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Question DetailsAsked on 2/8/2012

Is CPVC water pipes safe and durable?

Buying a new home and contractor is using CPVC pipes...Cheaper and easier for him to install, I know. But, is it durable, does it leave a plastic taste in water?

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5 Answers

Voted Best Answer
3
Votes

FYI: CPVC and PEX are two different materials and installed differently. PEX is not intended to be glued but instead has special crimp fittings. PEX is a brand name of one product that is manufactured slightly differently by others as well so it is important that the same brand fittings are used to match the pipe material.

Mobile homes used CPVC for years and some still do. It works fine but is not as strong as a properly soldered copper pipe system. Is the contractor installing this new plumbing a licensed plumber? I'd be surprised if he is since he's using CPVC and not PEX (or similar) or copper. PEX pipe is even cheaper than CPVC when run by a knowledgable plumber. It doesn't require nearly as many joints since it comes in rolls and can flex through spaces easily.

There are some groups raising a fuss about BPA and other chemicals found in plastics that don't like the use of CPVC, PVC, or PEX pipe. I haven't seen the results of any lab tests to confirm or dispute their concerns. As far as durability goes it's fairly safe as long as it's properly installed and secured. It is not as susceptible to hard water damage as copper. It absolutely must be insulated along it's entire length to protect it from contact to other materials as well as freezing. Also, the fixtures in the house need to be grounded electrically since the pipe itself provides no electrical protection against accidental shock or electrocution. In a copper plumbed house the system is grounded so static electricity, a short in a wire near a water line, or lightning strike will carry the current out through the pipe instead of through the water to you, ideally.

If it's installed correctly you should be fine but make sure the contractor knows what he is doing and follows the proper procedures to use CPVC pipe.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services
www.thomeservices.com

Answered 2 years ago by Todd's Home Services

1
Vote

Hello Bill,

We used CPVC when we remodeled our home and replaced the old iron pipes. I couldn't tell a difference in the taste. We are on City water, which is treated, so its flavor is more related to the treatment than the pipes.

The nice thing about CPVC is you can do repairs & modifications yourself fairly easily; everything is compression fittings with glue or PEX fittings which only require a clamping wrench. (no soldering, tapping or pipe bending, etc) My wife and I did almost all of the plumbing ourselves it was that easy.

Do make sure your contractor minimizes fittings / joints; you want solid tubes all the way down the wall, etc. so you don't have to worry about joints / fittings where you can not get to them, etc.

Good luck with your new home!

Answered 2 years ago by Kenny Johnson

0
Votes

yes it is but cpvc is used mostly on hot water not cold

Answered 2 years ago by gamble

0
Votes

Plastic is for toys,but copper has failed to with pin holes in the pipe.Products always fail but hopefully you will get great workmanship!

Answered 2 years ago by owen klaus

0
Votes

It's fine but PEX is better and less expensive. If CPVC pipes freeze they WILL burst. PEX will usually not burst if they freeze. It could happen but it is much less likely to do so.


Both are easy to work with. I prefer PEX and do all of it myself. The flexible tubing makes it a snap to do things whereas CPVC isn't quite as forgiving. Your cuts need to be much more exact. With PEX, you can run long lengths and readily curve it to minimize fittings.


One last thing. With PEX there are 2 different compression fittings - crimp rings and compression rings. I prefer the crimp rings as one tool will handle all the basic sizes, from 3/8 to 1". With compression rings (basically a band of copper), you usually need a tool for each size - though sometimes you can get a tool that has holes for 1/2 and 3/4. BUT - getting that tool into ANYWHERE you want ... not necessarily so easy or even possible in some circumstances. It is almost always super easy to use the crimp tool in any circumstance - since you only need to grab the one crimp section and rotate the ring to get access to it.


Good luck!

Answered 1 year ago by Jefferson

0
Votes

I have seen some of the statisitcs on chemicals in pipes, and for PVC/CPVC the numbers come out similar to copper and galvanized - for showering and teeth brushing and such the exposure is so low it is minimal compared to other environmental hazards.

For drinking/cooking, do not use hot water - this has always been the recommendation, because you pick up minerals and metals from the piping and hot water heater that, over the long run, are probably not good for you. Use cold water, and if that faucet has not been used for awhile, let it run 30 seconds or so to remove the water that has been sitting there soaking up odors or chemicals from the piping.

Even the cold pipes will taste of plastic for the first couple of weeks, so you may have to use bottled water or run the water for a full minute or more to flush the lines to get rid of the taste.

CPVC is allowed in almost all areas for hot water piping distribution in buildings. In some areas, PVC is allowed for cold water distribution, in other areas only for the outdoor service lines or only for sewer. There is nothing "wrong" with running CPVC for both hot and cold water even if PVC is allowed - CPVC is stronger and able to take a higher pressure.

CPVC is pretty durable, but more brittle and subject to breakage than either XLPE (Pex) or copper, and FAR more likely to break if it freezes with water in it, so should NOT be used for the thru-wall portion of outdoor faucets, or uninsulated in crawlspaces in areas with true winter temperatures.

Answered 6 months ago by LCD




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