Protecting PEX from UV

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by HDClown, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. HDClown

    HDClown New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I had an exterior mount tankless water heater installed and since my house was re-piped with PEX 6 years ago, they used PEX to plumb it on the outside of the house. The PEX uses is ViegaPEX Ultra, which the manufactuer says is UV protected for up to 6 months. The installer left the PEX exposed.

    I'm waiting to hear back from the service manager as to if they are going to come back and protect the piping somehow. However, should they tell me to pound sand, I am looking for the best way to protect the PEX. I live in Orlando, FL so the pipes freezing is not a huge issue, but insulating them seems like a good idea anyway.

    Is Armacell Tubolit SS or PlumbLok SS my easiest and best option here? Tape wrap would be just about impossible to do on the entire pipe, since it's right up against my exterior wall and I have no way to get the roll of tape around the pipe to wrap.

    The spec sheet on these Armacell products says it must be UV protected and recommends Armaflex WB Finish. Since Armaflex WB Finish is only sold in huge buckets, is there an alternative I can use that's available in smaller volume? Is there any reason I can't just prime and paint it with regular latex or oil based paint?

    The pipes are secured to the wall with 3/4" brackets. Would I insulate between these, or remove them and insulate the entire pipe, and use a larger bracket (somewher ebetween 1" to 1.5" ??? ) and go over the insulation?

    Is there something better than Armacell that I could use that I can get as a homeowner, either locally or online?
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,491
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Normally a coat of latex paint is all a plastic pipe needs for UV protection.
  3. Spoonfight

    Spoonfight Engineer

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Personally, I would go the foam route, to protect from any potential freezes (hey, you never know), and more importantly, from abrasions and cuts. You never know what is going to be flying around in your back yard that could potentially nail the pipes. I would do a continuous cover, and use larger brackets.
  4. HDClown

    HDClown New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Heard from the plumber this morning. Their response to the UV rating on the ViegaPEX Ultra as that "it's rated for 6 months with direct sunlight exposure, however, even though your pipes do not see direct sunlight exposure, we will insulate them for you".

    So it looks like I won't have to worry about doing it myself. We'll see what the guy ends up putting on there. I'm sure it will be foam stuff like Armacell.
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