CPVC for venting EXHAUST oh no you didn't!

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LawdElpus

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4 story condo. Built in 2005.
All the exhaust vents for WH and Furnace are CPVC and some are turning brown.
WH installer refused to hook up new one until the CPVC gets replaced.
It sounds like even PVC will be a no-no soon. 2 families are suing over CO deaths attributed to CPVC.
We have to RIP all of this out and replace every run with stainless steel!?
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What would you do, if you were the property manager or condo President?
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I know what I'm doing...selling NOW!
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Anybody want to give an estimate to redo all the exhaust vents on a 4-story, 8 unit condo using steel?
 

hj

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Since the heater manufacturers recommend PVC, but the plastics manufacturers say it is NOT a proper use of the product, who are you going to believe, and more important who are you going to sue if it fails?
 

Mliu

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I assume these are power vent or direct vent heaters. If they are not, then the installation is absolutely illegal.

If they are, the manufacturers do specify the use of solid PVC, CPVC, or polypropylene pipe for venting. Some specify solid ABS. What is NOT permitted is CELLULAR CORE of any plastic material. For this reason, some manufacturers do not specify ABS for venting because most commonly-available ABS is cellular core. Of the four plastics (PVC, CPVC, polypropylene, ABS), CPVC has the highest maximum operating temperature (200°F).

If the vent pipe is solid CPVC (not cellular core) and it's turning brown, then the problem is not the material; the problem is the installation was done improperly and the heat is building up to excessive levels.
 
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Mliu

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It sounds like even PVC will be a no-no soon. 2 families are suing over CO deaths attributed to CPVC.
I know of a family of four who died in Aspen, Colorado, as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning due to the installation of cellular core PVC vent pipe on a boiler system:

The Chairman of the ICC’s Residential Plumbing and Mechanical Committee indicates states that there is no listing or testing of cellular core piping for use as combustion vent piping and he attributes the death of a family of four in Aspen in 2008 to carbon monoxide poisoning occurring as a result of failed cellular core PVC combustion vent piping.
Other deaths or serious injuries I've read about are also related to PVC piping. In one case, the PVC (no mention of solid or cellular core) was press-fit together and never glued: the pipe expanded and separated at a joint. I have not read of any deaths related to CPVC venting.
 

WorthFlorida

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I just cannot understand by CO detectors are not code required everywhere and on each level of the home as are smoke detectors. CO detectors do have a short life span of about seven years But much longer than smoke detectors that uses batteries.

From a google search.
Most carbon monoxide alarms have a lifespan of about seven years before they lose efficacy, and because of legislation passed in many states back in 2011, many families' devices expire right about now. Leaving old devices in place puts people at risk of serious and sometimes fatal carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.Sep 21, 2018
 

WorthFlorida

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".....If they are, the manufacturers do specify the use of solid PVC, CPVC, or polypropylene pipe for venting."..........If the vent pipe is solid CPVC (not cellular core) and it's turning brown, then the problem is not the material; the problem is the installation was done improperly and the heat is building up to excessive levels.

I don’t recall every seeing a label on PVC for the type of core. Is there one printed on the pipes?
 

Mliu

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I just cannot understand by CO detectors are not code required everywhere and on each level of the home as are smoke detectors. CO detectors do have a short life span of about seven years But much longer than smoke detectors that uses batteries.
They can pass laws requiring builders and commercial property owners to install CO detectors, but there's no practical way to force homeowners to add them to existing homes, nor is there a way to ensure people replace them when they expire. Sometimes, it's just not possible to protect people from themselves.

Also, sometimes code requirements and legislation go too far. A good example are AFCIs. They are now required by the NEC. Know why? Because the AFCI manufacturers lobbied the code body. Yet there is no evidence that AFCIs provide a meaningful or practical benefit.
 

Mliu

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I don’t recall every seeing a label on PVC for the type of core. Is there one printed on the pipes?
All Sch 40 PVC pipe for pressure applications is solid core. Most Sch40 PVC pipe for DWV that's commonly available is also solid core. However, most commonly available ABS pipe is cellular core. However, availability can vary depending on the region.

If the pipe is cellular core (also called "foam core"), then it will have "CELLULAR CORE" printed on the pipe. It should also be marked, "DWV. NOT FOR PRESSURE." I also believe you will see ASTM F 891 printed on the pipe.

Besides the required labeling, one way to identify cellular core pipe is by picking it up. It feels impossibly light for its size.
 

WorthFlorida

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They can pass laws requiring builders and commercial property owners to install CO detectors, but there's no practical way to force homeowners to add them to existing homes, nor is there a way to ensure people replace them when they expire. Sometimes, it's just not possible to protect people from themselves.

Also, sometimes code requirements and legislation go too far. A good example are AFCIs. They are now required by the NEC. Know why? Because the AFCI manufacturers lobbied the code body. Yet there is no evidence that AFCIs provide a meaningful or practical benefit.

As with anything, if it saves one life it was worth it.

My two Florida homes were and are all electric, therefore, CO would be rare but many have died running a generator too close to open windows after a power outage caused by a hurricane. I had one in my last home and I'll be adding one soon to this house. I at one time found my wife passed out in the car in the garage. Fortunately, she had turned the ignition off before hand and the door was still open. Many Florida homes have the AC air handler inside the garage as my last house did. Unfortunately, whole families have died because grandpa left the car running in the garage. When Lexus became very popular during the 1990's, the car was so quiet that you could not hear it idle, especially when grandpa didn't have his hearing aids in.
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AFCI was added for the reason that statically, many home fires were due to arcing wires either due to corrosion or bad connections that are not detectable by circuit breakers and therefore do not trip.

The CSPC, UL and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) conducted various studies during the 1980s and 1990s, either separately or as joint ventures, which led to the inclusion of AFCIs in the NEC. According to the CPSC’s 1992 “Home Electrical Systems Fire Project,” problems in home wiring, such as arcing and sparking, are associated with more than 40,000 home fires each year, which claim more than 360 lives and injure 1,400 people. In 1994, there were an estimated 42,900 fires in U.S. homes caused by electrical-distribution equipment.

https://www.ecmag.com/section/codes-standards/evolution-afcis-and-nec
 

Sylvan

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If they are, the manufacturers do specify the use of solid PVC, CPVC, or polypropylene pipe for venting.

Here is the problem ... If the piping is "Solid" how can the exhaust flow through it?

Most "piping" is open at both ends to all for something to pass through If not and it is sold like a bar used in machine shops then the piping is going to be totally useless
 

Mliu

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Here is the problem ... If the piping is "Solid" how can the exhaust flow through it?

Most "piping" is open at both ends to all for something to pass through If not and it is sold like a bar used in machine shops then the piping is going to be totally useless
I can't tell if you think you're being funny or you're just stupid. Perhaps both?

"Solid" in this discussion refers to a solid plastic wall extrusion. As opposed to pipe with a co-extruded cellular wall (which has the wall comprised of a thick lightweight foam core layer sandwiched between two thin solid plastic layers).
 
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