1987-1994 Houses repiped with CPVC - Why?


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Old 05-29-11, 07:02 PM
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1987-1994 Houses repiped with CPVC - Why?

I am planning on moving in the next 6 months and a few houses I have looked into built between the years of 1987 and 1994 describe the piping as having been replaced with CPVC as if that is a benefit. The houses are located in a single development of 7000 ranch houses and duplexes in Florida all built with concrete block.

Why would houses in that period need to have their pipes replaced? Would other houses from those years need their pipes replaced? Should I avoid buying a house built in those years?
Thanks, Al
 

Last edited by AlHome; 05-29-11 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 05-29-11, 07:50 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

It is likely the house(s) were originally plumbed with polybutylene pipes. That plastic had a tendency to become brittle and develop microcracks. Lots of the houses with PBT piping were flooded when the pipes burst spontaneously.There is no as if to knowing that your plumbing system uses pipes that aren't a ticking time bomb.

The use of PBT was completely discontinued in 1995. CPVC and now PEX replaced it.
 
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Old 05-30-11, 08:24 PM
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Thank you. ... How in the world does someone repace all the pipes in a house that was built 15 years ago? Tear up wallboard & concrete? Must cost a fortune! How would I know if a house has PBT in it? Look under the sinks & see if PBT is stamped on it?
Al
 
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Old 05-31-11, 04:46 AM
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It is thinwalled gray piping with clamped ends and fittings. Not to be confused with more modern PEX, which is a superior product. How do you replace it?? Depends on where the runs are. Sometimes in FL, on slab, the water is run through the slab, then up and over into the attic, then back down to the fixtures. Yeah, wallcovering is usually removed and replaced. It could be that the PO was successful in the class action lawsuit against the manufacturer and had it done at their expense.
 
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Old 05-31-11, 06:01 AM
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Looking at houses in Florida you are likely to see other strange things. A man that walks in my neighborhood (it's in an old subdivision), told me last week that his pipe had gone bad after 10 years. They used thin-wall copper (used because it is flexible) has holes in it. This was in a house the man had constructed for him 10 years ago. The pipe was in the concrete slab. He is a retired plumber from up north and didn't realize the danger.

I live in a house that was built in 1953. It was re-piped with CPVC after the thick-wall copper in the slab failed about 13 years ago. The pipe was run in a ditch around the outside of the house and under the slab and in. Some plaster walls were cut open and re-plastered. Knocking on wood, so far the CPVC has been trouble free.

My neighbor across the street was also repiped with CPVC. But instead of using trenches, they hung the pipe up and through the vaulted ceiling space. looks like hell with insulated pipes under the eaves. His cold water comes out boiling hot.

I have seen PEX in new houses, but not enough of it over a long enough period to know whether it lives up to it's billing. I remember when PBT was highly recommended and my next door neighbor still has some that he hasn't replaced yet. Some he has and some he hasn't, so beware!
 

Last edited by Vey; 05-31-11 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 05-31-11, 06:12 AM
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I was working in fla when they 1st started using the PBT. With most new homes built on slabs the SOP was to run the copper under the slab. With the PBT, many builders switched to running the plumbing in the attic instead of the slab. I moved in 12/91 but by then the builders that I painted for had quit using the PBT.

I knew 2 drunk plumbers that specialized in fixing under the slab leaks. They would determine where the leak was, tunnel under the slab and fix it. They told me that sometimes they'd have to put a fan in the tunnel because there wasn't enough oxygen for the torch to burn properly - I wonder why they drank
 
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Old 06-02-11, 05:46 AM
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Vey, one problem with running copper through concrete was the plumbers often didn't line the outside of the copper with a rubber sleeve. Just poured directly against the copper. The acids in the concrete eat the copper at a fast rate, so it is a wonder your neighbor still has a house that isn't flooded
Yeah, there's a right way to do things (as it appears yours was) and running a solar heating system on cold water you don't need . Did they really do that? In Florida where it is hot from March to November???
 
 

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