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

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najna

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Seems like a lot of people with this problem come from the greater Atlanta area.

There must be a common denominator because Atlanta is over represented far more than mere coincidence can possibly explain.

Could it be water? A single large plumbing contractor who did all these installations and mishandled the pipe? A large plumbing material supplier in the Atlanta area that mishandled the pipe? More than one Uponor production facility and a specific one feeding your area??

Frustrating to not know why some Uponor pipe fails and most pipe doesn't, but the other common thread here is that the few who do experience a leak don't get just one leak (which would be an aberration) but a dozen or more. Makes no sense.

Did you keep any sections of the failed pipe? If requested, I would send Uponor a sample but not ALL of it..

John
I sent several samples and they said they were not faulty and the pipes were destroyed with testing. I still have a full box of them. Then they said they can't provide warranty because we repiped (so why did they ask for pipes to test if they cant?). We had emailed them and called and left voicemails and no one got back to us so we repiped. I figured a smaller (not insignificant one albeit) was better then an insurance claim on top of still having to eventually repipe.
 

najna

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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
The plumbing company who installed them in my community said its a couple of years of bad pipes, not specifically batches but i don't know at what frequency batches get made. He said its been an issue for pipes being made/installed between 2016-2018. My house was built in 2017.
 

JohnCT

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I sent several samples and they said they were not faulty and the pipes were destroyed with testing. I still have a full box of them. Then they said they can't provide warranty because we repiped (so why did they ask for pipes to test if they cant?).

We are talking about the same townhomes, some homes have uponor and the rest have other pipes, all built in different phases. The phases with uponor have pinhole leaks. All other phases of houses have no issues.



I don't know how Uponor can say those pipes weren't defective, at least not without providing some other causality for the failure (mishandling, bad install, water chemistry, etc.). The pipes leaked with no explanation, they are defective. Considering that the other phases of your association build that didn't use Uponor have no plumbing issues, it doesn't seem likely it's anything other than defective product.

Convenient that the pipe samples you provided to them were "destroyed" during testing. How much material do you need to sacrifice for a test? I'd like to give Uponor the benefit of the doubt, but maybe they were hoping the only samples of the bad pipe was what you sent them? Good thing you kept the rest..

Also convenient that their "out" for your problem is that you went ahead and removed the defective pipe and did a repipe to stop the nightmare before they got around to figuring out what happened.

There's no reason they couldn't have figured out what happened within two or three weeks at best (inspecting their product and sending one of their own reps to inspect the install and take water samples).

I'm pretty good at seeing both sides of any argument, but I'm scratching my head trying to play devil's advocate for Uponor but I don't have any good defense I can think of.

In any case, best of luck and I do hope you get compensated. This was NOT your fault and you didn't deserve that.

John
 

Jessmaster006

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Hi Guys, just discovered this forum and happy to be seeing some recent posts! I live in Marietta, GA, home was built in 2016 and we've just had 2x leaks on the Uponor AquaPEX hot side -- exciting stuff. I've found this video from an outfit out of California that was pretty informative
and spoke to the issue at hand. I'm going back to read all the entries here, but wanted to say hello, thank you, and that I'll be back to continue with my research. Just curious -- is there any sort of class action happening here in Georgia regarding this issue? I've seen plenty of mention of suits in different states, but can't really find anything current for Georgia... Thanks all!
 

JohnCT

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Hi Guys, just discovered this forum and happy to be seeing some recent posts! I live in Marietta, GA, home was built in 2016 and we've just had 2x leaks on the Uponor AquaPEX hot side -- exciting stuff. I've found this video from an outfit out of California that was pretty informative
and spoke to the issue at hand. I'm going back to read all the entries here, but wanted to say hello, thank you, and that I'll be back to continue with my research. Just curious -- is there any sort of class action happening here in Georgia regarding this issue? I've seen plenty of mention of suits in different states, but can't really find anything current for Georgia... Thanks all!

Joe's videos are interesting, but he's making absolute conclusions based strictly on his own observations and not on any scientific tests.

Still, he has at least some currency here - he's installed a crapload of Uponor and now he's got to replace some of it. I don't know of any reason he would harpoon Uponor without good cause. I mean, if he just decided to switch products he sells he wouldn't go back and burn the Uponor bridge without good reason.

I don't know of any class actions suits yet as Uponor has been (I guess in many cases) paying for repiping and collateral damage for leaking pipe (except for TL member above apparently). If a class action suit does happen, there WILL be scientific analysis of the failed pipe and maybe then we'll know if it's chloramine, UV exposure at some point, installation errors, or batch problems - or maybe some other reason no one has speculated on yet.

Keep us up to date on your situation if you can.

John
 

najna

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Hi Guys, just discovered this forum and happy to be seeing some recent posts! I live in Marietta, GA, home was built in 2016 and we've just had 2x leaks on the Uponor AquaPEX hot side -- exciting stuff. I've found this video from an outfit out of California that was pretty informative
and spoke to the issue at hand. I'm going back to read all the entries here, but wanted to say hello, thank you, and that I'll be back to continue with my research. Just curious -- is there any sort of class action happening here in Georgia regarding this issue? I've seen plenty of mention of suits in different states, but can't really find anything current for Georgia... Thanks all!
If you are in a townhome, we might be in the same community! I'm also in Marietta. I'm happy to be part of a class action.
 

najna

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I don't know how Uponor can say those pipes weren't defective, at least not without providing some other causality for the failure (mishandling, bad install, water chemistry, etc.). The pipes leaked with no explanation, they are defective. Considering that the other phases of your association build that didn't use Uponor have no plumbing issues, it doesn't seem likely it's anything other than defective product.

Convenient that the pipe samples you provided to them were "destroyed" during testing. How much material do you need to sacrifice for a test? I'd like to give Uponor the benefit of the doubt, but maybe they were hoping the only samples of the bad pipe was what you sent them? Good thing you kept the rest..

Also convenient that their "out" for your problem is that you went ahead and removed the defective pipe and did a repipe to stop the nightmare before they got around to figuring out what happened.

There's no reason they couldn't have figured out what happened within two or three weeks at best (inspecting their product and sending one of their own reps to inspect the install and take water samples).

I'm pretty good at seeing both sides of any argument, but I'm scratching my head trying to play devil's advocate for Uponor but I don't have any good defense I can think of.

In any case, best of luck and I do hope you get compensated. This was NOT your fault and you didn't deserve that.

I don't know how Uponor can say those pipes weren't defective, at least not without providing some other causality for the failure (mishandling, bad install, water chemistry, etc.). The pipes leaked with no explanation, they are defective. Considering that the other phases of your association build that didn't use Uponor have no plumbing issues, it doesn't seem likely it's anything other than defective product.

Convenient that the pipe samples you provided to them were "destroyed" during testing. How much material do you need to sacrifice for a test? I'd like to give Uponor the benefit of the doubt, but maybe they were hoping the only samples of the bad pipe was what you sent them? Good thing you kept the rest..

Also convenient that their "out" for your problem is that you went ahead and removed the defective pipe and did a repipe to stop the nightmare before they got around to figuring out what happened.

There's no reason they couldn't have figured out what happened within two or three weeks at best (inspecting their product and sending one of their own reps to inspect the install and take water samples).

I'm pretty good at seeing both sides of any argument, but I'm scratching my head trying to play devil's advocate for Uponor but I don't have any good defense I can think of.

In any case, best of luck and I do hope you get compensated. This was NOT your fault and you didn't deserve that.

John
Thank you John, really appreciate your supportive words.
 

Jeff H Young

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The guy with integrity repipe has a differant opinion I ve seen some of his videos he blaims it on chlorination and I think says no changes have been made in production He also claims we can look at 2 pieces of pipe and to untrained eye we can see they are identical in every way , I have some problem with his opinions.
Just want to add that I do feel for those with a problem , No matter why the leaks occured its no fun , I have heard of homeowners that were taken care of reimbursed for repairs and or repipes . And then I hear other stories that they arent getting help . meanwhile Im sure 100s of thousands of homes a year are being built with this product and its unknown wheter changes have been made
 

JohnCT

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I have some problem with his opinions.

Me too. I'll wait for scientific tests. He's identified a problem but is making conclusions with no data, only observation. IOW, he has a guess.

One of the comments on one of his youtube videos was from a guy who had his fairly new house repiped when his Uponor pipe had dozens of leaks. His pipe was the white kind and he said only sections of the pipe were yellowed with faded lettering while other sections of the same install were still white with perfect print, but *all* the leaks were on the yellowed sections.

So in his case at least, the water conditions didn't seem to be the cause.

Others have stated that many builders drop off bundles of PEX at new construction sites which could be sitting in the sun for many weeks or even months while the projects were being built.

I wonder how many Uponor fails were on new homes (where the pipe may have been exposed to light during construction either in coils or before the walls were put up) as opposed to most guys here who install Uponor in old work jobs and have never seen a problem. It does seem that all the people who have joined this forum specifically because of Uponor PEX failures all seem to be from new homes.

John
 

Jeff H Young

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Me too. I'll wait for scientific tests. He's identified a problem but is making conclusions with no data, only observation. IOW, he has a guess.

One of the comments on one of his youtube videos was from a guy who had his fairly new house repiped when his Uponor pipe had dozens of leaks. His pipe was the white kind and he said only sections of the pipe were yellowed with faded lettering while other sections of the same install were still white with perfect print, but *all* the leaks were on the yellowed sections.

So in his case at least, the water conditions didn't seem to be the cause.

Others have stated that many builders drop off bundles of PEX at new construction sites which could be sitting in the sun for many weeks or even months while the projects were being built.

I wonder how many Uponor fails were on new homes (where the pipe may have been exposed to light during construction either in coils or before the walls were put up) as opposed to most guys here who install Uponor in old work jobs and have never seen a problem. It does seem that all the people who have joined this forum specifically because of Uponor PEX failures all seem to be from new homes.

John
I wonder too it could be none of these fails are from sunlight, I still feel like its a good product but apparantly has /had a issue that hasent been explained to where I belive the answers are reliable
 

Jessmaster006

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Hi Guys, finally had the time to review all the posts here. I have to apologize that I hadn't read everything before posting a redundant link to that Integrity Plumbing video. At any rate, here's the situation on my end.

We've had 2x leaks over the course of 3 weeks. The first resulted in some substantial water loss, but unfinished basement, exposed pipe, no dry wall or demolition costs, just a big outpouring of community support w/ dehumidifiers and fans. Well, this week (reason for my original post of course) discovered a second leak, still in the basement and still no damages. So, lucky us I guess.

At any rate, I've been researching the lawsuits, the color chemical issue with the Uponor AquaPEX Type A manufactured between '15-'18 and that's what we have throughout the house. I've contacted our homeowners insurance and they won't cover anything preventative like repiping the house, so nothing doing there until I have actual damages. Oh, and don't make the mistake of filing a claim, as that filing regardless of dollars associated is a GOTCHA and goes against your overall insurability simply as a person that files multiple claims. In this case, I filed 2 claims one for the leak on 9/3/2023 and one for the leak on 9/19/2023 because I didn't know there was a detriment to doing that, nor did I understand that insurance only activates once something is actually damaged.

At this stage I have contact with a lawyer here in Atlanta who is researching the class actions and is to get back to me with a point of contact if there are any class actions to participate in. Also, he's researching whether or not there's any funds that have been setup as a result of other lawsuits specific to the Uponor failures. More to follow there. Obviously I'm new to this forum, so I'd love to share specific contacts, names, phone numbers, but didn't know if that was a fauxpax becuase no one seems to share that information. I'd love to share everything if it's helpful. I know some folks here are questioning the validity of the statements being made here, so who cares, let's share some phone numbers and get on with finding solutions.

Furthermore, I spoke with a local repipe plumber who says to file a claim w/ Uponor and see how that goes, and that he'd be glad to repipe my house with Uponor PEX type A for $10k including drywall patches and paint (in those areas). But to that I say WHOA! fool me once w/ Uponor, shame on me! Fool me twice, and I'm just not down with that. So, now I'm researching pipe materials -- has PEX been around long enough to have all the data, or will we continue to see multiple brands of PEX come under the gun? -- see: https://www.classaction.org/pex-plumbing-lawsuit -- I DON'T KNOW, but I'm not sure I want to find out there's another issue 7 years from now w/ PEX.

So, do I choose cPVC and repipe the entire house (both hot & cold) for $15k, which is what another plumber is quoting? I DON'T KNOW. On the one hand, it sounds like my only choice is to file a warranty claim w/ Uponor as that could result in repiping at their expense, but on what BS timeline is that happening? 4-6 Weeks to test things? Great, so what in the meantime? Spot-fix things and hope none of the leaks happen within the walls? Sounds unintelligent. We've all discovered the common problem Uponor AquaPEX type A installed between 2016 to 2018 -- so what are we to do? Address the elephant and repipe the house with something other than Uponor PEX.

But at own expense?

Seems sad. I don't have $15k to spend on getting me back to the exact same spot while there's a 25yr warranty that covers exactly this issue, but again if I go the Uponor Claims route, then what -- wait months without hot water (showers at neighbors, etc) then repipe the house again with Uponor? DANG. Just don't know.

At any rate, here are photos for the non-believers and for the other me's out there.

PS: I live in East Cobb, which apparently does have bad water treatment, so would a Aquasense water filter ($1k) be a good investment regardless of what I do?
 

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JohnCT

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At any rate, I've been researching the lawsuits, the color chemical issue with the Uponor AquaPEX Type A manufactured between '15-'18

Why those years? This is the first I've heard about a certain time window of Uponor pipe failures.

So, do I choose cPVC and repipe the entire house (both hot & cold) for $15k, which is what another plumber is quoting? I DON'T KNOW.

I wouldn't. CPVC is known to get brittle, particularly the hot side. Nothing like turning off your hot water valve and have the pipe snap in the wall... If you go that way, make sure your valves are mounted to backing boards or studs so the pipe doesn't take the stress.

On the one hand, it sounds like my only choice is to file a warranty claim w/ Uponor as that could result in repiping at their expense, but on what BS timeline is that happening? 4-6 Weeks to test things? Great, so what in the meantime? Spot-fix things and hope none of the leaks happen within the walls?

That's a big problem. I don't know if Uponor drags their feet on claims hoping you repipe on your own which gets them off the hook (not counting any lawsuits of course). I also don't know (and maybe someone with more insurance knowledge can answer) is that if you've already contacted your insurance and they know you have defective pipes, can the insurance deny any collateral damage that happens in the future??

PS: I live in East Cobb, which apparently does have bad water treatment, so would a Aquasense water filter ($1k) be a good investment regardless of what I do?

For all anyone knows (and Uponor isn't saying either way), water quality may not be the failure mechanism despite what Joe Ludlow says. It could be water, could be UV exposure, could be a bad batch (2015-2018?), or it could be a combination of all three which might explain the overall low incidence of Uponor pipe failure.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with filtering your water anyway. Quality of life and so forth.

Regarding your next move on repiping, that's a tough one. I have to admit that if I had a Uponor issue like you have, I would not be happy repiping with Uponor unless Uponor said in no uncertain terms they had a bad batch and the problem is fixed.

Put a gun to my head and I'd go with either PE-RT or PEX B (both expandable).

John

EDIT: interesting that the plumbing company used Uponor but didn't elect to expand it. Expansion is a great advantage over crimping.
 

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Hi John, thanks very much for your notes. I'm getting scared away from the cPVC for sure. Though I wonder if there's any way to mitigate the brittle problem by insulating or through the use of our recirculation pump?

I'm brand new to this world of piping / repiping / etc and I just wonder if all PEX is going to start failing more as the usage, years, and data comes through. As I understand it, PEX has been used regularly since the 1990s, so maybe that's been plenty of time to recognize product-wide failures. I don't suspect there's any one pipe that's the clear winner? -- perhaps Copper L -- but I'm not a millionaire.

So, I'm coming back to PEX, certainly still fearful of Uponor. But why the recommend of PEX Type B vs the PEX Type A? I'm seeing that Type B is perhaps easier to work with, but that Type A might have less restrictive flow because of how Type A is expanded between connections.

I'm sort of at that point in my discovery period where I'm back to square one, a bit, in not knowing the best direction to take. I say that, though I do suspect I'll go with PEX as all the reviews are generally positive around the web. Just don't want to come back here in 7yrs with similar issues. Though maybe by repiping with the new PEX will solve my issue and allay my concerns. It was a bad batch from a reputable manufacturer.

I guess I'll need to start the claims process w/ Uponor and just ride it out, because at the end of that road might be the possibility of them covering the costs to repipe (even if it was with their product)?

Thanks so much for your time here!
 

Jeff H Young

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One thing a lot of people overlook even though it continualy comes up is Supossedly a 2 year window of problems Other than the Quak from integrity repipe Im not hearing that current Uponor is crap at least nothing that I concider reliable, Id choose current Pex over CPVC any day . Id be skittish too but am I only one that knows Uponor PEX didnt stop getting used in 2018 but these problems seem to be isolated?
Copper is still good I havent done a Full repipe in 5 years but routinly use all copper on remodel work , sometimes underground water mains too. In fact inside houses Copper is all I use unless repairing CPVC or making a little change like moving some stub outs, Embarrased to admit I have no pex tools really havent needed them though I could have slammed in pex and made quicker money.
Thanks for filling us in Jess, You asked about sharing phone numbers etc. I havent done that much but there is personal mail box to reach out to each other I dont use it much but rather than put your number here in the open if someone wants to share thats a good way (I think ) to share that info. Good luck on the home!
 

Jessmaster006

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One thing a lot of people overlook even though it continualy comes up is Supossedly a 2 year window of problems Other than the Quak from integrity repipe Im not hearing that current Uponor is crap at least nothing that I concider reliable, Id choose current Pex over CPVC any day . Id be skittish too but am I only one that knows Uponor PEX didnt stop getting used in 2018 but these problems seem to be isolated?
Copper is still good I havent done a Full repipe in 5 years but routinly use all copper on remodel work , sometimes underground water mains too. In fact inside houses Copper is all I use unless repairing CPVC or making a little change like moving some stub outs, Embarrased to admit I have no pex tools really havent needed them though I could have slammed in pex and made quicker money.
Thanks for filling us in Jess, You asked about sharing phone numbers etc. I havent done that much but there is personal mail box to reach out to each other I dont use it much but rather than put your number here in the open if someone wants to share thats a good way (I think ) to share that info. Good luck on the home!
Thanks so much Jeff!
 

JohnCT

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I'm getting scared away from the cPVC for sure. Though I wonder if there's any way to mitigate the brittle problem by insulating or through the use of our recirculation pump?

No to either. The heat damage is coming from the hot water moving through the pipe, so insulating the pipe won't help and recirculating systems keep the pipe hotter all the time instead of just on demand, unless the theory is that it's the change of temperature that recirculation eliminates may prevent brittleness(?). I think the heat of the water in the CPVC itself is what slowly makes the pipe brittle, but even the cold water side gets brittle although it takes longer.

So, I'm coming back to PEX, certainly still fearful of Uponor. But why the recommend of PEX Type B vs the PEX Type A? I'm seeing that Type B is perhaps easier to work with, but that Type A might have less restrictive flow because of how Type A is expanded between connections.

PEX A is easier to work with as it's more flexible and the expansion method is easier than crimping, particularly in tight spaces. Your installation of Uponor PEX A wasn't expanded which is strange if you ask me. In recent years, PEX B has been certified to also use the same F1960 expansion fittings that PEX A uses, so a lot of guys are expanding PEX B instead of crimping. I expanded a section of B to use in my basement and it's working fine. PE-RT (a PEX material with no cross-linking) is also is certified for F1960 expansion fittings and Legend Valve who makes PE-RT guarantees it for 100 years. What that guarantee actually covers beyond the cost of materials (which is immaterial if you ask me) I don't know.

It was a bad batch from a reputable manufacturer.

If we only knew! If I had Uponor that leaked and they said directly it was a bad batch - "our bad" - but then made good on the repipe, I would GLADLY allow Uponor to repipe and feel good about the longevity of it. But without knowing what happened, it scares me.

I guess I'll need to start the claims process w/ Uponor and just ride it out, because at the end of that road might be the possibility of them covering the costs to repipe (even if it was with their product)?

A lot of people have had their re-pipes paid by Uponor, so I would make the claim and keep after them. Best of luck.

John
 

Reach4

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"PEX A is easier to work with as it's more flexible and the expansion method is easier than crimping, particularly in tight spaces. "

I have only used the expansion, but it seems to me that there would be times when the clamp is easier.

One advantage to clamp or crimp is that you could take your time getting the pex into position.
 

JohnCT

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"PEX A is easier to work with as it's more flexible and the expansion method is easier than crimping, particularly in tight spaces. "

I have only used the expansion, but it seems to me that there would be times when the clamp is easier.

One advantage to clamp or crimp is that you could take your time getting the pex into position.

The crimping tool has to go where the connection is, the expander doesn't need to be. There are plenty of times when a clamping tool cannot be angled into a tight area with an existing fitting without moving other things, like preexisting copper, drain pipes (like under the sink) or other obstructions. The A can be pulled out of the confined area, expanded, and put back into the tight confines. As long as that's done within 5 seconds (plenty of time), the connection can be made.

John
 

Jeff H Young

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I dont think anyone finds crimp and clamps easier overall than PEX A expansion . from an ease of install I think Expansion wins and I dont think type b is easier its stiffer so seems indisputably easier
 

Reach4

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My view differs because I have a hand tool, rather than a power tool
 
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