mtbe in pex concerns

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Master Plumber Mark, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. it keeps getting uglier the more I search

    Its absoultely insane that California has done all it
    could to get MTBE out of the ground water through
    years and years of clean ups ,

    Now its being released or leached directly into the drinking water
    through the pex pipeing in our very own homes.

    I qoute....
    Worse yet, the health effects of MTBE are uncertain-the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency currently classifies MTBE as a possible human carcinogen.

    now that aint a good sign of things to come........

    some other info about well water and mtbe
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2005
  2. Your on the ball Mark! Ever thought about those who have their lawns sprayed with pesticides or treatment of bugs, moles, and the like? Guess where that chemical eventually goes to......the water main service. If it is plastic of any type, the first thing that will happen will be contamination. I've seen people have to rip out water lines passing through driveways where cars that leaked oil had actually changed the taste of the water. The pipe removed was changed chemically from the contamination of oil.

    What is that saying, "One drop of oil can change the taste of 100,000 gallons of water."

    I drink 40 mountain dews a day.....I'm gonna live forever.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Mark, I searched for any mention of PEX, PE or plastic tubing in the first URL article and found none. So how do you jump to MTBE effecting either?

    I did find this though, which should prevent MTBE from effecting either. From that site:
    "Unlike petroleum hydrocarbons, it is highly water soluble, not easily adsorbed to soil, and resists biodegradation. ".

    Petroleum based products will effect PE and possibly PEX although I doubt that, PE and PEX are two very different plastics. But MTBE isn't a petroleum based product.

    Quality Water Associates
  4. my mistake gary

    I am very sorry,

    I had quoted from another link that
    I posted on an earlier thread I had fault

    read this link and its all there

    tell me what you think about all this...

    you are more the water expert, I am not....

    but its all here , and it looks like
    this company is now doing some very intence
    research on the way...

    of course I dont know how credible this place is
    but it looks pretty legit to me

    But it does appear that if it hits the fan in California,
    its only a matter of time before its a
    very big time issue

    heres some more info just for fun mtbe nd pex lawsuits&hl=en

    heres another lawsuit.....for hydronic heating
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2005
  5. Oh......but this has been used in Europe for over 30 years? Hrm.....take it back over there......WE DON'T NEED IT.

    KIRO 7 Eyewitness News Consumer Investigator

    It's a disaster waiting to happen -- and it could be inside your home!

    A KIRO 7 Consumer Investigation exposes a defect in your heating system that could cause heavy damage to your home.

    KIRO 7 Eyewitness News Consumer Investigator Bebe Emerman has the warning that could affect thousands of homeowners. The problem centers around a plastic pipe is made of a material called PEX. It's used in a popular and inexpensive heating system called hydronic heat. It's in homes and condominiums all over Western Washington.

    But, as our KIRO 7 Consumer investigation reveals, this system that's supposed to keep you warm and cozy could leave you cold and wet.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yeah when you look at water quality coming outa the far end of the pipe (which all plumbers should), the pipe material becomes an issue. And IMO, the quality coming out of metal pipe isn't near as good as that coming out of plastic.

    The other thing to look at is progress, whether forced due to the cost increase of all metals or not, plastic is here to stay and will eventually replace copper water line the same as lead and galvanized were replaced. And yes you'll have pockets around the country resist until the last minute before any rule or law takes effect. Just as Chicago and their insistance that nothing but lead service line from the streeet until what... the late 1980s!! Man knew the problems with lead and the human body for at least a couple hundred years but they required nothing but lead be used until absolutely forced to change.

    As to California, hopefuly you know that is political rather than accurate; and not all things Californian spreads to the rest of the country. Far too many people are now leaving CA for other climes and those folks are not going to continue to live in new locations as they lived in California, the red states won't allow it if they wanted to. :)

    Quality Water Associates
  7. plumguy

    plumguy New Member

    Interesting thread...Here in MA pex was just approved a couple of months ago. I have never used it and I'am a hard sell and old school, so I probably will be one of the last ones to make the transition and only if I'm forced too.

    I was told a couple of years ago at a plumber's convention that copper pipe from one inch down would eventually become obsolete. I'm sure the arguments about the effects of plastic and water will continue for some time.

    My biggest problem with it is ease of install. The less skill it takes to install things in the plumbimg industry, the more we lose control. The value of application and installation in our proffesion becomes easier for the DIY'er. Let's face it, a lot of people feel if you can glue two pieces of pipe together you can install drains.The next step is if you can crimp, you can water pipe. The skill of soldering goes out the window!! There is alot of talk that in the near future there will be a shortage of tradesman. There is a lack of interest amongst the young(computer generation) and that is a shame.

    I'am just thankful that we still have codes in Ma that prevent DIY'ers from doing their own plumbing! Because once we lose that, we'll lose everything. A lot of plumber's whine about the codes but imagine if they were'nt in place!

    Sorry to carry on about this but, I think the concern about pex should be about our skilled industry (or lack of) than water quality at this early stage.
  8. plumb guy--skilled plumbers

    you are right about the level of skilled plumbers
    that are out in the field right now

    most young plumbers today look like they
    are out on a prison -release program ---tattoos all
    over their bodies with an oh so pleasent - skin -head appearance..

    you cant even get the dumb bastards to pull their pants up

    they honestly think they should get a raise if they have to wear a belt
    to work and not show the world their butt crack.!!!

    they havent the sense to even dress themselves properly
    to be in the public.... just giveing them a work shirt isnt enough.

    So I have had to provide them with 8 sets of uniforms
    both pants and shirts , or god knows what you are gonna
    get walking into the office every morning.

    most are totally clueless about any of this,
    all they know is pay day is on friday.

    drug testing is mandatory....
    I have the actual test kits in the office
    hanging right next to the time cards.......
    that seems to keep the problem down to a minimum


    It also bothers me that any moron can install pex

    and usually the job looks so sloppy no matter who
    installs the wirsbo--pex ect...

    you really cant say
    wether it was installed by a real lic master plumber or just
    some cross-eyed flunkie
    ...because its now considered ok
    to just slap the junk in any way you choose to...spagetti everywhere

    I have not seen many nice looking pex installations.

    I give it all another 5 years before real trouble arizes

    this one supply house basically says it all when it comes to pex
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2005
  9. plumguy

    plumguy New Member

    Hey Master Mark,

    Thanks for the reply,LOL. Although it is not funny but actually sad, you're words are so true. I appreciate you're info on pex it certainly raises an eyebrow!

    Remember years ago before the big box stores if a customer wanted a Kohler toilet they had to go thru a plumber to get one! When all these companies went public it destroyed a big part of this industry. And I feel pex will also contribute to the downfall as well as the future plumbers if that is what we can call them. I know we are not labeling all of them, but a good percentage!!

    I like you're idea about keeping the drug test kits exposed!
  10. I changed my mind folks. Since Master Plumber Mark has found what is the beginning of years, lawsuits, property damage, mold, lives affected, I have moved my interest of getting a bass boat out of this to a now bigger idea.

    My reward from those who use PEX
  11. plumguy

    plumguy New Member

    Now that is a boat!! :D Just curious how you are involved in the industry to reap from this?
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Guys, I feel yer pain and yet I can't support supporting a trade at the cost of the customer while the trade is in flux like all others; including farriers, lead pot types, steam engine mechanics and union members that are mostly out of jobs etc.. Time changes all things, for good or bad and those that don't change are usually left behind. Resisting those changes at the expense of the consumer comes back to bite those that refuse to 'work' for their customer as in bad PR and the overall reputation of the trade in general. Look at ambulance chasing lawyers and used car salesmen, some thrive anyway but their market shrinks to the point that they go out of business or split up ever smaller pieces of the shrinking pie. I see the same thing happening to plumbers that resist change that is based on practical and logical reasons of the customer. Otherwise you become a salesman forcing your desire on the customer while he pays what you want him to pay, for whatever it is that you want him to own... He eventually learns this and there goes some more of whatever good PR was left.

    BTW, I think I've seen that yaught before, I believe it's Vic's, the owner of that plumbing supply web site, among others. To be able to afford it, he sells copper while personally he believes in plastic/PEX as being better.

    Quality Water Associates
  13. nice boat!!!

    Yes , in a few years , when the shushi

    hits the fan you will probably be albe to buy

    one that big.....

    take my word for it, as the old saying goes....

    the best two days of boating

    the day you buy the boat

    and the day you sell it....

    they are nothing but work.....


    the drug testing kits work real well......

    and it is a great deterrant-----

    just install the testing kit box with a few tests in
    it right out by the time cards,
    where every loser you got working for you can see
    it and it sobers them up real quick....
  14. Last edited: Jul 16, 2005
  15. LOL ,,,,,I am starting to think you ain't no fan of PEX MPM. In response to plumguy's question, I am a service plumber that has to deal with aging piping systems and you know when you see a train wreck coming.
  16. rugged - a train wreck comming?

    I am still on the fence about the stuff.

    whats your opinion??

    but I amazed how much info I have found about

    the stuff. without really trying too hard.......just google

    the big issue is if their are troubles in a few years
    their wont be a SHELL oil company to sue,

    and all these fledgeling pex pipes companies will most likely
    go belly up if or when the trouble surfaces....
    thats the american way.

    its just little guys like us will be left holding the bag
    if or when the lawsuits start.

    the lawyers have gotta sue someone

    I have used ony about 1000 feet of pex
    but I feel sorry for any big time boys
    that got a 20 miles laid out there.

    Its gotta make you sweat a little.

    as far as a train wreck,

    you tell me if you think one
    is comming or not.
  17. Well we know that copper pinhole problems are less than 5% across the united states, mainly for what is either added at the water districts or something in the water causing such issues. ANYTHING man made can and will fail, some sooner than others. Blue MAX cost millions, PB cost millions, and here we go with a product that everyone wants to push, everyone wants to make. Now we are finding out how quickly how some of these brands are coming and going out of business in lightning speed, with a flurry of lawsuits and health concerns following. I have always believed that product that takes skill to install usually holds up in the long run. The average in my area to make a PEX repair is $89 dollars higher for the repair due to the liability you take upon yourself when making a repair. These row homes/condos/apartment buildings are loaded with it. Just wait till one of these buildings get run down and gets infested with mice/rats. They will eat that stuff up. And they won't eat it where you can get your crimper in there to make a simple repair; it will probably be in a bundle of 20 with no room to work in. Vibration against sharp objects is more probable for leaking than copper. Everything has its' pros and cons....but red flags are popping up regarding this product since so,so many people want a piece of this action, probably the product isn't being tested in a full term. Meaning, you can't run water through a pipe for 500,000 gallons and say it is tested to the test of time. Not so. What if you run that pipe across joists in a home with casement windows leaving the sun to bake that piping which already states it is not resilient to UV rays. IMO you shouldn't throw a roll in your truck and leave it in there for more than a week/month. In the end the consumer is going to take the hardest hit. Licensed professionals are going to charge more to CYA, and the hacks will be there with their tool rental to make a quick buck because all the plumbers who put their *** on the line have to charge to protect themselves. I wish there were as many forums back when BlueMAX and PB first came out as there are today. You would be getting the same kind of people praising this......Fast,NEW,CHEAPER piping and copper will be gone in ten years. As you see, those piping systems are now the haunting words of many homeowners, and copper is riding right along with the roll of the wave. Copper has 50 to 70 year track record that proves that it is good in many situations, not all. And most of all, it is a product derived from the earth that can be recycled. Plastic piping can throw off toxic fumes like any plastic, can melt down instantly when a water heater malfunctions. Workmanship is everything these days. Plastic piping gets extremely hard when water of varying temperatures passes through it over a span as short as ten years. At that point you are having to really force those fittings inside the piping, and even though you have to crimp it down, there is a possibility that hardened plastic is not going to conform to the ridges in the barbed fitting made for that piping. And if a PRV happens to fail and you just recently made a repair on this piping? Forget it, you are going to own that burst pipe situation no matter how powerful of a lawyer you get. Last one that touches it, owns it. Same goes for a copper solder joint that didn't take. The expertise normally takes care of any pipes blowing apart, but I am sure someone out there has had it happen. Usually flux @ the end of a container is the culprit. CPVC after 10 years breaks like dried twigs in a forest. You have to be extreeeemely careful when working on it for the fact that it can snap without notice when changing out angle or straight stops to fixtures. Feels like you are working on a flexible line. 97% of my work involves copper piping in new and older homes. I love the workmanship of the copper piping that was done in the older homes where they bent all the turns of directions and used all brass fittings. The very reason they are still there today, aging, easily able to connect to without worrying about the piping crumbing/cracking upon putting a tool to it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :D :D :D
  18. something I found on e-bay

    Do you know that their is a difference

    between the new type C pex

    and the old type A pex????

    According to this information the old type A that I guess everyone

    has been useing contains toxins and has a bad taste

    does that mean that if you have been useing type A pex

    for years and years

    you might be in line for troubles some day soon?? :eek: :eek:

    read this comapnies sales pitch about PEX...

    and the different qualities


    I have typed them a question as to what the difference is between the
    new type c pex and the old type a pex that everyone has been useing for
    aaout a decade now...

    cant wait to hear their sales pitch on type c

    if you cant get my link to come up

    just hit e-bay and then pex.....

    some place is selling 10 ,000 feet at a time

    you cant miss it.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2005
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