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Quest-Pex by Zurn


Ponyboy
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I have read through the information about the Zurn Pex piping and the failing fittings. Only a couple lawsuits against the product. How big of a problem is it really?

I am contemplating how to right this in my report. My client is young and trying to get a deal on this house which is in forclosure.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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I have read through the information about the Zurn Pex piping and the failing fittings. Only a couple lawsuits against the product.

Couldn't you simply put in a variation of that statement?

"I've read through the Zurn PEX literature and there have been some cases where the fittings have failed. A few lawsuits have been filed against Zurn and the jury is still out regarding the potential problems associated with their product. PEX is not a new a new product; it's been successfully used in Europe for decades."

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Was it for potable water or heating system?

That stuff has a really horrific expansion ratio. No surprise the fittings fail. I've talked two contractors into switching to a different product so far.

There is information available on the web, just keep wading through the google swamp.

Or just do what Chad suggests.

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  • 9 months later...

What are you guy's writing when you run into Zurn PEX nowadays with the brass fittings?

If I don't see any problems, I don't say anything other than the house has PEX.

In the vast majority of homes you will not see the fittings. They will be behind the drywall or under insulation.

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This is the statement the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensing Board requires verbatim be inserted into all reports where Poly is observed.

Polybutylene plumbing supply lines (PB) are installed in this house. PB was used as water distribution piping in many homes built from the mid 1980’s until the mid 1990’s. The piping and associated fittings have had a failure rate and subsequent leakage sufficient to have been the subject of several nationwide class action lawsuits. Copper and brass fittings used in later years seem to have reduced the failure rate, but the piping may still fail due to problems with poor installation, improper handling, or chemical reaction with the water supply. The piping in this house has (circle which apply) Brass/Copper – Plastic - fittings. For further details about the piping and your rights under the class action lawsuit settlements contact 1-800-392-7591 or visit the Website http://www.pbpipe.com . You may wish to have the plumbing system evaluated by a licensed plumbing contractor.

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This is the statement the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensing Board requires verbatim be inserted into all reports where Poly is observed.

Polybutylene plumbing supply lines (PB) are installed in this house. PB was used as water distribution piping in many homes built from the mid 1980’s until the mid 1990’s. The piping and associated fittings have had a failure rate and subsequent leakage sufficient to have been the subject of several nationwide class action lawsuits. Copper and brass fittings used in later years seem to have reduced the failure rate, but the piping may still fail due to problems with poor installation, improper handling, or chemical reaction with the water supply. The piping in this house has (circle which apply) Brass/Copper – Plastic - fittings. For further details about the piping and your rights under the class action lawsuit settlements contact 1-800-392-7591 or visit the Website http://www.pbpipe.com . You may wish to have the plumbing system evaluated by a licensed plumbing contractor.

I don't think that would apply, since we're discussing PEX.
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Thanks Scott,

It's easy to see the fittings in an unfinished basement....

Click to Enlarge
tn_2009730204417_dscf1236.jpg

46.17 KB

Ya know, I've seen a few installations like that recently. So many joints in it they might as well have used Copper... Remember when the whole point of PEX was to have piping with as few joints as possible?

Despite that, I don't see a lot of this stuff at all. Either it's just not very popular in my area or my kind of clients aren't buying those kind of houses. And I don't mind at all.

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Thanks Scott,

It's easy to see the fittings in an unfinished basement....

Click to Enlarge
tn_2009730204417_dscf1236.jpg

46.17 KB

Ya know, I've seen a few installations like that recently. So many joints in it they might as well have used Copper... Remember when the whole point of PEX was to have piping with as few joints as possible?

Despite that, I don't see a lot of this stuff at all. Either it's just not very popular in my area or my kind of clients aren't buying those kind of houses. And I don't mind at all.

What is really fun is when you really get into the technical aspects of pex installations that are like this (non manifold installations)with too many joints. For example: if you follow the installation in the picture from left to right and going up through the floor you have a total developed length just from the fittings of 40 feet. Each 90 degree turn in pex is a minimum of 9 feet developed length and a coupling or running tee is 2 feet. Also the interior diameter of pex is substantially smaller the copper. 1-1/2" Pex has the same internal diameter as 1-1/4" copper. And don't let them sell you on the "I can run it at a higher rate of flow" argument. The pressure loss at 7 ft/sec velocity on 4gpm on 1/2" pex is 20psi per 100'. Type L copper running 4gpm will run a velocity of 5ft/sec (which will be a quieter system) with a pressure loss of 10 psi per 100'. This is substantial when you consider the friction losses in pressure due to fittings (copper fittings add 1 foot developed length in 90s and 2 feet on branch tees . Couplings on small copper sizes are not counted at all.) It is easy for the Pex installations like the one shown in the picture to go into a higher range band in the IRC sizing charts. I've seen what should have been a 100' developed length design go into a 250' developed length because of fittings.

The problems are worse in larger houses with bigger sizes of pex. I have been in a brand new 5000 sq/ft house where you could turn on a lavatory faucet and then turn on the one right next to it and watch both streams of water get smaller. And turn on the tub and watch the streams get smaller again. All the while the water pressure guage on the system is dropping 2psi, from 52psi down to 50psi.

Anyone running a branch and tee system with multiple fittings using pex must substantially upsize the system or it will be noisy and inefficient at best. Manifold systems are the way to go.

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Are there similar concerns with Wirsbo products? I have pex in my heating system and the manifolds and tempering valves leak when the system isn't running at capacity, like in the spring and fall when the heat will run a few times at night but not during the day. I think it is because the castings have far different expansion charecteristics than the machined caps and adaptors. The tubing and fittings are fine.

Tom

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