With some plumbing systems, fittings represent the weakest link in the system. PEX joints, for example, contain at least 3 separate parts joined together mechanically, including the pipe, fitting and an external crimp or expansion ring that joins the fitting to the pipe.
Of all the ways to move fluid, the two that most people interact with most frequently are plumbing pipes and drinking straws. Surprisingly, there is a remarkable correlation between the diameter of common straw sizes and the internal diameter of the fittings used in PEX and FlowGuard Gold CPVC plumbing systems. By using drinking straws as a comparison, it becomes easy to see the significant differences between various plumbing fittings and why FlowGuard Gold CPVC outperforms PEX in flow and pressure.
Discover why you should make the switch to FlowGuard Gold® CPVC
In a post published in early 2021, we identified three challenges plumbing contractors and home builders faced in dealing with a booming housing market. Now, as the boom becomes a slowdown, those challenges have become opportunities.
Plumbing engineers are increasingly being asked by owners and developers of multi-family, multi-story buildings to use specific materials in their designs. Usually, those requests are motivated by financial interests, such as the costs savings that can be realized with plastic plumbing systems. Some plastic systems, such as CPVC, can deliver excellent reliability and performance, but not all plastics are the same.
No one wants to hear their home needs a repipe. But sometimes that’s the best and only way to prevent future damage from systemic plumbing issues. The challenge for plumbers is determining whether issues are systemic or isolated, particularly for plumbing systems that are well within their expected service life. Some of the signs that a problem may be pervasive can be subtle, but there are guidelines plumbers can follow to determine when to recommend a repipe.
Plumbing engineers are increasing their focus on sustainability due to both market demand and a personal commitment to support more sustainable homes and buildings. Improving plumbing system sustainability requires consideration of a range of factors, including material sustainability, use of designs that can minimize water waste, and the total environmental impact of a system.
Engineers pride themselves on developing specifications that ensure the quality and integrity of the plumbing systems that they design. However, sometimes information can get included in specifications that isn’t as accurate as it could be. Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider when developing specifications for residential plumbing using plastic plumbing systems.
FlowGuard Gold® CPVC offers plumbers a versatile, reliable, and easy-to-install plastic alternative to copper. Compared to competitive plastic systems, it delivers enhanced chlorine resistance, higher water pressure, better water quality and lower costs. For more than 60 years, FlowGuard Gold CPVC technology has been successfully used in American plumbing systems. With this impressive track record, the FlowGuard Gold CPVC system has built a reputation as one that typically only has problems when a mistake is made during installation or service. Speaking with plumbers across the country who use FlowGuard Gold CPVC, the most problematic installation mistake is something called a dry-fit, which occurs when the installing contractor simply forgets to apply solvent cement to a connection before moving on. This issue has been rooted in the plumbing code, which, since the early 1990s, has required one-step CPVC cements to be yellow in color. This code requirement provides little contrast between the yellow cement and the FlowGuard Gold CPVC tan and gold pipe. That can make it harder to visually inspect work to ensure all fittings have been solvent welded, particularly when working in poorly lit spaces where the background is often similarly colored wood stud or subfloor. The FlowGuard Gold team has listened to these concerns and has been working with the model code organizations to update the codes to allow green colored, one-step solvent cement for use with CPVC. The high-contrast green cement makes it easier to visually inspect connections and minimize the risk of dry fits. Now, we are pleased to announce that these changes have been accepted for the 2024 code cycle. Here’s what plumbing contractors, builders and inspectors need to know about this code change:
It was great to be back at the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Orlando this year. It’s difficult to know what to expect from a trade show these days, but the building industry turned out for IBS 2022 and the enthusiasm and passion of the builders that the show attracts makes this one of the most fun and energizing events of the year.
The flexibility of PEX piping allows for sweeping bends that reduce the number of fittings required to install a PEX plumbing system. However, an analysis of a recent PEX failure indicates this convenience to plumbers may come at a steep price for homeowners—increased likelihood of premature failure.