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Plumbing since 1974
Plumbing and light HVAC
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, I’ve been an Uponor fan boy and own the tools and carry the training certificate.
But yesterday, a colleague got a call for some water leaking issues at a nine year old house and pulled out a number of leaking Uponor tube sections And they are scary bad.
We are helping the homeowner pursue warranty RMA claims and the damage pieces are being sent to the Uponor labs.
But, I have to say, in the absence of anything abnormal at the house, this is red flag warning time.
From what I can see so far there is absolutely nothing wrong with the installation except on the return re-circ return loop pipe, Because it’s a Navien internal pump tankless, it should’ve been three-quarter return loop size and not half inch but that is not the issue because it’s not erosion that is the problem. The splits in the pipe are at the fitting joints and the fittings all look to be Uponor’s.


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Well, I’ve been an Uponor fan boy and own the tools and carry the training certificate.
But yesterday, a colleague got a call for some water leaking issues at a nine year old house and pulled out a number of leaking Uponor tube sections And they are scary bad.
We are helping the homeowner pursue warranty RMA claims and the damage pieces are being sent to the Uponor labs.
But, I have to say, in the absence of anything abnormal at the house, this is red flag warning time.
From what I can see so far there is absolutely nothing wrong with the installation except on the return re-circ return loop pipe, Because it’s a Navien internal pump tankless, it should’ve been three-quarter return loop size and not half inch but that is not the issue because it’s not erosion that is the problem. The splits in the pipe are at the fitting joints and the fittings all look to be Uponor’s.

Dammmm,this is bad,I will stick to my zurn pex with black crimp rings
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Dammmmm,this is bad,I will stick to my zurn pex and black crimp rings
 

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It ain’t just the red. I’ve got a roll of the white sitting at my shop that I replaced. 1/2” hot. Same vintage as yours. Had pinholes. Looks about the same as yours.
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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That is probably going to be caused by aggressive water.... either their is a high chlorine level in
the water or what ever other nasty chemicals they are throwing in the public water system...
I guess that they have a water softener....??.

I also use the clear wirsbo pex stuff and have not had an issue as of yet....
Their has been a real stink about all pexes over the years due to the fact
the USA throws a lot of chemicals into the city water systems and most pexes
have not really been tested properly... basically it has not withstood the test of time
and most homes are the test tube babies for this stuff...

They claim it works great in France but the big issue was
france does not have the same stuff in their water.

I hope to be retired and dead
before we have another grey polybutiline disaster like back in the 80s..
 

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We all know hot water wears out the plumbing system a lot sooner than cold. If it's super heated then it's even worse.
That is probably going to be caused by aggressive water.... either their is a high chlorine level in
the water or what ever other nasty chemicals they are throwing in the public water system...
....................


I have never seen or heard of anything like these issues with Viega Pex or the black standard PE we use for water lines from well heads or city taps, even on recirc lines or with high amounts of chlorine.


The only "issue" I have seen is the outer layer on Fostapex turning a bit dark or slipping when used with boiler heat lines. Of course that outer layer is superfluous to it's function, serving only to hold the aluminum skin on.

My guess is that when they modify the uponor/wirsbo pex to be more flexible it makes it weaker.
 

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Well, I’ve been an Uponor fan boy and own the tools and carry the training certificate.
But yesterday, a colleague got a call for some water leaking issues at a nine year old house and pulled out a number of leaking Uponor tube sections And they are scary bad.
We are helping the homeowner pursue warranty RMA claims and the damage pieces are being sent to the Uponor labs.
But, I have to say, in the absence of anything abnormal at the house, this is red flag warning time.
From what I can see so far there is absolutely nothing wrong with the installation except on the return re-circ return loop pipe, Because it’s a Navien internal pump tankless, it should’ve been three-quarter return loop size and not half inch but that is not the issue because it’s not erosion that is the problem. The splits in the pipe are at the fitting joints and the fittings all look to be Uponor’s.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk View attachment 129579 View attachment 129580
First picture was a soldered adapter so maybe flux issue. I can’t tell what the second joint is. Pex could’ve been in the sun too long or water quality issues. I’m definitely interested in what the lab comes back with because Uponor is the only brand I install.
 

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Reverend, R.S.E., Master Plumber
R.S.E., Master Plumber
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First picture was a soldered adapter so maybe flux issue. I can’t tell what the second joint is. Pex could’ve been in the sun too long or water quality issues. I’m definitely interested in what the lab comes back with because Uponor is the only brand I install.
that’s what I was thinking, the joint wasn’t wiped clean after soldering or maybe the fitting was still hot when the Uponor was fitted..
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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I have never seen or heard of anything like these issues with Viega Pex or the black standard PE we use for water lines from well heads or city taps, even on recirc lines or with high amounts of chlorine.

The only "issue" I have seen is the outer layer on Fostapex turning a bit dark or slipping when used with boiler heat lines. Of course that outer layer is superfluous to it's function, serving only to hold the aluminum skin on.

My guess is that when they modify the uponor/wirsbo pex to be more flexible it makes it weaker.

You are probably right about all this, but lets just wait another 15 -25 years and see what transpires..
I remember in 1998 or so when they finally allowed pex in california and the copper industry went nuts about it
The copper industry was protecting their own interests and throwing up red flags about issues with its life span..

I think Wirsbo Pex is great stuff but Odds are that it will not outlast type L copper...
but its good enough
 

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You are probably right about all this, but lets just wait another 15 -25 years and see what transpires..
..............
They've been using Viega in europe/germany for decades. Regular PE lines have been used since the 80's and Viega seems extremely similar, if not the same.

The only issues we see with the black PE is when it splits from being crushed underground.
 
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That is probably going to be caused by aggressive water.... either their is a high chlorine level in
the water or what ever other nasty chemicals they are throwing in the public water system...
I guess that they have a water softener....??.

I also use the clear wirsbo pex stuff and have not had an issue as of yet....
Their has been a real stink about all pexes over the years due to the fact
the USA throws a lot of chemicals into the city water systems and most pexes
have not really been tested properly... basically it has not withstood the test of time
and most homes are the test tube babies for this stuff...

They claim it works great in France but the big issue was
france does not have the same stuff in their water.

I hope to be retired and dead
before we have another grey polybutiline disaster like back in the 80s..
What about out in Vegas mark???they been using pex e out there in high rises for 50 yrs now and they gots the cancer in their water like we do,I think it's a bad batch of pex from the factory
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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7,712 Posts
What about out in Vegas mark???they been using pex e out there in high rises for 50 yrs now and they gots the cancer in their water like we do,I think it's a bad batch of pex from the factory
I dont know what to tell you....... but I looked up this link and it was an interesting read from 2012....

Interesting articles about pex...... and when it started to get used


.

 

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Plumbing since 1974
Plumbing and light HVAC
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That is probably going to be caused by aggressive water.... either their is a high chlorine level in
the water or what ever other nasty chemicals they are throwing in the public water system...
I guess that they have a water softener....??.

I also use the clear wirsbo pex stuff and have not had an issue as of yet....
Their has been a real stink about all pexes over the years due to the fact
the USA throws a lot of chemicals into the city water systems and most pexes
have not really been tested properly... basically it has not withstood the test of time
and most homes are the test tube babies for this stuff...

They claim it works great in France but the big issue was
france does not have the same stuff in their water.

I hope to be retired and dead
before we have another grey polybutiline disaster like back in the 80s..

[/QUOTE
City public water, but, we do have Chloramine as primary disenfectant.
Uponor is picking up the samples for the lab tomorrow.
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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What we are running into in the mid west is the mixtures of chemicals are breaking down the
water softerners at an extremely fast rate... The chloromines seem to tear up that plastic resin
bead they use to filter the water and if you are near a spot they inject this stuff into the water system
you get a high dose of it...

We used to get 20 years out of a common softener but now I have had to change out some of them
as young as 5 years old...(if they are in hot spots) These were top end brands.

Plastic is plastic, maybe made differently, but still over time, stuff like this has to have an effect on it.
They were concerned about this issue and fought over this and debated about it long ago
in the California senate...

Whirlpool water heaters almost got a state wide recall done to them in califorina back around 2005
but somehow after they lawyered up all their troubles went away... I wonder how much money they
had to donate to Pelosi or the Clinton foundation???

When they debated passing the use of pex pipe in California I am sure they both got greased again...
 

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Well, I’ve been an Uponor fan boy and own the tools and carry the training certificate.
But yesterday, a colleague got a call for some water leaking issues at a nine year old house and pulled out a number of leaking Uponor tube sections And they are scary bad.
We are helping the homeowner pursue warranty RMA claims and the damage pieces are being sent to the Uponor labs.
But, I have to say, in the absence of anything abnormal at the house, this is red flag warning time.
From what I can see so far there is absolutely nothing wrong with the installation except on the return re-circ return loop pipe, Because it’s a Navien internal pump tankless, it should’ve been three-quarter return loop size and not half inch but that is not the issue because it’s not erosion that is the problem. The splits in the pipe are at the fitting joints and the fittings all look to be Uponor’s.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk View attachment 129579 View attachment 129580
Any idea what caused it to split? did the pipe get left out in the sun?
 

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Any idea what caused it to split? did the pipe get left out in the sun?
They're sending samples to a lab to find out. My guess is too many heat-cool cycles.
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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They're sending samples to a lab to find out. My guess is too many heat-cool cycles.
I predict that someday, somewhere this is the scenario that is going to go down..... its going to be something like happened in flint michigan
Just like in Flint Michican, some real old guy is going to retire or get fired for political reasons from their job running the municipal water supply for their city--region. for the last 50 years.....this experienced person had the system fine tuned and humming along perfectly ...

The new people that come in to run the system will probably be political appointees who have no real understanding or experience as
chemical engineers to know what they are dealing with...... exactly just like what happened in flint michigan and they will be too arrogant to
ask for advice from the old timers who they probably ran out of town on a rail........

Thinking that they are going to save money just like they thought they were doing in flint...
someone will add or change the chemicals they are throwing into the water supply for a city or region
with no real understanding of the potential disaster they might incur...

and then all of a sudden the crap will hit the fan with pex melting and splitting everywhere.

its just going to be a matter of time...... and then you just blame the Governor of the state.
 

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I predict that someday, somewhere this is the scenario that is going to go down..... its going to be something like happened in flint michigan
.................
and then all of a sudden the crap will hit the fan with pex melting and splitting everywhere.
..................
I disagree. Pex piping is much more widespread than lead piping at this point, and has been exposed to many different types of water quality without widespread issues. Also, we have seen these sorts of issues reported here on the forum with uponor/wirsbo pex on well water that tested fine.

And let's be clear, so far the only pex pipe that appears to fail from heat/water quality reported here have been uponor/wirsbo.


The other post that sticks out in my mind was clearly not a widespread issue. It was uponor in an attic and some of it was yellow and splitting while other bits were fine. We decided it was either some of it was left in the sun or that some of it was made wrong. That's not what I am worried about though. Uponor pex is made differently than the other brands so it can be stretched. I think that right there is the major issue which will cause it to fail much sooner than the other brands. I don't think all types of pex will suffer the same failure modes, certainly not as quickly.
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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7,712 Posts
I disagree. Pex piping is much more widespread than lead piping at this point, and has been exposed to many different types of water quality without widespread issues. Also, we have seen these sorts of issues reported here on the forum with uponor/wirsbo pex on well water that tested fine.

And let's be clear, so far the only pex pipe that appears to fail from heat/water quality reported here have been uponor/wirsbo.


The other post that sticks out in my mind was clearly not a widespread issue. It was uponor in an attic and some of it was yellow and splitting while other bits were fine. We decided it was either some of it was left in the sun or that some of it was made wrong. That's not what I am worried about though. Uponor pex is made differently than the other brands so it can be stretched. I think that right there is the major issue which will cause it to fail much sooner than the other brands. I don't think all types of pex will suffer the same failure modes, certainly not as quickly.

Wirsbo pex is basically what they have been using in Europe for a long time... many other pexes have not been around
as long...many other brands of pexes have gone out of business too.....

I always thought this brand was the best because of its durability and the fact i have seen a few homes freeze solid
plumbed with this pipe only to see it recover and not break anywhere except the copper lines going to the water heater...
I was very impressed.....

I am interested in hearing what they find out if they test the water in the home and what other factors
come into play....

wait for it, wait for it.... somewhere in the USA the crap will hit the fan....
 

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Nickled and Dimed
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Well, I’ve been an Uponor fan boy and own the tools and carry the training certificate.
But yesterday, a colleague got a call for some water leaking issues at a nine year old house and pulled out a number of leaking Uponor tube sections And they are scary bad.
We are helping the homeowner pursue warranty RMA claims and the damage pieces are being sent to the Uponor labs.
But, I have to say, in the absence of anything abnormal at the house, this is red flag warning time.
From what I can see so far there is absolutely nothing wrong with the installation except on the return re-circ return loop pipe, Because it’s a Navien internal pump tankless, it should’ve been three-quarter return loop size and not half inch but that is not the issue because it’s not erosion that is the problem. The splits in the pipe are at the fitting joints and the fittings all look to be Uponor’s.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk View attachment 129579 View attachment 129580
 
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