CPVC dilemma, should I repipe?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jemu, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. jemu

    jemu New Member

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    I was having a bathtub replaced in a rental property. The plumbing is CPVC, approximately 15 years old (put in before I bought the place). Pipe do not appear to be brittle when I touch them. I've never had any leaks at this house. I'm in Florida so the pipes don't get exposed to extreme cold here.

    Plumber is recommending re-piping to PEX because he says CPVC gets brittle and fails over time. Is this true? I get a different answer everywhere I turn. Is it worth the expense and headache of paying someone to repipe or am I just throwing money away if I do this? Need to decide soon. Thanks.
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    CPVC does get brittle. If the wall is open, I can see switching.
    The tub spout needs to be copper pipe or threaded brass nipples.
    PEX or CPVC can't be run to a tub spout or the water will be forced up to the shower head while filling the tub.
     
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  4. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida Black Belly Whistling Ducks

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    Repipe? Do you mean just the lines from the slab or floor to the tub & shower valve body? I did two bathroom remodels in the last two years and two different plumbers at different times, each plumber cut the CPVC on the raiser and changed over to PEX to the valve body and the shower head. All bathroom sink connections had to be moved no more than a foot and the plumbers used PEX. It is only a few feet of PEX and would not cost more than using CPVC. Today, most plumbers use PEX, they are comfortable with it and it's easier and faster to work with. My home was built in 2007 (zip 32828) and it is all CPVC that has a lifespan of about 70 years. PEX is estimated over 100 years. Asphalt shingle roofs has about 15 years average life in Florida.

    UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2dd.jpg
     
  5. jemu

    jemu New Member

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    Thanks. I meant should I repipe the entire house. My concern is the CPVC could get brittle and have plumbing leaks at some point. But it does not seem brittle at this time.

    I've heard the 50-70 years statistic but then I also hear that this type of material doesn't last, people always have problems with it eventually. It's hard to know what to believe.
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I am not a plumber. I would not repipe in your situation.

    Who says people always have problems eventually?
     
  7. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida Black Belly Whistling Ducks

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    Not at this time and there is usually pipe under the slab in Florida. There are millions of homes with CPVC and no time soon will these start to fail. All pipe eventually fails. Where will you be in 50 years?
     
  8. jemu

    jemu New Member

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    The class action lawsuit appears to be against the FlowGuard Gold manufacturer.

    Does anyone know if it's just the Flowguard Gold brand that gets brittle and fails, or all CPVC? The Flowguard name is not on the exposed pipes in my house so I don't have that.
     
  9. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida Black Belly Whistling Ducks

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    There is no lawsuit at this time, it's under investigation. :confused: About 15 years ago there was a recall big time for brass (dezincification) PEX type connectors. Now, another brand is under investigations for PEX failures. Lawyers are trying to make a living. PEX is not the final answer for plumbing.
    https://www.classaction.org/pex-plumbing-lawsuit
    https://safetyequipmentsupplies.knoji.com/problems-with-pex-fittings-the-class-action-lawsuits/
    https://bergermontague.com/cases/fl...suit-investigation-pipe-and-fitting-problems/
     
  10. jemu

    jemu New Member

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    @Worth Florida

    Thanks. The insurance agent said that none of the carriers have an issue with CPVC plumbing. That leads me to believe it may not be that big a problem because the insurance companies in Florida ban everything else -- aluminum wiring, poly pipe, even flat roofs in some cases...if there was a big problem with CPVC they wouldn't write policies for those houses either, right?
     
  11. plumber01

    plumber01 In the Trades

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    Just my 2 cents, cpvc is junk. When I was still doing residential work and service about 10 years ago I did many cpvc re-pipes and repairs. These were mostly in houses built in the early to mid 90s.

    Hose bib leaking? Turn to hard and snap goes the cpvc. Replace a faucet? Connect new supply lines to the stops and snap goes the cpvc.

    May not be time for you to re-pipe the whole house right now but I would definitely replace it in sections when you can while the walls are open.
     
  12. jemu

    jemu New Member

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    Hmm, still 50/50 in the responses on whether it's ok to have, or bad. See what I'm getting at?
     
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Nobody suggested repiping the house. There were suggestions that you consider replacing some pipes where they become temporarily accessible.

    Plumber01 wrote of failures where the pipes got subjected to stresses due to valves applying torque to the CPVC.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  14. JerryR

    JerryR Member

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    Which part of Florida are you located in?

    Is this a home built on a concrete slab or stem wall with crawl space under?

    If on slab a repipe would likely be run overhead in the attic. This creates other issues. Cold water pipes in attic will get to 120 degrees in Florida and when you turn on cold water you get a slough of 120 water coming out. If pipes are run under floor in crawl space it shouldn’t be an issue.

    Was the CPVC original to home or was it replied with CPVC 15 years ago?

    I have a 2nd home in rural Florida where CPVC feeds from well to house. Plumbing under home is crawl space is all CPVC but all piping in walls is copper. I’ve had failure at CPVC to copper transition under the house causing slow leak. Example below, see crack in CPVC.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Female threads in plastic should be avoided usually. Your photo speaks to me as a female plastic thread splitting, rather than a flaw in CPVC. Where unreinforced female plastic couplings are used in wells, they would normally be at least schedule 120. And even then, you have to avoid over-torquing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  16. jemu

    jemu New Member

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    I was over there this morning and it actually sprung a leak behind the shower wall, spraying a small stream after I turned the water on to the house. I've decided to go ahead and repipe, it's too risky to have these issues in a place that's going to be tenant-0ccupied.
     
    JohnCT likes this.
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