CPVC: what is it and where is it used?
CPVC stands for Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride, which is a thermoplastic material commonly used to make pipes and fittings for hot and cold water systems. CPVC pipes are an alternative to traditional copper and galvanized steel pipes, as they are more affordable, lightweight, and easy to install.
CPVC was first introduced in the 1950s by adding chlorine to the materials that produce PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) pipes. By adding chlorine molecules to a base of PVC, CPVC pipes were able to handle much higher pressures and temperatures.
Most CPVC pipes can handle temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes them ideal for use in hot water systems, such as those found in homes, commercial buildings, and industrial settings. CPVC pipes are also resistant to corrosion, which can prolong their lifespan in comparison to galvanized plumbing which corrodes over time, and Kitec Plumbing with defective fittings.
How can I tell if I have CPVC pipes?
If you're not sure whether your home or building has CPVC pipes installed, there are a few quick and easy ways you can check:
- Look for markings on the pipes: CPVC pipes are usually marked with the letters "CPVC" or "CPC" along the length of the pipe. You can also check for other markings or codes that might indicate the type of pipe.
- Check the color of the pipes: CPVC pipes are typically a light yellow or beige color, although they can also be gray or white. If your pipes are a different color, they may not be CPVC.
- Check the temperature rating: CPVC pipes are designed to withstand higher temperatures than PVC pipes, so if your pipes are rated for use at temperatures above 140° Fahrenheit, they may be CPVC.
What common problems arise from CPVC piping?
There are a number of problems that may arise from CPVC plumbing. The most common problem occurs through thermal expansion. CPVC pipes can expand and contract with changes in temperature, which can cause stress on the joints and fittings. If the expansion is not properly accommodated, it can cause leaks or joint failures. CPVC plumbing may experience problems in areas that are prone to large changes in temperature.
Another common problem that arises from CPVC plumbing is the brittleness of the pipes. CPVC pipes can become brittle over time, especially if they are exposed to UV light or if they are installed in areas with high levels of chlorine. Brittle pipes can crack or break, leading to further leaks and water damage.
CPVC plumbing is not resistant to certain chemicals. Some chemicals and solvents can react with CPVC pipes, causing damage or deterioration.
Most CPVC pipes are connected using glue. Glue can loosen over time, either due to contact with certain chemicals or expanding and shrinking due to changes in temperature. If this happens, the points where these pipes are connected by glue may begin to crack over time, causing further leaks and breakages.
What are the benefits of pex tubing over cpvc pipes?
PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) pipes are often preferred over CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) for several reasons:
- Flexibility: PEX tubing is flexible and can be bent and curved without the need for fittings, making it easier and faster to install in tight spaces. CPVC, on the other hand, is rigid and requires more fittings and joints, which can increase the risk of leaks.
- Durability: PEX is highly durable and resistant to corrosion and freezing, making it less likely to develop leaks or burst in extreme temperatures. CPVC, while durable, is more prone to damage from freezing or extreme temperature changes, becoming brittle over time.
- Cost: PEX is generally less expensive than CPVC, as it requires fewer fittings and less labor to install.
- Health and safety: In comparison to CVPC, PEX tubing is considered to be much safer as it does not contain any harmful chemicals or additives that can leach into the water supply.
- Longevity: PEX typically lasts 50 years or more in comparison to CPVC, which normally lasts between 25 to 40 years. This means that homeowners are less likely to need to replace their plumbing systems due to wear and tear.
Overall, PEX tubing is a more versatile, durable, and cost-effective option for plumbing systems than CPVC. While CPVC has been a popular choice for many years, the advantages of PEX tubing have made it a preferred option for many homeowners and contractors.
We have fitted PEX in thousands of homes across the USA. Contact us today to receive a free consult from one of our local estimators. We would be more than happy to provide a free fixed-price quote. You can also read more about pex here: Why PEX piping is the best option for your home.
How much does it cost to replace CPVC with pex tubing?
The cost to replace CPVC with PEX tubing will vary depending on several factors such as the size of the area being repiped, the number of plumbing fixtures, the accessibility of the pipes, and the complexity of the installation.
For a small house or apartment, the cost to replace your CPVC with PEX tubing may range from around $4,500 through to $15,000 for a larger home. We have an in depth article about how much a whole home repipe costs.
It's important to note that these are just rough estimates, and the actual cost of replacing CPVC with PEX tubing will depend on the specific circumstances of your situation. We can provide you with a free in home quote from a member of our professional team of local estimators. Call or Message us today.