Uponor PEX issues - 5 leaks in 2 months. House built in 2015. Need advice.

Users who are viewing this thread

JohnCT

Still learning..slowly
Messages
664
Reaction score
211
Points
43
Location
Northeast
I just joined this forum for this specific issue. I have a rep(engineer) coming today. I'm on my 9th leak as well. Same issue. I'm in Atlanta as well. My home was built in late 2019. Please update us on what happened. I've been really patient with the plumbers because they have been doing all 9 calls without any charge. But the house is a mess. I want to give Upnor a chance but I don't like what I am finding out on web.....

Pics of removed pipe?
 

Jeff H Young

In the Trades
Messages
9,649
Reaction score
2,435
Points
113
Location
92346
Im not going to google PEX leaks but I wonder if 20 people in the country had it happen would all of them wind up here and putting such doubt into what so many belive/ belived a good product. (Im trying to understand extent of the problem) and dont find that pending lawsuits are an indication. I suppose if you can replace every bit of pex in the house and 100 percent repipe with pex most of us would be good with it. Id like to know exact price differance to upgrade or downgrade depending on opinion to copper type L?
Leaking Uponer , please share more was it all red pipe? plus anything else I know you are looking for answers but sharing your details might help others, and spark more info back to you from others
 

JohnCT

Still learning..slowly
Messages
664
Reaction score
211
Points
43
Location
Northeast
(Im trying to understand extent of the problem)

As we all are. What I am a bit suspicious about (not casting aspersions here) is when a new forum member says he has multiple Uponor leaks and doesn't post evidence or makes just one post or two and disappears.

Still, this is a real thing, but I don't know if we'll ever know how small a percentage of Uponor PEX is affected.

John
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
39,277
Reaction score
4,539
Points
113
Location
IL
Still, this is a real thing, but I don't know if we'll ever know how small a percentage of Uponor PEX is affected.
Feels real to me. What we also don't know is if these failures are occurring after 10 years, what will be the failure rate after another 10 or 30 years.
 

JohnCT

Still learning..slowly
Messages
664
Reaction score
211
Points
43
Location
Northeast
Feels real to me. What we also don't know is if these failures are occurring after 10 years, what will be the failure rate after another 10 or 30 years.

The examples I've seen with wholesale leaks have reportedly been within 10 years with some only 5 or less, meanwhile, people I know who have been installing Uponor for over 20 years have never seen a single failure of any kind.

Seems like a batch issue to me or at least a localized water issue. There's a repiper on Youtube who thinks it's a chloramine issue affecting not only PEX A but also copper.

John
 

Naatu

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Atlanta
As we all are. What I am a bit suspicious about (not casting aspersions here) is when a new forum member says he has multiple Uponor leaks and doesn't post evidence or makes just one post or two and disappears.

Still, this is a real thing, but I don't know if we'll ever know how small a percentage of Uponor PEX is affected.

John

Attached one image. I am not an expert, and have no idea on plumbing. I didn't take lot of pictures. There is anew leak again, will get more images of the pipe soon once plumber fixes/cuts the section of pipe.

There is a forced compulsory arbitration clause by Uponor and arbitration proceedings are confidential. Because of forced arbitration, lawsuits are not possible and you cannot find anything on that.

Meanwhile as I am searching, I just found this YouTube channel and it reflects everything I am going through. The problems seems across the country. I am in Atlanta area, the video is from West Coast and he got a call from Florida too.




 

Attachments

  • PEXleak.jpg
    PEXleak.jpg
    94.9 KB · Views: 158
Last edited:

Breplum

Licensed plumbing contractor
Messages
2,086
Reaction score
866
Points
113
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Or, it could be a municipal water issue in the Atlanta area - has Uponor also taken a water sample(s) in addition to failed pipe samples?

I'm sorry for what you are going through. I had to repipe because my copper got swiss-cheesed by low pH water, and waking up to a kitchen ceiling soaked with water still gives me nightmares. I can't imagine what you are still going through now.

One leak could be a nicked pipe on installation, two leaks indicates a problem. Photos of failed pipe posted on this forum have always shown the failed pipe with yellowing. It's been speculated that chloramine added to municipal water is burning the PEX chemically. Do you have any close up pics of your failed pipe you can post?

FWIW, a lot of pros on this site have been installing Uponor for decades with zero leaks, so it must either be a batch problem or local water issues.
John,
It was a color application chemistry issue. It is a fully known issue for Uponor, and the reps and Uponor are handling paying for correction. That is the facts as I have been involved as a licensed plumbing contractor/ middle man helping customers.
 

JohnCT

Still learning..slowly
Messages
664
Reaction score
211
Points
43
Location
Northeast
John,
It was a color application chemistry issue. It is a fully known issue for Uponor, and the reps and Uponor are handling paying for correction. That is the facts as I have been involved as a licensed plumbing contractor/ middle man helping customers.

The first issues of leaks seemed to be limited to the color applied Uponor PEX, and the elimination of the colored Uponor from sales seemed to back that up, but now even the white pipe is showing up with cracks and pinholes after 5 years.

Someone posted pics (might be on this forum) of some pieces of white pipe badly yellowed and cracked and other pieces from the *same* house were clean white. Both samples of white pipe came from the same house but only some parts had the yellow and cracking. The youtube repiper the poster above linked to has about a dozen videos that show damage to both the color applied pipe *and* now white.

Take a look at this segment:

He seems to think it's a chloramine issue (and indeed, it may be a contributing factor), but to me, seeing some pipe damaged and some pipe looking like new from the same house seems to indicate a batch issue contribution as well.

Hopefully, this will all come out soon one way or the other.

John
 

Jeff H Young

In the Trades
Messages
9,649
Reaction score
2,435
Points
113
Location
92346
More precisely, hot water lines.
Joe from integrety repipe in those videos says a whole lot about Pex A failure and that its not just hot nor the color of the pipe only that the hot and the colored pipe is another problem.
I dont agree or disagree with his opinion, but some of what he says I do have doubts in his theory. He is the one pushing Zurn type b and expanding it calling that the best out there.
 

JohnCT

Still learning..slowly
Messages
664
Reaction score
211
Points
43
Location
Northeast
Joe from integrety repipe in those videos says a whole lot about Pex A failure and that its not just hot nor the color of the pipe only that the hot and the colored pipe is another problem.
I dont agree or disagree with his opinion, but some of what he says I do have doubts in his theory. He is the one pushing Zurn type b and expanding it calling that the best out there.

Yep, he's a business man and is trying to figure a way to make more money and not have to do any warranty repairs (he gives a lifetime warranty, but I don't know what that actually covers).

I also don't know if his conclusions are correct so I watch his videos and take what I can from them. I don't agree with his conclusion that "undulations" inside the Uponor pipe is allowing the chloramine to attach itself.

Zurn B is certified for expansion, and assuming there's no long term issue with cracking at the expansion points, is the way I would prefer to connect. Expansion is foolproof and has a bit more flow. There was one video where Joe strongly recommended to physically check all Zurn pipe as he's found some off the roll that had surface defects, so he seems to be trying to be fair.

John
 

Jeff H Young

In the Trades
Messages
9,649
Reaction score
2,435
Points
113
Location
92346

Just had my 10th leak over the weekend,


We are still waiting on the engineers to finish the report.
Listened and watched. heavey breathing and I think i heard someone say thank you and a guy feeling around for water.
not very helpful to anyone ?
Maybe some helpful info 10 leaks waiting on Engineers report? the 10th report ? Its good the Plumber isnt charging does that mean they arent getting paid from manufacture or builder or that you just arent getting a bill? are the walls being patched?
Any thoughts of ripping all that pipe out and going with a differant material or manufacture on a repipe
 

leaking_upnor

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
Points
3
Location
Atlanta
The examples I've seen with wholesale leaks have reportedly been within 10 years with some only 5 or less, meanwhile, people I know who have been installing Uponor for over 20 years have never seen a single failure of any kind.

Seems like a batch issue to me or at least a localized water issue. There's a repiper on Youtube who thinks it's a chloramine issue affecting not only PEX A but also copper.

John
Can't be water because it's only leaking on the 3/4 red(hot) line. It's not effecting the white or the other red 1/2 lines.
 

JohnCT

Still learning..slowly
Messages
664
Reaction score
211
Points
43
Location
Northeast
Can't be water because it's only leaking on the 3/4 red(hot) line. It's not effecting the white or the other red 1/2 lines.

That doesn't eliminate water as a contributing factor. In my mind, I see it primarily a batch problem, but it could be that certain batches are more susceptible to chlorine/chloramine than other batches. That same batch might have worked with no issues on well water. I still haven't seen the white pipe yellow on a well system as it as on city water, but as more cases become known and documented, my opinion might change. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at Uponor and know what they know.

John
 

leaking_upnor

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
Points
3
Location
Atlanta
Hahahaha, they are telling me it's because the flow rate. They said my flowrate was 2.56 ft/sec. But the inspector used a device that measured gal/min for a galvanized pipe with different diameter. I'd like to see that conversion. Volume/time to length/time. It can be done but you'd need to know the ID of the galvanized pipe and my pipe as well. And do I trust their math? I can't believe after disecting every part of the installation, this is what they are hanging their hat on. Fast water. Now they are not returning my calls....
 

JohnCT

Still learning..slowly
Messages
664
Reaction score
211
Points
43
Location
Northeast
Hahahaha, they are telling me it's because the flow rate. They said my flowrate was 2.56 ft/sec. But the inspector used a device that measured gal/min for a galvanized pipe with different diameter. I'd like to see that conversion. Volume/time to length/time. It can be done but you'd need to know the ID of the galvanized pipe and my pipe as well. And do I trust their math? I can't believe after disecting every part of the installation, this is what they are hanging their hat on. Fast water. Now they are not returning my calls....

I'm trying to wrap my head around the thought that flow rate could cause this, particularly since the many of the pictures of the yellowed pipe (including white) show the expansion rings yellowed as well, and they don't come into contact with the water at all.

Stretching my imagination to answer, my only thought (not saying I believe this mind you) is that high flow rate might abrade a finished smooth surface inside the pipe. Once compromised, the lack of finished inside surface allows the water chemicals to attack the rest of the pipe (like rust on metal after the paint is removed), but that doesn't explain the expansion rings yellowing unless they don't have an inside "finish" to abrade...

John

EDIT: If flowrate is indeed the answer, I imagine a bulletin will go out soon requiring a flow reducer to be installed to maintain warranty.
 

leaking_upnor

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
Points
3
Location
Atlanta
I'm trying to wrap my head around the thought that flow rate could cause this, particularly since the many of the pictures of the yellowed pipe (including white) show the expansion rings yellowed as well, and they don't come into contact with the water at all.

Stretching my imagination to answer, my only thought (not saying I believe this mind you) is that high flow rate might abrade a finished smooth surface inside the pipe. Once compromised, the lack of finished inside surface allows the water chemicals to attack the rest of the pipe (like rust on metal after the paint is removed), but that doesn't explain the expansion rings yellowing unless they don't have an inside "finish" to abrade...

John

EDIT: If flowrate is indeed the answer, I imagine a bulletin will go out soon requiring a flow reducer to be installed to maintain warranty.
Word for word: "During the recent visit to your home, the return line water velocity was measured at 2.58 ft/sec, which exceeds the maximum velocity of 2 ft/sec as outlined in Uponor’s Plumbing Design Assistance Manual (PDAM)."

I did the calculations myself and told them theirs was wrong. They came back with an email today stating flow rate was in fact within the guidelines but did not provide me with any of their calculations. They are still claiming "no manufacture defect", but will replace all my pipes. So basically, not admitting fault, but will fix the problem. Which at end of the day, I can live with that.

By the way, there is one other person on this forum that is going through the exact same thing as I am. Exact same response from Uponor.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks