing) sized with a female 3/4" PVC?
    • Are there special 3/4" CPVC adapters that have the same OD as the 3/4" PVC?
    • If not, how would you all recommended attaching the acid neutralizer to my in house plumbing (probably going to use 3/4" CPVC)
    • I haven't run the numbers, but in real world applications (40-65psi) would there be any noticeable flow loss from the 3/4" CPVC v. PVC? I'm assuming the IDs are different...
    • There is currently a pressure gauge after the water treatment; it looks like there is a 3/4" PVC "saddle" (glued overtop pipe) with 1/4" female NPT that the gauge is screwed in to. Do they make these similar "saddles" for CPVC? Or, am I better off finding a T fitting with the same specs? I didn't see any saddles at McMaster Carr.

    Thanks in advance!

    Best,
    Alex
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    PVC is approved for cold water only potable water use. IMO it is the best choice for your type of equipment because it is inexpensive, easy to use, it has a larger ID, it is iron pipe size (IPS maintains the ID) than copper tubing size (CTS maintains the OD) PEX, copper and CPVC.

    If it were mine I'd leave it alone and as long as it was supported where needed (like for spans over 4-5') I wouldn't worry if it was in my basement to my water treatment equipment.
  3. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    PVC pipe is not approved for water supply piping, and it based totally on the temperature/pressure ratings curves of PVC. The max pressure drops off significantly above 72º. I suppose the theory to ban it completely is that if you allowed it for "cold only", there is too much possibility that there would be mixups/=.

    But the use of PVC is NOT banned for fittings, such as filters or your gizmo, maybe just a loophole, and maybe because they are clearly "cold only" install.
  5. ACEschborn

    ACEschborn New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Well, I remain confused. Through my forum readings, I have come to appreciate both Peter and Gary's posts (sorry Jimbo, don't remember reading your posts), however, they seem to disagree on this topic...

    Gary, can you confirm/provide reference to where PVC is okay for cold, potable water?

    Thanks again!
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,843
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Pvc

    What kind of connection is the female PVC? If it is a thread, you NEVER want to screw a metal male thread into it. Even a male PVC/plastic adapter can create enough stress to crack the attachment. PVC has a history of spontaneous failure, usually in the joints but also in the fittings, (I replaced a PVC tee last week which had cracked through the backside of it, but have had it happen to elbows and 45's over the years.).
  7. ACEschborn

    ACEschborn New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    It is NOT threaded, but rather a female slip/glue fitting. Sorry I don't know the technical term.
  8. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    I don't want to dredge up old arguments but I can tell you that none of the nationally used and accepted codes allow PVC to be used within the structure for potable water distribution piping. IPC table 605.4 lists all of the acceptable materials.
  9. ACEschborn

    ACEschborn New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Understandable, Peter, and thank you.

    Any idea why PVC is okay in fittings (such as the 3/4" PVC elbows that came with my acid neutralizer)?

    For the 3/4" PVC female (slip/glue) fitting, I'm thinking about using a CPVC adapter (3/4" PVC OD, with 3/4" CPVC connection). Should the big box stores carry this?

    Thanks again for everyone's help!

    ACE
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