In fact, the first piping systems using CPVC occurred in 1959 and are still working without a problem. CPVC Pipe Physical Appearance Natural Gas piping, sheet metal ductwork, and other mechanical specifications were provided. A small water sample was collected from remaining old system and the results were sent to a lab looking for obvious hydrocarbon contamination. Likewise, insecticides, antibacterial additives and coatings, caulks, and cables or wires that may contact the exterior surface of the pipe can be incompatible with CPVC. Manufacturers requirements for supports were every 3 feet for up to one-inch diameter and every 4 feet for pipe 1 ¼ to 2 inches in diameter. In general, pipes and tubes made with CPVC are significantly more flexible and can withstand higher temperatures than pipes and tubes … We have found that most failures are caused by exposure to incompatible chemicals, on the inside (e.g., Allied ABF) and outside (e.g., fire caulk, spray foam, etc.). The scope of my search is only fire sprinkler systems and only CPVC pipe failures in the US. A catastrophic failure at this union was imminent. Also, why not just glue back cpvc. With over a decade of experience performing failure analysis investigations on orange plastic (CPVC) fire sprinkler piping systems. Yet only oxygen in the water would corrode the pump impeller. Specific examples of known failure modes found in this installation include; excessive cement, insufficient cement, inappropriate clamping, Brass threads over CPVC threads, no allowance for thermal expansion. However, these are fairly expensive test whose ultimate value ought to be weighed against the value of pursuing additional action in this matter. However no specifications for hydronic piping were called out, nor was any statement deferring the material selection to another party apparent. CPVC, as we explained earlier, is a stronger version of PVC pipe with a higher melting point and tougher chemical structure. Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipe is a thermoplastic created by the chlorination of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin. Spray foam is a preferred insulation material because it both seals against air penetration and has a high R-value. The remainder of this report will identify multiple violations of manufacturer installation recommendations, classic failure patterns in a small sample, and additional conditions that could impact the integrity of a CPVC system. Some failures were minor and some catastrophic. This system is designed to be very user-friendly, and because the outside diameter of CPVC tubing is sized the same as copper pipe, the grip-style mechanical fittings (Photos 3 and 4) can be used on both copper and CPVC pipe. At the time of this CPVC Pipe Failure Investigation, the facility was in renovation and the problematic hydronic system was roughly 90% removed. Several samples demonstrated classic “textbook” Environmental Stress Cracking (ESC) patterns and discoloration zones. Note obvious leak path. The system began to weaken as generalized fragility ensued. No maintenance records or operating logs were available during the site visit. In the case of CPVC, stressed would be introduced which accelerate the cracking and ultimately, failure. The SPFA stance on the matter of SPF-related CPVC failures is subjectively stated: Objectively, the tests were not properly conducted, the results were not published in any scientific journal; instead the SPFA published a white paper synopsis of their findings. Main Difference – UPVC vs CPVC. There is no clear failure pattern evident with the possible exception of the B&C and symmetric F&G stack associated with dollar value. Any other contamination scenario is viable. A closed hydronic system would not hold enough oxygen to cause the iron corrosion that was observed. One of the main positive aspects is that PEX does not need glue to be held up. Unlike copper, CPVC piping systems will maintain drinking-water quality even if the pH of the potable water source falls below 6.5 (pH measures the relative acidity of water; the pH of natural potable water should be between 6.5 and 8.5). CPVC pipes and fittings may be well-received in the building materials market. PVC or polyvinyl chloride is one of the world’s most widely produced synthetic polymers.It is a plastic material. Easy to install and economical, plastic plumbing pipes are commonly made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) and polybutylene (PB). Don’t confuse CPVC pipe with the plastic polybutylene systems that were a problem more than a decade ago. CPVC works well for this application unless there is a leak in the heat exchanger. Figure 2: Sample 1 CPVC thread vs. brass nut tightened to .o83 gap. Many failures of CPVC have resulted from exposure to spray foam. However, no specifications for hydronic piping material were called out, nor was any statement deferring the material selection to another party apparent. CPVC failures are not limited to these particular problems. NPT tapered threads (National Pipe Thread Standard) are designed to create interference fit between similar materials as a means of creating both a high strength union and a positive fluid seal. FlowGuard Gold CPVC Lawsuit Anyone who has experienced leaking or other problems with their FlowGuard Gold Pipe & Fittings plumbing system. Additional records, if submitted, may be instrumental in determining if or when any system contamination occurred. Like all piping materials, the most common mode of failure is improper design and poor craftsmanship. Potable water systems and fittings utilizing CPVC tend to degradate and often fail after only a few years of service. Because these items are typically cast or fabricated from mild steel the premature deterioration would indicate excess oxygen was allowed to enter the system. CPVC typically works well for hydronic applications however, leakes in a local heat exchanger can destroy entire systems. CPVC is a fairly common choice for plumbing in homes. Bernice Dockery is dealing with the problem right now “Improve their product, the material is no good,” Dockery said, referring to the CPVC pipes behind her walls that were installed 14 years ago. Because these items are typically cast or fabricated from mild steel the premature deterioration would indicate excess oxygen was allowed to enter the system. This CPVC Pipe Failure Investigation demonstrates these shortcomings. Figure 9 shows an image of a freeze Referencesfailure for a CPVC pipe in a residential setting. If the wall is open, I can see switching. For older homes, PEX pipe serves as a great retrofitting option. We were the first (2007) to advise of incompatibility between antimicrobial lined steel pipe and CPVC. The approximate location of the boiler and the chiller are also shown. A sub-section of a failed CPVC fire sprinkler pipe system. This results in a loss of pipe material and formation of rough, stiff edges that can cause pipes to … These deficiencies, and others, likely caused the mechanical stresses in the system, which made the CPVC increasingly vulnerable to the introduction of an incompatible chemical. Our forensic failure experts can analyze failed CPVC pipe samples and failed PEX pipe samples to determine the root cause of failure. Most North American PVC pipe uses a Nominal Pipe Size (NPS), while CPVC is available in either NPS standard sizing -OR- CTS (Copper Tube Size) sizing. A site visit occurred on Thursday June 11, 2014 and the following was observed; A set of mechanical drawings was made available. The Architectural building specifications did not make it clear to engineering what material would be used for the piping of the hydronic system. Having to vent air continuously from the system indicates that the make-up water PRV (pressure reducing valve) was not set correctly to prevent air entrainment. What is CPVC? The Dos and Don’ts of Gluing PVC Pipe Speed and accuracy count when gluing PVC pipe, so avoid mishaps with this guide to creating an airtight connection with fast-acting cement. Priddy has over 100 scientific publications, over 60 US patents, and has authored several encyclopedia articles on various aspects of plastics. The problems with CPVC pipes can range from: Turning off the valve by the toilet and having it snap off in the wall; Mopping your floor and hitting the connection, causing it to snap; To be fair, some plumbing companies prefer CPVC. Issues with CPVC Pipes. Recently we visited a research hospital that had to replace their entire sink drainage system because the CPVC pipes and fittings had turned brittle, cracked and failed. When plumbing began to move indoors in the early 20th century, the materials of choice were terra-cotta, cast iron, copper and galvanized steel. The first may be described as the general disregard for manufacturer installation recommendations. You can always contact us via email or phone. DESIGN, INSTALLATION, OPERATION OBSERVATIONS. Once contaminated, the entire piping system must be replaced. There are many different CPVC pipe manufacturers, and whilst the bulk of the material used to make the pipe will be CPVC, each manufacturer may add their own blend of fillers and pigments. After review of the facility, collection of samples, and extended discussion, the samples were returned to Coengineers lab for analysis. 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