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Ponyboy

PEX tubing exposed to sunlight

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My client from Pennsylvania is moving to Washington and is concerned about the PEX water piping being exposed to sunlight at any shut-off valves or anywhere in the house. I have not heard of any sunlight problems with PEX. The house is new construction in a retirement development in Redmond. Anybody heard of this type of problem?

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I've heard of some pretty serious problems with PEX that's exposed to sunlight. Your client's concerns are valid.

Most PEX installations I see the piping is run out of the wall and the shut-off valve is connected to the pipe (toilets and sinks). A small portion of the PEX is exposed inside of the house. Only on a few installations do I see copper installed at the end of the run and a shut-off valve installed onto the copper. I have never called this condition out as a problem. I do not recall it ever being mentioned at any plumbing seminar I have attended.

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Dittos to Bill's and Jim's comments.

Another big factor is how the product has been "handled" from manufacture to site installation.

No way one can see that "crystal ball" and be sure.

I had a client, with a new home, that was purchased back by the plumbing company due to mis-handling of the PEX that had caused over 10 leaks in less than 7 months.

Builder then gutted the home and replaced all the plumbing lines and apparently have the house planned for sale again.

I'm not sure that PEX is truly ready for prime time ... albeit there is a lot of it being installed.

Most AHJ's down here require a copper transition at the fixture connection. So what one sees is the copper below the sink and the PEX is kept inside the wall cavity.

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Dittos to Bill's and Jim's comments.

Another big factor is how the product has been "handled" from manufacture to site installation.

No way one can see that "crystal ball" and be sure.

I had a client, with a new home, that was purchased back by the plumbing company due to mis-handling of the PEX that had caused over 10 leaks in less than 7 months.

Builder then gutted the home and replaced all the plumbing lines and apparently have the house planned for sale again.

I'm not sure that PEX is truly ready for prime time ... albeit there is a lot of it being installed.

Most AHJ's down here require a copper transition at the fixture connection. So what one sees is the copper below the sink and the PEX is kept inside the wall cavity.

I just read through the Wirsbo installation guide and it only talks about no DIRECT sunlight exposure related to storage. No mention of INDIRECT sunlight exposure related to the installed tubing. It further notes an angle support with chrome sleeve for angle stops as optional for a finished appearance at fixtures. I also found an article from Vanguard stating INDIRECT sunlight will not harm their product. Based on this information having PEX exposed at angle stops inside of the house appears to be an acceptable installation practice.

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Dittos to Bill's and Jim's comments.

Another big factor is how the product has been "handled" from manufacture to site installation.

No way one can see that "crystal ball" and be sure.

I had a client, with a new home, that was purchased back by the plumbing company due to mis-handling of the PEX that had caused over 10 leaks in less than 7 months.

Builder then gutted the home and replaced all the plumbing lines and apparently have the house planned for sale again.

I'm not sure that PEX is truly ready for prime time ... albeit there is a lot of it being installed.

Most AHJ's down here require a copper transition at the fixture connection. So what one sees is the copper below the sink and the PEX is kept inside the wall cavity.

I just read through the Wirsbo installation guide and it only talks about no DIRECT sunlight exposure related to storage. No mention of INDIRECT sunlight exposure related to the installed tubing. It further notes an angle support with chrome sleeve for angle stops as optional for a finished appearance at fixtures. I also found an article from Vanguard stating INDIRECT sunlight will not harm their product. Based on this information having PEX exposed at angle stops inside of the house appears to be an acceptable installation practice.

Indirect sunlight only means that the deterioration will happen more slowly. Remember the grey plastic flex ducts. . .

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