Why would NIBCO/CPI Durapex PEX split (lengthwise) and leak?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by celiason, May 27, 2008.

  1. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Copper dies too especially thinwall. Worst of all it freezes and blows up very reliably.

    Like any Mfg. process, its in the details, and I think only Uphonor has the machines and brains to provide a reliable tube. And now they likely have enough money to survive a class action suit if something starts failing - the small guys just walk off.

    Maybe it was MFG. process "-d" for duh? Or "-gm" - greedy morons.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,180
    Location:
    New England
    Wirsbo has over 2 BILLION feet of their pex-a installed in the USA, and lots more installed around the world over decades - it is not new. Good quality control and process control, and the stuff works. Buying the cheapest stuff is not always the best choice. Some local water supplies just eat copper - so, it is not always the best choice.
  3. collegestationplumber

    collegestationplumber New Member

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    2
    Location:
    College Station TX
    Actually I made a mistake when I stated
    "It is all the same dura pex made by nibco before 2006"

    As some of you already know it was made by Consolidated Plumbing Indutries which was bought out in 2006 by Nibco. After talking to Nibco they say they have nothing to do with the problem before 2006 which they are fully aware of. After doing some digging around online I found that former employee of CPI Tom Coe Director of Technical Services is now Product Manager at NIBCO.

    Tom Coe
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tom-coe/12/92b/691
  4. Eric Jackson

    Eric Jackson New Member

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    3
    Location:
    Mint Hill, N.C.
    Just to add to this thread, My home was built 5 yrs ago and i have lived in it for 4. As with everyone else my pex pipe burst within 10 feet of the water heater, not just once but 5 times. After getting the pipes fixed we found out that we had no expansion tank, we had one installed immediately. To no avail my pipes has burst again 3 more times.I am so mad I can't think straight. I guess there is no end in sight for the consumer anymore since no one is at fault when things like this happen.
  5. Inspektor Ludwig

    Inspektor Ludwig Journeyman/Inspector

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    In the good ol' UPC
    I'm curious to know about where the pex was ran. The only time I've ever seen pex split like that was when the pipes were run through the attic space. We had quite a boom of pex over the last 6 years and this past winter was a bad one for freezing and wouldn't ya know, we had a record amount of pex failures. All failures were a result of pipes ran through the attic and allowed to freeze then thaw, then refreeze and thaw over and over again, after about 4-5 winters the pex would end up splitting and always on the hot side and from different manufacturers. We'll just have to wait and see what happens this year!
  6. kelleycrew

    kelleycrew New Member

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    1
    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC
    This is ridiculous!

    It the same scenario over and over yet no one is responsible? I find this truly un-American! CPI sold out to NIBCO yet they only bought the assets and not the liability?!!! Sounds like some slick lawyering to me! I have also heard that CPI basically closed up shop because they knew they had a recalled & inferior product. They then re-merged as NIBCO with the same employees. They essentially changed their name. This all seems criminal to me.

    Our pipe burst when we were out of town - hot side about 4 from the tank. Cost us $400 for plumbing, and I'm scared to get an estimate on our buckled hardwoods. Surely there is some type of legal action we can take! From what I understand CPI made dead-ends for all legal action. Maybe a class action suit would get their attention. Anyone game?
  7. Eric Jackson

    Eric Jackson New Member

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    3
    Location:
    Mint Hill, N.C.
    Yeah, we will join you. Only problem is finding a lawyer willing to go through it with no money up front, cause I can assure you after I pay for my plumbing to be replaced and my drywall repaired I will not be able to pay the paper boy let alone a lawyer.
  8. Eric Jackson

    Eric Jackson New Member

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    3
    Location:
    Mint Hill, N.C.
    The first leak was in my garage in the ceiling and it was insulated, next 4 times were within 10ft of the first leak. The next leak was on an inside wall, my next leak was under the house before going on the other inside wall of my home. The last leak I have had which was a day before my original post was on that same pipe run as the previous leak, at top of an inside wall. All of the leaks have been splits in the pipe, none have come from fitting failures.
  9. Delbert

    Delbert New Member

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    1
    Location:
    York - Lake Wylie, SC
    Same situation, same pipe, same company (Nibco) - durapex (terra cotta color) on the hot water side. House was built in 2006, Lake Wylie, SC. Split 3 times in four days all within 10 feet of the hot water tank. Contacted Chubb Ins. they gave me a claim number. They didn't return my call, 6 days later I contacted them and they sent me to a Nibco rep., Gail Weaver, who sent me to their technician, (who is to return my call tomorrow) but not before she told me that Nibco, Inc. was not resposible for any product made before 2006. I ask who was and she replied that company is no longer in business. It flooded our basement and a few rooms on the main level. I'm afraid the pipe will keep splitting further on down the line if repairs are made. My homeowners ins. will only pay for the damage made and I will have to file a new claim for any future damage. Who knows what that will be and the cost of higher premiums has me spitting fire!

    I'll join a class action suit - any takers?
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    22,180
    Location:
    New England
    If the company is out of business, who are you going to sue? Even if you were to win, there are no assets to recover from?
  11. rroyall

    rroyall New Member

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    1
    Location:
    Clemmons, NC
    Any new developments on CPI/Nibco probem??

    Same thing. House built in 2005. Pipe has split 4 times this year. Insurance paid for clean up not replacing pipe. Builder is bankrupt. Plumber is out of business. Called Nibco and they will not take ownership for CPI pipe. Any lawsuits yet against Nibco??
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  12. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Any class action suits for NIBCO for its 1970's type M copper water line that falls apart?
  13. tom&jeanne337

    tom&jeanne337 New Member

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    2
    Location:
    Brevard NC
    We are new to the site. We have had 6 leaks in NIBCO PEX hot water pipes since last January. NIBCO offered to replace the pipe for free==not the installation. Our insurance company has requested the latest piece for independent testing. If we don't get satisfaction from NIBCO in reimbursing us for new installation of pipe--not from NIBCO, we would be interested in exploring a class action suit. The plumbers estimate is reasonable, but the cutting of drywall, tile, floors etc. is another matter.
  14. tom&jeanne337

    tom&jeanne337 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Brevard NC
    We are definitely interested in a class action suit
  15. RogerM

    RogerM New Member

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    2
    Location:
    Seminole
    Class Action... LET'S DO IT!!

    LET'S DO IT!! (Please read my post on page 5, 12-22-2009/ S.W. Alabama home)
    Contact me @ landstarpfl (on yahoo instant messenger)
    Thanks! Roger1
  16. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Now you just need a sleazy lawyer that will get 75% of the proceeds instead of the class parties.
  17. snish

    snish New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Lake Wylie, SC
    More DuraPex issues / questions from Charlotte area

    Just found this website after experiencing our own issues. We've had 5 leaks in the red 3/4" DuraPex (hot water) and I ended up replacing all of that pipe but did not replace any of the other. I assumed we had gotten a bad batch and the rest was okay.

    Today the contractors were scheduled to arrive to begin fixing all of the holes in the ceilings and walls, but last night we had another leak in a red 1/2" pipe (still hot water). So I called them to postpone their work so I can get all of the 1/2" replaced as well.

    Those of you that had your pipes replaced, did you have all of the cold water lines replaced also or did you just do the hot water side?

    We just bought this house in Lake Wylie, SC 1 year ago (it was built in 2006) and I loved the fact it had so many bathrooms. Now I am cursing that we have 7 bathrooms and 2 kitchens to completely replumb!! All of the Durapex was dated from 2005 and 2005 manufacturing dates.

    After reading all of the previous posts, it looks like it is useless to contact the company, but count me in if it is possible to file a class action.
  18. Inspektor Ludwig

    Inspektor Ludwig Journeyman/Inspector

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    In the good ol' UPC
    One thing to keep in mind is that one of the selling points of PEX was it's ability to withstand freezing without bursting. This was a big selling point but has proven to be untrue. The manufacturers clearly state that the piping should not be installed in places where freezing can occur or steps should be taken by the installer to make sure that the pipes do not freeze. This includes your garage, outside walls, attic spaces and crawlspace. You may think that if you have your kitchen sink on the outside wall and it's insulated that the pipes are insulated as well but they may not be. If you install pex in an outside wall past the centerline of the stud and put insulation on the front side of the piping, you are exposing the pex to the cold outside air and not allowing any of the warm air in the room to keep the pipes from freezing. Pipes installed in attics spaces, even with individual pipe insulation will still freeze, it's not enough protection. All your doing is keeping the freezing cold in the pipes when the attic space heats up during the day. PEX needs to be installed so that warmth from the living space can get to the pipes. In the wall you would need to have the pipes moved to the front side of the centerline of the studs and have house insulation placed BEHIND the pipes and have NO insulation in front of the pipes, same for the attic and crawl. Keep the pipes as close as possible to the floor or ceiling and put insulation either under the pipes in the crawl or over the pipes in the attic and have no insulation between the pipes and the floor or ceiling. This allows the warmth of the room to penetrate the drywall and move into the space between the insulation and the floor or ceiling, creating a little pocket of warm air. The first thing I would note if you have a leak is where was the pipe located ie; garage, outside wall, ceiling, floor? Before removing any insulation, look to see where within the space the pipe is located, on the outside of the studs, inside of the studs, above the ceiling joists, below the crawl joists, above or below the insulation? Note where the insulation is located, is it in front of the pipe, behind the pipe, all around the pipe? Does it have individual pipe insulation around it but no house insulation like in an attic? Note what you were doing when the leak occured, where you out of town so the hot water wouldn't be used for a while, was it in the winter time? What about hangers and supports, did they use metal plumbers tape or is the piping resting on a sharp metal surface or is it up against concrete (both no no's). The only reason I'm bringing up these scenarios is because the manufacturer will claim that it was a faulty installation and not a defective product so you would need to get your ducks in a row to prove it was faulty BUT in most cases I can tell you that from what I've seen it the number one reason why pex splits is because it was not adequatley protected from freezing. The plumber could have done everything right but if he did not include insulation in his bid then he can't control what the General Contractor will do when it comes to insulation. The plumber may even tell the GC how the insulation should be installed to protect the pipes but he has no control over what the GC decides to do. Also check and see what temperature you have your hot water tank set to. If you're over 120 then they'll say that you didn't install it to code, if your pressure exceeds what your local code says it should be then that's another thing they'll say you didn't do right. Basically your fighting an uphill battle proving a faulty product when chances are they'll say it was a faulty installation.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2011
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,180
    Location:
    New England
    There are three different recognized methods of producing pex pipe and they are classified as -A, -B, and -C. -A is the oldest, most expensive, and produces the most complete cross-linking of the pipe and produces the most flexible and strongest version. The other types can be good, are usually less expensive, but if there is a little error in the process, much quicker to exhibit problems. -B and -C came about by trying to make it faster and cheaper, and sometimes, you pay for it in the end - stringent QA/QC is required. When pex is not fully cross-linked, it can fail under stressful situations. This could be caused by a slight temperature variation or chemical makeup issue hiccup during manufacturing. If it is exposed to too much UV before installation or after, it will be degraded and could fail. The fittings are not freezeproof, and those can fail. -A pex is the only one that can be safely 'restored' if it gets kinked without having to cut the kink out and replacing with a fitting as required on -B and -C formulated pex tubing. So, take this into consideration when choosing pex. If properly produced, it should survive the expansion caused by freezing if it wasn't already degraded during either manufacturing or exposure to UV or other handling issues (like pulling it through a tight hole and scoring it along the length). But, as noted, the fittings probably won't survive if they also get frozen.

    Proving UV exposure didn't weaken the tubing is probably tough. But, randomly splitting for no obvious other reason may be a manufacturing defect. The tubing could be analyzed to determine how well cross-linked the molecules are, and that would tell, but the test is likely expensive.
  20. snish

    snish New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Lake Wylie, SC
    I can assure you that the issues we are having are not related to temperature or installation. We have not had any of the large splits shown in early posts, but rather very small pinhole leaks which over a few hours can generate a lot of water and damage. However, the cracks / holes are almost undectectable once the water is turned off.

    All of the leaks we have had so far are between the first and second story of our house where all of our plumbing runs. Both floors are temperature controlled and the pipes are insulated since they carry hot water. The leaks have occured in areas where there in no contact with sharp edges and as I have replaced the lines, they slide easily through the holes through the joists without scraping.

    Apparently some batches of DuraPex was manufactured a few years ago that for whatever reason is now failing.

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