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Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious if you guys have any input onto alternatives to Copper & Ductile for water mains in say Condo's or High rises.

Copper is expensive & in some cases (if you're soldering) can be time consuming to install. It also generally requires fiberglass insulation in the codes in my area.

Ductile is F'in heavy and not always practical.

My company has recently started using Fusiotherm which is a German Polypropolene. It's fused using a fusion iron sort of like what guys will use with HDPE, with the end result being a true one piece system. I like it for it's properties and apparent longetivity and the connection system is about as good as it gets. But at the same time there are many things I don't like about it. 1) Requires reflectix insulaton to get a fire spread rating where I live which is insulation labour 2) Not fun or enjoyable to install in tight places and it doesn't look good when you do 3) Difficult to make it look good as say a copper installation as it's easy to have a cock eyed connection when you are pushing the fusion together. I mean if I had a nice big open space to work in all day with no boundaries I would love to do this stuff all day long. But after a day or so of wrestling 63 MM (their metric size of 2") fusion connections together into the iron, then out of the iron, then together, you will be wishing you could do something else. The one thing I like about it is they have good adapters to transitin to/from metal with FIP or MIP adapters as well as saddle adapters, etc.

I have expierience using Ipex PVC (Xirtec) & CPVC (Corzan) Sch 80 pipes for water & heating mains & distribution. The one vice of this sytem is they don't have a male adapter yet that handles expansion/contraction of various temperatures when going from metal to plastic, but they do have a prestressed with metal ring female adapter that isn't bad. My understanding is apparently Ipex just came out with a fire rated version of Corzan called Bluerise. I'm wondering if you guys have any experience using this or any other alternatives to offer. The keys I'm looking for are 1) Ease of connection 2) Avoding having to insulate for pipe condensation (copper) or for fire spread (Fusiotherm) - I know the Corzan has a good built in R-value on their pipes 3) The pipe looks good when installed and there is no potential for botched/cockeyed joints, which isn't usually a problem with PVC/CPVC but is for Fusiotherm fusion, as after you glue it and push the connection together you have a few seconds to manipulate the pipe/fitting connection with a torpedo level to get it plumb or level.
 

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My boss was told by an engineer during an inspection that all “clear” pex has a fire rating. By “clear” he meant not the pex that is coated with a black lining on the inside of the pipe. He also went on to say that most of the “clear” he sees used is “Grade A” witch can be expanded like wirsbo and has the fire rating. The problem is that a large percentage of the pipe manufactures do not have the proper stamp on the pipe for whatever reason (proper testing or patents maybe) that they have to reject the pipe or make a note in the engineer report given to the builder whomakes us rip it out in a panic.

Also wirsbo fittings and expansions rings will not have a warranty if used on other brands “clear Grade a pex”. And Wirsbo pipe will not have a warranty if crimped with regular rings……Even though it is the exact same pipe!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I know Wirsbo has a fire rating but I guess I should clarify - I'm talking about ridgid pipe mains here, not flexible like Wirsbo or Rehau.

Wirsbo in the 1 1/4" and up category is also quite expensive. In comparison to other brands I can't say. The nice thing about the PVC/CPVC is all you need is a set of plastic cutters or hack saw and a pot of primer and a pot of glue. No special connecting tools needed. But I'm also curious if there are other options out there that I may not be giving proper consideration, as well as if anyone has used the Blue Rise in a fire rated application?
 

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only used cpvc in multi residential water mains but only on risers.. coming off large copper ( soldered) mains in parkade. and now in commercial just use copper for everything.
 
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