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palmettoinspect

Plastic Pex Fittings

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I ran across some plastic JMF brand fittings installed with Zurn Pex water lines in a new construction house today. This is a first for me so after another overview of Pex Plumbing Designs and Application Guide Zurn made no comments on these plastic fitting other than this disclaimer. “Several types of fittings are available for use with Zurn PEX. Zurn cannot be responsible for the performance or design of other manufacture’s products.â€

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I think you are mixing apples with oranges.

There were problems with plastic fittings used with polybutylene piping as you've stated above, but there haven't been issues with plastic fittings used with PEX systems. There were problems with brass Kitec fittings use with PEX, but that's a different issue entirely

The client isn't going to understand the difference between polybutylene or cross-linked polyethylene - all they'll hear is "plastic pipe" and then they'll go back to the builder and say something like, "We're concerned about the defective fittings used on our plumbing.

Every manufacturer says that they won't endorse the use of their product with another product not sold by them, however very few of them will actually condemn an installation just because it's installed with something that they didn't sell. It's only when they can prove that those other products are defective, and thus won't get their ass sued off by the other company for spreading false information about the quality of the other guy's product, that they'll step up to the plate and actually condemn something - at least that's been my experience.

If those plastic fittings are designed for use with PEX and have a UL rating for use with PEX, and are installed the way that the manufacturer says they are to be installed, and you don't have a document or a video, or something, to show that those fittings aren't up to the task, I personally think you erred by even mentioning the polybutylene pipe fittings issue.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I expressed my concern to my client today and stated that plastic fittings were one of the major problems with polybutylene water lines. I will include the above disclaimer from Zurn in my report.

I’ve done some research but haven’t found much about these plastic fittings. Has anyone seen these plastic fittings or know of any issues? Personally I wouldn’t want them used in my own home but can’t really knock a product that I know nothing about.

Thanks,

Kiel

The old "plastic" fittings that were used with polybutylene tubing are manufactured of acetal resin. Acetal resin is subject to degradation from chlorine.

The "plastic" fittings used with PEX are polysulfone, a thermoplastic polymer. There have been no issues with these fittings when installed correctly for water distribution.

There would probably be much less confusion if we used the specific and correct names of building products. Generically identifying plumbing system components as "plastic" can cause incorrect conclusions and leads to unnecessary fears. Acetal, polysulfone, PVC, ABS, CPVC, polybtylene, HDPE and PEX are all quite different and have different characteristics.

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I have a house where the plasic pex fittings are poping off the 90s and T's. Three so far. You hear a load pop then a flood. Has anybody else had this problem?

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I have a house where the plasic pex fittings are poping off the 90s and T's. Three so far. You hear a load pop then a flood. Has anybody else had this problem?

.........are you sure they are Pex (cross-linked poly)? As noted above there are many kinds of "plastic". I've worked with many poly-bute systems in the manufactured home industry (Quest) and the vast majority of failures were attributed to the acetal plastic fittings - only occasionally did I see actual pipe failures. Due to that sad experience, that we still see almost daily in older HUD Code homes, I can't bring myself to use anything but brass with today's cross-linked systems. And they perform very, very well...........Greg

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I have a house where the plasic pex fittings are poping off the 90s and T's. Three so far. You hear a load pop then a flood. Has anybody else had this problem?

If it's PEX tubing, it's the crimps that are failing, not the "plastic" fittings.

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For years it has been reported that poly pipe and plastic fittings are a disaster waiting to happen. Oxidants in public water causes poly to wear away from contact with plastic fittings.

Poly pipe reacts poorly with the oxidants in tap water and becomes fragile. The trouble is from within; deterioration of the pipe takes place from within making it unforeseeable. There are no signs of impending leaking, and when it goes - it goes!

Last but not least, insurance companies purportedly cancel or refuse policies for houses with poly pipe problems.

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For years it has been reported that poly pipe and plastic fittings are a disaster waiting to happen. Oxidants in public water causes poly to wear away from contact with plastic fittings.

Poly pipe reacts poorly with the oxidants in tap water and becomes fragile. The trouble is from within; deterioration of the pipe takes place from within making it unforeseeable. There are no signs of impending leaking, and when it goes - it goes!

Last but not least, insurance companies purportedly cancel or refuse policies for houses with poly pipe problems.

What are you referring to "poly pipe and plastic fittings"? PEX or polybutylene?

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