How do I avoid breaking old CPVC?

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Cabin_Mama

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We live in a house built 23 years ago by the original owner. The indoor plumbing is all CPVC. When we try to replace old leaking fixtures, more often than not, the pipe snaps off. In addition, the CPVC seemed to not be able to take the daily jostling of lifting a tub spout diverter, and one day, the tub spout literally just fell off, leaving broken pipe behind the fiberglass tub surround.
Anyway, today I have a bathroom sink faucet in need of replacing. After so many bad experiences, I am very nervous about trying to loosen the supply lines from the shutoff valves, because the shutoff valves have CPVC behind them going into the wall. How can I apply enough force to remove the supply lines, without cracking or otherwise damaging the CPVC pipe behind them? Any tips?
Besides someday replumbing the entire house in copper.
 

JohnCT

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Honestly, I would let the faucet drip and not screw with it - or maybe change the seats and the spindles for now. I know a few pro plumbers and they won't screw with any CPVC repairs for having the possibility of a pipe snapping off inside a wall. Good God..

I am the least OCD person on the planet (except for some guy in Jakarta) but the thought of that brittle CPVC pipe in my house would keep me awake nights. The faucet would be the last straw, and I'd plan a repipe as soon as possible. I'd probably use PEX-A but copper is a great choice if water quality is at least fair (if you're on a well, do a water analysis).

John
 

Cabin_Mama

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Thank you for your reply, John. Thinking about those pipes does keep me awake nights! Sometimes I feel like it's a big ticking bomb. Maybe you're right, I should let the faucet go for the time being and expend more energy planning for the overhaul. It's just really annoying to live with broken plumbing in the meantime (broken off tub spouts, leaky faucets, etc).
 

Gsmith22

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I really needed to use plastic for my well water treatment section of plumbing that raises pH. copper was a no go as the acid would eat right through it. I considered stainless steel but that was going to get expensive quick. PEX didn't have the right fittings so I went with Sch 80 PVC. Most plumbing codes don't allow PVC inside the foundation wall for "water distribution". We are talking several fittings here all seeing water that is like 50deg from a well so PVC (especially sch 80) isn't an actual problem (hot water is the issue with PVC) but I didn't for one second consider CPVC because of what you are describing. I can't for the life of me understand how codes allow that crap but won't allow PVC anywhere inside the foundation. CPVC reminds me of asbestos insulation wrap around pipes. Its fine until you have to touch it/disturb it and then all hell breaks loose. If you are going to repipe, Uponor PEX A would be my recommendation. Its what I did. the stuff is great
 

Reach4

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We are talking several fittings here all seeing water that is like 50deg from a well so PVC (especially sch 80) isn't an actual problem (hot water is the issue with PVC) but I didn't for one second consider CPVC because of what you are describing. I can't for the life of me understand how codes allow that crap but won't allow PVC anywhere inside the foundation
We are talking about pressure piping. I was thinking that the codes allowed PVC in a crawl space but not a basement.
I can't for the life of me understand how codes allow that crap but won't allow PVC anywhere inside the foundation.
I agree that it is a travesty to not allow PVC for cold. It may be that they defacto allow it up to at least the pressure tank, but that, at least, should be specifically allowed.

Even schedule 40 PVC seems much more durable than CTS CPVC.
 
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Gsmith22

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PVC must have a bad lobbying industry :) Its clearly not just me too. every well water filtration, pressure tank picture on the internet has some version of PVC fittings included. Hell, the filtration equipment is all plastic (likely PVC)
 

Terry

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The stop that you're removing the supply line from needs to be carefully supported. I also use longer supply lines to help reduce the stress on the line from the wall. Know where your main shutoff is first, and maybe have it off ahead of time.

 
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Jeff H Young

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Thanks Terry I've worked on CPVC and just been lucky . But I'm taking heed to that advice turn water off to house even changing a supply line and not going to bother trying to close the handle on a live stop!
A comment about PVC in a house I've never heard it being legal in a crawl space. Now Sch 80 CPVC is legal(never seen sch 40?) CTS CPVC is too thin in my opinion never liked that about it
 
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