As a service or re-pipe plumber, you know full well how tough it is to work in crawl spaces, around tight corners, or in other confined areas where it’s difficult to move. What you might not know is that that the type of pipe you choose for these jobs can have a tremendous impact on your efficiency, job quality, safety, and profits. For tight spaces, CPVC offers many benefits over both copper and PEX. Let’s take a look.
While there are many differences between single-family and multi-family construction, when it comes to plumbing, they have more in common than not. But the size of these buildings can amplify the cost and consequences of poor material choices and design decisions. The cost of poor decision—whether in the design or during installation—isn’t limited to just one home. It can be multiplied across every unit in the complex.
Discover why you should make the switch to FlowGuard Gold® CPVC
Mini-manifold plumbing systems have become a popular approach to reducing water and energy waste in multi-family and hotel construction. These mini-manifold systems, also known as remote manifold and submanifold systems, enable shorter branch lines from the hot water main or recirculating line and can result in faster hot-water delivery as well as contribute to points in both the NGBS and LEED environmental performance rating systems.
Since 1959, more than 12 billion feet of FlowGuard Gold® CPVC pipe has been installed in the U.S. This product has proven to be extremely reliable, with many systems still in service after 40 or more years.
As a plumbing service specialist, you’ve seen a lot of pipes fail for a lot of different reasons. With FlowGuard Gold® CPVC – which has a long history of proven reliability -- it’s likely the failure occurred because of an installation error. One of the most common mistakes that we’ve encountered is the improper application of solvent cement. Solvent cement is a vital component in the installation, as it acts as weld between the joint and the pipe. When improperly applied, it can leave the pipes vulnerable to weakness (if too much solvent is applied) or leakage (if not enough is applied).
The right fittings, properly installed, are critical to a properly functioning plumbing system. Here are answers to the most common questions about CPVC fittings.
If you’ve spent any time in the plumbing aisle at your local hardware store, you’ve probably heard someone ask, “what’s the difference between PVC and CPVC?” While the products have very similar names, they are not interchangeable and getting them mixed up can lead to major headaches on a DIY project. Before you get started, make sure you know the difference between these two materials that may be side-by-side in the plumbing aisle of your chosen store.
It's common knowledge homes have become much more energy-efficient over the past several decades. What’s not so widely understood is most of the energy savings are limited to increased efficiency in regulating the temperature of the homes’ living spaces, thanks to vastly improved heating, cooling, and insulation systems. For instance, while roughly 60% of a home’s energy use went to heating and cooling forty years ago, today the average is around 48%. In contrast, over that same time period, the percentage of a home’s energy required to heat and handle water has remained relatively unchanged at around 18%, partly because homes are bigger and often feature more bathrooms, creating additional opportunities for energy loss in distribution.
J Geyer Plumbing is a family-owned business located in San Diego, California and specializing in a variety of multi-family and light commercial plumbing projects, such as condominiums and hotels. The company has standardized on FlowGuard Gold® and Corzan® CPVC for the mains and risers in multi-story projects.
A plumbing contractor’s profitability is most impacted by 3 factors: How much is charged for services The cost of materials used on a job Labor and overhead expenses
We recently conducted a short quiz designed to gauge plumbers’ knowledge of plumbing material characteristics and the right tools to use with different materials. Among the results was the finding that 42% of plumbers mistakenly attributed a classic case of PEX chlorine failure to UV light.
Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on plumbing systems – especially in parts of the country that rarely receive extreme cold weather. In early 2021, we’ve seen major issues with frozen pipes throughout the state of Texas as a prolonged “polar vortex” brought more than a week of sub-freezing temperatures throughout the state.
After the widespread failures of polybutylene in the 1980s, ASTM F2023 was developed to evaluate the oxidative resistance of PEX piping in hot chlorinated water. Today, all PEX and many other polyolefin piping systems, including PPR, PP-RCT and PE-RT, are evaluated to ASTM F2023. But this standard is not without its limits.
All signs indicate that the housing market will continue to surge in 2021. Unfortunately, with this rapid growth comes challenges, some of which we’ve experienced before. With careful planning, however, you can avoid many costly problems and take full advantage of an environment that should be ripe for building your business. To help ensure your success, consider the unique features of FlowGuard Gold® plumbing systems for maintaining your momentum and sidestepping three issues lurking on the horizon.
When value engineering a plumbing system, a product’s cost is just one of many factors that must be considered. Proper value engineering is a methodical effort that analyzes a system’s design, features, equipment, material selections and many other important variables with the goal of maintaining or enhancing the performance of a system for the lowest overall cost while maintaining code compliance. Unfortunately, while cost and code compliance is often considered in the value engineering process, the impact of material changes on system performance is rarely considered.
A successful plumbing system starts with a good specification. This means more than selecting a certain material and its representative ASTM standards – and taking that simplistic approach to specifications can result in significant risk. Each plumbing material has different characteristics and limitations that can impact its specification, installation and performance. Failing to account for these factors in the specification can lead to system underperformance and/or premature failures.
Did you know that more than than 60% of plumbers don’t know the correct tool to service CPVC? Early this year, we launched a short quiz to gauge plumbers’ knowledge of plumbing material characteristics and the right tools to use with different materials. More than 1,500 plumbers took the quiz, and the results were truly surprising. Before we review the results, if you’d like to take the quiz and see how you stack up before reading the answers, you can do so here.
When your job is selling plumbing materials, you don’t get a lot of opportunities for personal experience with the products you sell. But I recently had such an experience I wanted to share. Unfortunately, my experience starts with a failure in the copper fitting underneath my master bathroom sink. I was traveling and my wife noticed mold under the sink. When she investigated the source of the mold, she heard water running in the wall. That was a sign we had a real problem.
Like almost all businesses, plumbers can benefit by occasionally re-evaluating established practices to identify opportunities to reduce costs and strengthen their competitive position. Plumbers using PEX may be surprised to learn that they could be leaving a lot money on the table with their material choice. Switching from PEX to FlowGuard Gold® CPVC can save time and money and can be accomplished without adding costs or major disruption to your business.
Plumbers, like other contractors, face risk exposure as part of the job. But unlike some other trades, plumbers have to deal with water and water-related damage, which can amplify those risks. Most states require plumbers to carry insurance, but there are still numerous questions about when the risks should be borne by the plumbing contractor, the homeowner or the product manufacturer. No matter the insurance policy, there are a number of steps plumbers can take to reduce the risk of failures.
At FlowGuard Gold® CPVC we strive to provide complete and accurate information to plumbers and homeowners regarding use of CPVC in residential plumbing. To that end, we’ve compiled the answers to frequently asked questions in this post.
Plumbing Express is a premier provider of re-piping and other plumbing services in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The company relies on FlowGuard Gold® pipe and fittings and consistently receives high customer ratings across a range of online sites. We spoke with general manager Ty Gailey and director of operations Blake Mowe to get their insights on building and maintaining a successful re-pipe service.
There is no playbook for manufacturing in a 100-year pandemic, but in the midst of a crisis, game plans come together in a hurry. The FlowGuard Gold® pipe and fittings sales team is constantly adapting to continue to serve the market, with our supply chain team staying on top of our raw materials supply to ensure that we can continue to serve our customers. But all of this wouldn’t be possible without our people. The team producing Lubrizol CPVC compounds in Louisville, Kentucky, has found that when people pull together, rely on their value system in decision making, and know they can depend on each other, it is possible to rise to the most unforeseen challenges.
Whole house re-piping is typically the largest job a service plumber will take on for a homeowner. For the homeowner, the project can breathe new life into an older home by resolving issues such as low water pressure and frequent leaks and repairs, but it also represents a major investment. Professional plumbers who can deliver this service cost-effectively and with high quality, provide real value for that investment and can build a solid reputation in their community.
While there’s a perception that plumbing should last indefinitely, the reality is all plumbing materials age with time and will eventually have to be replaced. Copper pipe installed in the 1970s, for example, has now been in service for more than 50 years, which is near the end of its life expectancy in ideal conditions. While copper is a durable material, it can be subject to corrosion over time and is particularly susceptible to corrosion caused by the chemicals used today in water treatment.
In a previous post we discussed the use of the term “or equal” in plumbing specifications and how that phrase is sometimes interpreted to equate PEX and CPVC even though significant differences exist between the two materials in the areas of durability, water quality and performance.
Plumbing specifications often use “or equal” to give plumbers some flexibility in the materials they choose for a particular job. But this can create problems when the phrase is left open to interpretation and chosen materials don’t deliver the performance the specifier expects. The reality is that even among materials that are approved by code, there are differences in how the products perform. These differences may be superficial, such as how the systems are joined, but in some cases the differences can be meaningful enough to affect the performance of the installed system.
Few things are as frustrating for homeowners as persistent plumbing problems. Small leaks not only compromise the integrity of the pipes, they create water damage that can breed mold and lead to a total failure. Fix one problem and another pops up somewhere else.
We often get asked about the influence of ultraviolet (UV) light on plastic plumbing systems. The answer to this question, like many others, depends on the type of plastic being used. Different types of plastics have different chemical compositions and those differences affect how they react to UV light exposure.
Housing starts and home prices have been rising steadily for a number of years; however, that may be changing. There are signs this growth may be plateauing, or even reversing, in some locations:
Since 1959, more than 11 billion feet of CPVC piping have been installed throughout the United States. As CPVC piping has become more popular in new construction, service plumbers have been encountering older CPVC systems more and more. Whether you’re remodeling a bathroom or replacing a hot water tank, dealing with aged CPVC piping is no problem, if you keep these three keys in mind.
It’s natural to think of water as an inert, harmless liquid. But for the water running through municipal distribution systems, great care is taken, and extensive treatment is required to ensure clean, safe drinking water. The source water, whether it comes from a lake, river, reservoir or aquifer, inherently contains contaminants in the form of both dissolved solids and bacteria that requires treatment.
Grove Harris is a vice president of Paul Hasty and Sons Plumbing, a residential and light commercial plumbing service in Brentwood, Tennessee. Grove has been in the business since 1992 and today manages a team of 30 plumbers. His company made the switch to FlowGuard Gold® CPVC in 2004 and continues to use FlowGuard Gold CPVC today. We spoke with him about why they made the change and what it has meant to his business.
Innovation is one of the key drivers behind the success of FlowGuard Gold® Piping Systems. We talked to Chris Zook, Applications Manager for the CPVC Research and Development group within Lubrizol Advanced Materials, to get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the people and factors driving that innovation.
It can be easy to think that all types of plastic are the same, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth, especially when it comes to plastic plumbing systems. There are thousands of different types of plastics, each with their own physical and chemical properties. When it comes to hot- and cold-water plumbing distribution systems, there are five different plastics which have been used, each with their own properties.
Risk of pipe failure and water quality issues are things that few builders can afford. Yet, many expose themselves to this vulnerability by delegating plumbing material selection to their plumbing contractors. It’s important to trust your contractors, but not at the expense of your business.
Class-action lawsuits are not uncommon in the residential plumbing industry; in fact, since 2001, there have been at least 22 class-action lawsuits involving plumbing pipes and fittings and at least 39 builders have been named as co-defendants in these class actions.
The first post in our Healthy Home series reviewed the difference in the biofilm growth potential of PEX and CPVC piping while the second outlined the dangers that can occur if chemicals such as pesticides permeate PEX piping.
In the first post in our Healthy Home series, we reviewed the important issue of biofilm formation in residential piping and the difference in the biofilm growth potential of PEX and CPVC piping. For this post, we’ll examine another issue that can impact residential water quality: chemical permeation.
Residential home builders have made significant progress in improving the air quality issues that can arise in today’s tightly built, energy efficient homes. Turning to materials with lower air quality impacts and increasing mechanical ventilation in accordance with ASHRAE IAQ standards has allowed builders to achieve both the efficiency and indoor air quality today’s health and energy conscious consumers are seeking.
Domestic water plumbing systems are one of the highest liability systems in a home or building. Water damage from a failed plumbing can result in significant claims and in a domestic plumbing system, not only are you routing water throughout a building – those water pipes are held under constant pressure.
For builders and developers interested in developing sustainable homes and buildings, both design considerations and material selection can be important contributing factors. Unfortunately, some in the industry have adopted short-cuts, such as red-lists, to evaluating materials that can have the unintended consequence of making a building more harmful to the environment.
If you’ve already seen our previous post on chemical incompatibility, you know that all materials can be subject to damage from incompatible chemicals – even high quality materials like FlowGuard Gold® CPVC. That’s why it’s important to consider chemical compatibility – how the pipes may react to materials and chemicals that touch them – during the project’s design and installation phase to ensure the piping system performs as intended for the life of the system.
Not all piping materials are the same, but all piping materials can be vulnerable to adverse effects from incompatible materials. The specific chemistries involved in determining compatibility will vary based on what piping materials you use and what ancillary building products are used with them.
Homeowners and contractors demand reliable, high-quality piping systems that deliver safe, clean drinking water over the long term. FlowGuard Gold® CPVC pipe and fittings have a reputation for quality and 60 years of proven performance to exceed homeowner and contractor expectations.
Potable water piping systems have a primary goal: to deliver safe and clean water to drink. Plumbing system materials, therefore, must meet specific performance criteria to ensure they are suitable for use in a potable water supply. Piping materials are tested for their temperature and pressure-bearing capabilities, and in the case of polyolefin materials such as PEX, they are tested to determine their time to failure when exposed to chlorine.
Beginning in 1957, the NAHB Reseach Institute launched its Research House program to develop new ideas, and performance specifications for new materials and equipment to improve the quality and/or reduce the cost of American home construction.
Plumbing system failures can be problematic and costly for a homeowner, builder or plumber. Unfortunately, many plumbing systems use components made from polyolefin materials which are known to degrade and fail when exposed to the chlorine-based disinfectants commonly found in municipal drinking water, especially at elevated temperatures and pressures.
The affiliated non-profit organizations Creative Living for Life and Medina Creative Housing actively create opportunities that promote the development and ongoing management of permanent, fully accessible, affordable housing and quality support services for persons with physical, intellectual and/ or developmental disabilities. Initially focused on individuals with disabilities in Medina County Ohio, these organizations are expanding their efforts to construct, own and manage personal, private apartment communities across northeast Ohio due to the growing, overwhelming demand of such housing for individuals with disabilities. Such individuals can realize true community integration with appropriate levels of support for health, safety and security.
Homebuilders and plumbers alike need to have confidence in the plumbing systems they specify and install in new homes. Where that confidence comes from, though, is critically important. With Lubrizol CPVC, that confidence is possible based on a 60-year proven track record – not only in hot and cold water distribution, but also in some of the harshest operating conditions possible.
Fire risk is an important factor when designing piping systems for homes. That’s why piping systems should always be part of the discussion when considering combustion safety, as different types of pipes respond to fire in different ways.
Although Aaron Caldwell’s tenure as a market manager at Lubrizol only started in July 2018, he has years of practice in the Texas builder market he serves. With nearly a decade of experience working for Kohler, Caldwell has created trusted partnerships with single and multi-family builders across the state through years of collaboration in plumbing fixture selection.
When a plumbing system fails, homeowners – and often builders and contractors – are left seeing dollar signs and wondering who is responsible for repair costs.
In a world of low-cost and quick-turn home building, home builders increasingly rely on retaining existing customers and building brand loyalty. While many builders opt for larger houses with wider margins, however, a strategy for building smaller homes that meet the demand of the market could be more profitable.
Education is a significant aspect of Marty Musgrave’s day-to-day duties — and with more than 40 years of experience in the plumbing industry, he’s well-suited for the job.
In a world of low-cost and quick-turn home building, home builders increasingly rely on retaining existing customers and building brand loyalty. While many builders opt for larger houses with wider margins, however, a strategy for building smaller homes that meet the demand of the market could be more profitable.
Rich Tabeling has proudly served the Lubrizol community as territory manager, CPVC piping systems for two-and-a-half years, but he’s no newcomer to the plumbing, piping and fittings industry. His two decades of experience include roles of district, regional and national sales manager for a company that sells water distribution products such as hydrants, valves, fire protection accessories and tools. That knowledge serves him well at Lubrizol handling FlowGuard Gold® Plumbing Systems, Corzan® Piping Systems and Blazemaster® Fire Protection Systems.
Damien Ruth, piping systems consultant for the Lubrizol team, has been representing the Texas and Louisiana markets for the
With success as a semi-custom home builder, Homes by WestBay expanded into the luxury home business with rapid growth. The Tampa Bay area builder has grown so much since its start in 2009 that they now rank as 2018's 100th largest homebuilder in the U.S. When starting out, the company built only nine homes – in 2018, they expect to build more than 540 homes.
Over the past five years, Paul Winstead, southeast territory manager, has used his passion and thirty years of experience to make products using Lubrizol’s CPVC the best in the piping industry.
Starting in 2005, a rise in material costs and changes in labor availability caused plumbers to make the switch from copper to plastic pipes. With a reliable history, FlowGuard Gold CPVC was there to meet the increased demand.
Research conducted by NSF International indicates that one-third of PEX plumbing piping samples tested per the NSF 61 drinking water standard exceed California drinking water standards for methyl-tert-butyl-ether (MTBE).
Since its start in 1963, Cristo Homes, a third-generation business, has grown its footprint to build 80-100 homes per year. Building exclusively in southwest Ohio between Cincinnati and Dayton, their homes accommodate families of all backgrounds. With single-family homes ranging in price from $180,000 to $500,000, Cristo serves homebuyers who are looking for modest-sized homes as well as those who seek more luxurious spaces.
What would you do with $15,000 worth of free material and labor for the installation of FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings? For Vinnie Nanula, Manager of Operations for Essex Homes in Western New York, this opportunity became a reality.
Since their founding in 2000, the Powerhouse Plumbing team has worked on thousands of single family homes and condos across New England. Powerhouse’s growth shows no signs of slowing down, as they foresee expansion to 500 units per year on the horizon.
No plumbing system is perfect, but a key advantage when using FlowGuard Gold CPVC is that it is the only system that allows you to take control of your plumbing system risk. While other materials like PEX and copper can fail due to factors outside of your control – such as aggressive water conditions and chlorine-based disinfection – the risk factors for FlowGuard Gold CPVC are entirely controllable.
For W.L. Hickey Sons Inc., a job well done means their clients don’t see their work after it’s done.
With FlowGuard Gold CPVC, it’s easy to install piping systems that last. Use these 10 CPVC installation dos and don’ts to make sure that every installation is done right, preventing costly leaks and damage in the future.
FlowGuard Gold CPVC’s one-step solvent welding process makes it easy to assemble a plumbing system. Solvent welding creates a permanent molecular bond between the pipe and the fitting, so that they function as a single unit.
When installing a new piping system, it’s important to remember that changes in temperature will cause any material to expand or contract. This means at warmer temperatures, the pipe will increase in length, while at relatively cooler temperatures, the pipe will get shorter.
The following manufacturers of FlowGuard Gold CPVC pipe and fittings are listed and labeled per ICC Evaluation Service Report PMG-1264 and as required by the International Mechanical Code and Uniform Mechanical Code:
Time is money and as the construction industry continues to get busier around the country, plumbers need to find ways to save both. Unfortunately, in recent years many contractors have been duped by deceptive advertising claims stating that PEX is faster and cheaper than CPVC. While the PEX manufacturers have benefitted from this false perception, plumbers across the country have left thousands of dollars on the table.
Freezing temperatures are rarely easy on any construction project, but sometimes the job must be done, regardless of the cold weather.
There are few residential construction markets that have been more active in recent years than the Washington, DC metropolitan area. For plumbing contractors in busy markets like this, it is critical to be able to provide fast, cost-effective installations using the highest quality products available.
All plumbing system materials are required to meet certain performance criteria to ensure that the materials are suitable for use in a potable water supply. These requirements include performance such as temperature and pressure bearing capability and, for some materials, a time to failure measurement when exposed to chlorine.
On October 11, 2017, the City of Chicago announced a breakthrough 6-month pilot program to allow for the first time the use of FlowGuard Gold and Corzan CPVC plumbing systems within the city.
Lubrizol CPVC met with Amrit Parhar, Principal Chemist at Oatey® to understand climate conditions and how it affects the use of solvent cement. Heat and humidity are two conditions that plumbers and contractors must be mindful of while working with solvent cement.
When considering the systems that contribute to a “high performance” home, environmental performance and energy efficiency might come to mind. This can lead builders to focus on building systems most commonly associated with energy and the environment, such as insulation, appliances and HVAC, however plumbing systems can influence several critical components of home performance that are important to today’s home buyer. These impacts not only include environmental performance, but can extend further to cover water quality and human health issues.
No one wants to build a wasteful, polluting building. Certainly, you don’t. As a builder, you take pride in choosing materials and methods that make the building the best it can be. In some cases, you might be building facilities that gain LEED certification. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a third-party verification service for sustainable buildings.
For the second time in two years, plumbers across the United States have been struck with a shortage of PEX plumbing system components – leaving contractors on back order or searching for alternate materials.
As a premier builder of custom, luxury residential homes in the Milwaukee area, Kings Way Homes seeks out the best building products and solutions offered to ensure a quality, customized home its customers will cherish for years to come.
Water is essential to life and so it’s no surprise that the history of water distribution is closely tied to the history of human development. In the modern world, the development of indoor plumbing had a significant impact on how we live our lives, and the materials used in those plumbing systems are an important part of that story that we often overlook.
Recently, dangerously high levels of copper were found in several luxury condos built within the last decade, prompting city officials to take action and caution residents against drinking and cooking with tap water.
In the summer of 2016, the Jackson family reached its wit’s end: Their home in Battle Ground, Wash., a little over 10 years old, experienced a third pipe leak in just a couple of years.
Use a Complete FlowGuard Gold System Builders and contractors across America trust FlowGuard Gold to reliably deliver clean, safe drinking water. But on a recent tour of jobsites in Central Florida, we discovered that several installers were installing their FlowGuard Gold piping using non-FlowGuard Gold fittings.
Mark O’Connor of Wellesley, Massachusetts was determined to differentiate himself in the market with new construction and remodeling work that met only the highest quality standards. That meant his homes had to be quiet. Starting with flooring, barrier insulation, doors, ventilation system and other standard tactics, O’Connor differentiated himself by developing quality quiet houses. In Dover Delaware, he set out to raise the bar with a $1.7 million project. That meant a hunt to reduce noise in less common areas of the home, including the plumbing system.
The starter home market in Washington D.C., is highly competitive. NVHomes is in competition with many other regional builders going after the middle-income market of young-professional, first-time homebuyers. NVHomes wanted to find a more cost-effective plumbing system than copper to help stand out in the market. They saw an opportunity to switch out their copper plumbing systems with more efficient, faster-to-install plastic systems
While FlowGuard Gold® CPVC is immune to corrosion, pitting and scaling, installers need to be sure they are using ancillary construction products that are compatible with FlowGuard Gold CPVC. To ease the burden associated with researching and selecting accompanying construction products, Lubrizol developed the FBC™ System Compatible Program.
The joining process utilized for all FlowGuard Gold® piping systems requires the proper techniques to ensure a durable and long-lasting system. Utilizing FlowGuard Gold® Pipe & Fittings brings durability and cost-effectiveness to any plumbing job, and a big part of these benefits is the solvent welding process used to join the pipes and fittings. Solvent welding offers a fast, simple and flexible installation process, but certain considerations need to be taken into account to ensure a proper, effective installation.
Alpine Plumbing has worked with FlowGuard Gold® Pipe & Fittings for over a decade, and has experienced efficiencies, cost savings and satisfied contractors and homeowners with the product.
Serving dual roles as territory manager and account manager, Ryan Chubon has helped Lubrizol CPVC achieve some big wins and has his eyes on the future. Over the eight years he’s worked for Lubrizol CPVC, Ryan Chubon has seen his role evolve in a way that has been congruent with his goals of growing the CPVC business—and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
The American Society of Plumbing Engineers recently recognized The Lubrizol Corporation for Outstanding Service to the Advancement of Plumbing Engineering Technology.
Kings Way Homes doesn’t take shortcuts. As a premier builder of custom, luxury residential homes in the Milwaukee area, Kings Way seeks out the best building products and solutions offered to ensure a quality, customized home its customers will cherish for years to come. “The homes we’re building are often our customers’ dream homes,” says Christopher Moll, chief operating officer, Kings Way Homes. “When you’re building these homes, you’re promoting a lot of your building materials to the homeowner. They’ve done their research. They’re spending a lot of time and money, so they want all the details, and they want it to be just right.”