Uponor PEX problem ALERT

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Breplum

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We had a customer call to deal with a serious couple of leaks and pulled out these two different leaking spots.
With batch numbers of the pipe included, the sections were sent to Uponor on an Warranty RMA via the local reps.
Here is the reply from them as received today from Uponor, based on their lab results:
"Our lab confirmed that the issue is related to a manufacturing component. Once we receive your leak repair expenses we will review them and provide resolution to your claim. "

Definitely, then, Uponor has a problem with this batch. The house is large, custom, about 9 years old, with improperly sized 1/2" recirculation loop -but that should not be a causative factor here.
(We did not do the plumbing here! )

I am recommending that the homeowner submit a full house repipe quote.

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JohnCT

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"Our lab confirmed that the issue is related to a manufacturing component. Once we receive your leak repair expenses we will review them and provide resolution to your claim. "


I'm shocked at the failure, and frankly, am more shocked the transparency of the defect by Uponor (good for them). I'm not a pro, but it seems that whenever I read about a defect being submitted to a company, they usually blame the water, installation, etc. Someone else on this forum posted similar pictures of Uponor PEX a few months back IIRC. Hopefully, it was confined to a small batch.

John
 

Jeff H Young

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You don't gain customers by rejecting claims . these things turn into class action sometimes.
Just wondering how many bad joints were found? I see the (manufacture) is agreeing to review the repair bill but repairing a blown joint may be different than a total repipe and all related expenses. If a tract home perhaps they'll repipe the entire project
I'm not shocked by Uponers response they been through this before my guess they are caught , if its conclusive , will they gain by running and hiding? its like we are busted got real deep pockets we gotta make it right . I think they have great product but things go wrong . how you deal with it can make or break you
 

Chefwong

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OH BOI.....only saying, you got me second guessing my stash of ProPress stuff now too (even though in my research, propress is equally accepted in full on builds even on the commercial side)
 

Jeff H Young

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OH BOI.....only saying, you got me second guessing my stash of ProPress stuff now too (even though in my research, propress is equally accepted in full on builds even on the commercial side)
Propress is used everywhere Hospitals too. most jobs can't afford it. Its expensive, idiot resistant but not idiot proof. there isn't a product made that hasn't failed. you know airplanes just fall out of the sky, people got cars that drive themselves and everything fails.
 

JohnCT

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I keep looking at those pics and the color of the pipe and the expansion collar are raising a flag. Does anyone think that maybe excessive heat or excessive UV could cause aggravate the condition of bad material? I know Uponor said they believe it to be a manufacturing issue but I wonder if some circumstance that wouldn't ordinarily affect this PEX might be affecting this batch.

John
 

Tuttles Revenge

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am more shocked the transparency of the defect by Uponor (good for them).

The very first Wirsbo job I tried to sell in the mid to late 90s was a massive condo repipe. The homeowner who had invited me to look at the project just happened to be the Anti-Plastics homeowner trying to get the board to approve copper. Only after I presented my plan of using Wirsbo did he reveal his intention and brought out this Massive 3 or 4" thick 3 ring binder full of PolyButelyene lawsuit materials. I informed him that the products were different and why, and what the warranty was for the Pipe and Connections which are different. But he asked a question I couldn't answer. What was the warranty for Copper pipe? I didn't know. So I started asking around. First at my plumbing wholesaler Keller. When I asked, everyone started laughing.. nobody had ever asked that question before. But they provided me with the number for the copper manufacture that they purchased from (forget the name) whom I called. They said they didn't have a warranty, but would pay the labor and materials to replace any defective pipe or fittings and told me of a case in Seattle where a 2.5" water line burst at the seems and they were paying for that replacement... Turns out I was plumbing a Seattle Parks Dept building and my 2.5" water main split during initial pressure testing... Nobody had offered to pay for the replacement until that phone call!
 

Jeff H Young

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I keep looking at those pics and the color of the pipe and the expansion collar are raising a flag. Does anyone think that maybe excessive heat or excessive UV could cause aggravate the condition of bad material? I know Uponor said they believe it to be a manufacturing issue but I wonder if some circumstance that wouldn't ordinarily affect this PEX might be affecting this batch.

John
looks weird to me as well is it painted ? yes I think heat and or sun can/will damage.
I would like a full repipe as well but I would at the very least demand it be inspected to satisfaction (I'd want to see more joints)
I just can't guess the problem if the care of piping (allowed to bake in sun) or installation , excessive pressure was allowed . or the only problem was in the manufacturing.
 

JohnCT

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looks wiered to me as well is it painted ?

The red is certainly a top coat, but I was looking at the expansion ring and the small amount of pipe visible where the red paint had flaked off: it looks very yellow yellow to me. My buddy has Uponor PEX in his addition that is well over ten years old and the pipe and fittings still have their original white color.

John
 

Jeff H Young

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The red is certainly a top coat, but I was looking at the expansion ring and the small amount of pipe visible where the red paint had flaked off: it looks very yellow yellow to me. My buddy has Uponor PEX in his addition that is well over ten years old and the pipe and fittings still have their original white color.

John
agree with the coloring doesn't look right. also I thought red PEX the color was in the pipe so the red top coat is unusual .
I would never paint a porous pipe without manufacture approval. but evidently Uponor feels there is a factory defect .
 

Plumbstar

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In all the PEX leaks that I have repaired, It has always been the hot. Many of the homes I work in are extremely large with recirc systems that run 24/7. I install Aquastats & timers on the recirc pumps where I can

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Johndoejohndoes

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Any issues with the blue colored lines?

90% of my house has the clear colored lines with red/blue lettering…but the main 1” source into the house is the all blue PEX.

Wondering if I should be concerned :oops:
 

Tuttles Revenge

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I haven't delved into the nitty gritty of this issue, but it appears that it was the process that Wirsbo chose to apply their pigment with heat or flame that possibly lead to this failure in Hot water lines. Likely the same process was used to apply the blue, but maybe hasn't been a problem on Cold lines.

Time will tell.

Maybe put a bucket with a battery powered moisture alarm under one of your main blue fittings to see if anything happens?
 

Johndoejohndoes

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I haven't delved into the nitty gritty of this issue, but it appears that it was the process that Wirsbo chose to apply their pigment with heat or flame that possibly lead to this failure in Hot water lines. Likely the same process was used to apply the blue, but maybe hasn't been a problem on Cold lines.

Time will tell.

Maybe put a bucket with a battery powered moisture alarm under one of your main blue fittings to see if anything happens?
It’s under the slab now. I wish I would have seen this post a few weeks ago since the slab was just poured.

Is Wirsbo different than Uponor AquaPex?

As you can see, most of the hookups going to everything is the white stuff. But the main run (into the white stuff) is a big blue line.

PS - Are those light “white scratches” concerning on the bottom of the blue line?

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JohnCT

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Are those manifolds under the slab?! That is something I've never seen. I can't imagine any fittings are approved for under slab use?

They apparently are. On another thread, OP said Uponor saw the pics and gave this install their official Okey Dokey (with apologies to Colonel Potter).
I mean, I'd never do it nor do a direct burial either.

John
 

Weekend Handyman

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They apparently are. On another thread, OP said Uponor saw the pics and gave this install their official Okey Dokey (with apologies to Colonel Potter).
I mean, I'd never do it nor do a direct burial either.

John

I am not a plumber, but I don't know why anyone would put any supply plumbing under a slab. It's not really a thing in my area of Canada. I can't imagine the bill for getting someone to tunnel under your slab to fix a leak.
 
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