Any 2024 Uponor Updates?

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CCCBuilder

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Hey all, I've used some of the colored Uponor pipe since 2016, it was mostly 1/2" and not the 3/4" that I have seen in lawsuits and such. However, I reached out to Uponor a few days ago via email and tried to get any updates on what the heck is *technically* going on here. No reply yet.

As a person who has installed it, I want to of course assume the failures (splits around the expansion rings) are because of one of these facts (but unable to confirm).
1 - the pipe was exposed to UV (unable to ever really tell this from what I know)
2 - expanded when the tubing was too cold and therefor not pliable,
3 - installed with a recirculation pump so hot water is *constantly* flowing
4 - simply a bad batch from the factory

I only purchase my pex through SupplyHouse, never anyone else. I do believe buying from some vendors can be dangerous (age of pipe, time exposed to UV mainly)

I'm looking at the installs I have done and do not really see any yellow expansion rings or the red/blue tubing starting to turn sort of more translucent like I see in the photos. I also have never and probably wont be installing any hot water recircs.

When I was installing it back in 16-19 I did very few jobs so the exposure is limited compared to a full time plumbing crew. I believe there is only one active or true class action lawsuit but only through Colorado - I am in Nebraska. I also don't believe it's wise to get involved in a class action because from my limited legal knowledge you are signing on a dotted line saying you take the lawsuit payment but waive ALL rights to submit any warranty claims. Basically they would be held blameless from those installs and that sounds incredibly risky to me.

The fact Uponor has not responded to an email asking about the technicalities of this does leave a bit of a sour taste. But in their defense, I have seen a LOT of pex B systems fail and most of all, have leaks around the fittings that are corroded. I'm not going to really ever say one brand is better than another, but the fact Wirsbo/Uponor started off in Europe years before some of the other brands made me feel good until these last few years.

I'd like to know if there is anything like certain batch lookup or dates of manufacture that the failed pipe falls under - or is it truly ALL colored tubing and all diameters? Again I have ONLY seen 3/4" colored tubing, and I'd say 95% was red. I would like to know more about the 1/2" size failing if anyone knows, and if it's failed on systems without a recirc pump? or if it's failed in the warm climate states where the tubing couldn't have ever been frozen when expanding? Lastly if any of the clear/white tubing had these issues?

If anyone has some links to pictures or information of the installs that failed please post them below. I'd like to stay away from any false claims about what people have heard through their uncle's cousin if that makes sense. The only invalidated info I have found is that the process to 'bake' the color onto the tubing is what made it fail and that Uponor may have or may be going after the company that they got that tech from, again not certain this is fact but it's one theory that makes sense and helps wrap my head around what's going on.
 

JohnCT

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Uponor won't talk (nor should they) because of pending litigation. This is unfortunate and frustrating to people like us who want to know what the heck is going on (both professionally and from an engineering standpoint).


As a person who has installed it, I want to of course assume the failures (splits around the expansion rings)

I think a lot of the fracturing is visible by eye at the expansion points, but if you read through the tons of posts by the unfortunate Uponor owners and look at the pipes that have leaked, leaks happen *everywhere* on the pipe, not just the expansion connections.

If it was just as the expansions, then repiping wouldn't be necessary, they would only need to have expansions cut off and crimp fittings installed in their stead. This is not an expansion issue, it's a product issue.


John
 

Jeff H Young

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its very interesting to me as well , Im always a bit of skeptic and dont belive everything any one is saying.
Some interesting points made by persons that I think are credible is Breplum in the san francisco bay area has encountered troubled product and says his clients or cases he was aware of had at least some help from Uponor as far as warranty, repair, and I think some help with wall patch costs. and as CTNic Asked this area Isnt quite like Colorado or Nebraska Weather its a little warmer.
A lot of the total guesswork that some have that seem to think they know it all is UV. put it in the sun a day and it cracks they seem to think , great jump to conclusion by those with no experiance with the problem . I think UV might be related but Ill admit I dont know.
I dont put a lot of faith in the lawsuits but they should shed light eventualy , records are under subpena as are depositions by all the experts, if Uponor has made changes in manufacture due to defect it will come out I think.
Class actions and other lawsuits have pros and cons. One advantage of a class action is the lawyers ofetn wont touch a case for peanuts. but you represent a million people settle for 1000 dollars each lawyer gets 300 million or so and each "victim" gets 700 bucks. So go find a lawyer thats interested in fighting a multi billion dollar company to pay for a little damage on your house, that will go out and proove that its uponors fault and not the installers or that the instructions werent followed and pipe was stored in sun and Why would uponor pay for some jackass not folloing instructions. You might take a class action if you dont have a lot of damage and a slam dunk case or because no lawyer will take your case.
BTW type b shoddy fittings dezinkification is a known problem.
I still dont know how big a problem it is or if its still the same exact product going in new homes today?
 

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settle for 1000 dollars each lawyer gets 300 million or so and each "victim" gets 700 bucks.

Good point..

BTW type b shoddy fittings dezinkification is a known problem.
I still dont know how big a problem it is or if its still the same exact product going in new homes today?

No longer a problem. It had to do with the metallurgy of the "low-lead" brass that's been fixed. In any cases, the glass reinforced polysulfone fittings of either crimp or expansion were never an issue.

John
 

Jeff H Young

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Good point..



No longer a problem. It had to do with the metallurgy of the "low-lead" brass that's been fixed. In any cases, the glass reinforced polysulfone fittings of either crimp or expansion were never an issue.

John
Yea but my guess is there a fair amount of those that havent been replaced.
 

CCCBuilder

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I think a lot of the fracturing is visible by eye at the expansion points, but if you read through the tons of posts by the unfortunate Uponor owners and look at the pipes that have leaked, leaks happen *everywhere* on the pipe, not just the expansion connections.

If it was just as the expansions, then repiping wouldn't be necessary, they would only need to have expansions cut off and crimp fittings installed in their stead. This is not an expansion issue, it's a product issue.


John
I have not personally seen any images online (yet) of the pipe failing besides the parts around the rings. I did watch one YouTuber, the guy who specializes in repiping, and he claimed the pipe has nodulars? or some kind of 'snag' inside that the chlorine sticks/bonds and burns/eats away at the pipe but personally I haven't seen anyone elsewhere validate that. I also believe that may be him jumping on the hype of a different known flaw, where the two may or may not be correlated. Again, trying to help myself understand what, if anything, needs redone that I did in the past.
Breplum in the san francisco bay area has encountered troubled product and says his clients or cases he was aware of had at least some help from Uponor as far as warranty, repair, and I think some help with wall patch costs. and as CTNic Asked this area Isnt quite like Colorado or Nebraska Weather its a little warmer.

Class actions and other lawsuits have pros and cons. One advantage of a class action is the lawyers ofetn wont touch a case for peanuts. but you represent a million people settle for 1000 dollars each lawyer gets 300 million or so and each "victim" gets 700 bucks. So go find a lawyer thats interested in fighting a multi billion dollar company to pay for a little damage on your house, that will go out and proove that its uponors fault and not the installers or that the instructions werent followed and pipe was stored in sun and Why would uponor pay for some jackass not folloing instructions. You might take a class action if you dont have a lot of damage and a slam dunk case or because no lawyer will take your case.
BTW type b shoddy fittings dezinkification is a known problem.
I still dont know how big a problem it is or if its still the same exact product going in new homes today?
Breplum is one of the loudest voices I have seen about this issue when using google - but his pictures were of the expansion fittings, and 100% 3/4" size specifically. If he's still around would be nice to have him verify what those pipes were for installs, such as:
recirc pump or not?
was the pipe bought from a supplyhouse local or online?
did the houses have softeners or not?
Was the install done with the auto-rotating tool or manual tool that relies on installer to twist each pump?
Any pinholes or other 'leaks anywhere in the tubing'?
Have any 1/2" tubing/expansions failed?

Per the class action pros and cons, I see the 'large mob of people each getting a tiny handout' as a horrible idea and a major con IF they are signing away their right to claim warranty. Anything under $5k in the homeowner's pocket, at least here, is going to be a loss for the homeowner when they go to repipe. Now if not ALL of the colored tubing is at risk, as I'm trying to find out, then maybe 2-3k in cash would be enough to replace just the known pipe such as if only 3/4" hot, or 3/4" and not 1/2" etc.

Unfortunately, if each state is going to do its own class action, it will be YEARS before we/I can find out if the tubing I installed is at risk if currently it looks fine.
No longer a problem. It had to do with the metallurgy of the "low-lead" brass that's been fixed. In any cases, the glass reinforced polysulfone fittings of either crimp or expansion were never an issue.

John
I've noticed supplyhouse sells two types of fittings at times, they will say 'warning low lead brass not suitable for hard water' or something along those lines and other fittings will say 'DZR Brass' so they are not totally off the market, it's just that people are more aware of it now I would say? The lesser name-brands are still producing that junk that has problems.
 

JohnCT

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I have not personally seen any images online (yet) of the pipe failing besides the parts around the rings.

Here is a pic from this site on another thread - the pipe is failed away from an expansion *and* it's the white pipe (some people believe only the red and blue pipe is affected) :

uponor failure.jpeg
 

CCCBuilder

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Here is a pic from this site on another thread - the pipe is failed away from an expansion *and* it's the white pipe (some people believe only the red and blue pipe is affected) :

View attachment 96534
That is interesting. I notice it's on a bend support, where the pipe indeed is stressed at least more than running straight. However does this not also look like a nicked part of pipe from handling? As a side note, I have noticed that when using bend supports on 1.2" tubing the edge of the bend support does scuff the pex sometimes. Not enough that should cause a problem though. That also looks kind of like 1/2" tubing but not sure depending on the scale of the fingers. At this time, I believe that failure is isolated, especially because it voids the claim that the issue is caused by baking color onto the tubing.
 

Jeff H Young

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Here is a pic from this site on another thread - the pipe is failed away from an expansion *and* it's the white pipe (some people believe only the red and blue pipe is affected) :

View attachment 96534
And again we dont know the cause of the cracks though its a popular opinion by people not involved in the process that its UV.
Also We dont know if the problem is a single cause same with white , red , or blue. Or more accurately I dont know the cause Im still thinking there could many factors.
CTNic mentioned the brass fittings as still being bad I dont know or have opinion on that Though I may be leary as well I dont know that those manufactured in brass are all defective ?
 

CCCBuilder

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And again we dont know the cause of the cracks though its a popular opinion by people not involved in the process that its UV.
Also We dont know if the problem is a single cause same with white , red , or blue. Or more accurately I dont know the cause Im still thinking there could many factors.
CTNic mentioned the brass fittings as still being bad I dont know or have opinion on that Though I may be leary as well I dont know that those manufactured in brass are all defective ?
Correct, the pipe is not the same color that my 'white' (I still think we should call it clear) is ten years later. Mine still looks clear on the outside, inside I can see some brown color from the city water supply though. That one in the photo looks discolored, but why? UV does turn clear pipe yellow, but so can other things - luckily the clear I have installed that is aged isn't turning yellow like that.

Per the non DZR fittings: I was saying some companies still make bad brass fittings, bad as in they have the corrosion issue. Here's a prime example.

These fittings are cheaper, and potentially not an issue when installed after a softener? If it's just the high sulfur and mineral that makes them corrode, a working softener should alleviate that.
Example:
1705073665270.png
 

dollinger

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here is an article that may have some relevant info on PEX failures!
 

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