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Loose Fixtures


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Some plumbers have for some time been using PEX, and PB before that, to plumb shower controls and faucets. The problem is that the flimsy metal straps they use to hold the fixtures allow a lot of play, when using them, that could cause behind-the-wall pipe damage at the fittings. Used to be, fixtures were anchored on 2x4 stock between studs. Anyway, I write them up as needing securing and sealing, to prevent pipe damage and moisture getting behind the tub.

Last time I dinged a home for this, a licensed plumber went out there and said it was fine - didn't need fixing. Egg on my face, until it leaked the next year, then it was egg on plumber.

Another plumber I know says straps are time savers and get used to it. The municipal inspectors say that as long as they are fastened, it's okay and it doesn't matter how much. I do not want to get into the how loose is too loose game. It depends how hard you pull. It's a dilemma as usual, Does it need fixing or is this now accepted practice?

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What plumbing code is in use where you are? That's what you have to refer to - that, and the manufacturer's instructions. I have installation instructions for 5 or 6 different brands of PEX and they're not all identical with respect to the issue of how the pipe is to be supported inside walls.

I think you need to look specifically at what your local code says, to see whether the code guy is making stuff up or not, and then you need to look at the brand of PEX being used and check the connections and support methods being used against the manufacturer's instructions.

The instruction manuals are easy to obtain. Just go online, google PEX pipe and then go to each manufacturer's site and search around for their on-line manuals. The only one I couldn't get an online manual from was Wirsbo (now Uponor) and that was a couple of years ago. They told me then that they intended to put an on-line manual up on their site, so they might have one there by now.



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