Recapping the 2022 International Builders’ Show
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.
I know I speak for the entire FlowGuard Gold® CPVC team in saying how much we enjoyed the event and the opportunity to interact with so many growth-oriented builders. Here’s a quick summary of my takeaways from the show and a recap of our presence at the event.
An Industry on the Move
After more than two years since we last came together at IBS, it was heartening to see how the industry is continuing to move forward with innovative technology and materials that enable builders to improve quality, sustainability and livability while driving out unnecessary costs.
Two trends that stood out to me were the interest in alternative building materials that offer improved performance and/or lower cost than traditional materials and the focus on healthier, more durable products.
Although it certainly isn’t a new material, FlowGuard Gold CPVC addresses both trends. It offers an alternative to copper and PEX plumbing, at significantly lowers material costs while improving performance by providing immunity to chlorine, chloramine and chlorine dioxide—something copper and PEX can’t deliver. As the only NGBS Green Certified plumbing piping system, FlowGuard Gold CPVC also offers a sustainable plumbing system that consistently delivers clean, safe drinking water for American families.
New Developments in CPVC
While FlowGuard Gold CPVC is a well-established and proven plumbing system, we’re always working to improve it as evidenced by an innovation showcased in our booth.
Our new FlowGuard® MultiPort mini-manifold plumbing system reduces water and energy waste in multi-family homes by enabling shorter branch lines from the hot water main or recirculating line. Previously only available in copper and PEX plumbing systems, the availability of a mini-manifold system for CPVC enables builders to employ mini-manifolds without experiencing the high cost of copper or the pressure drop and chlorine sensitivity of PEX manifold systems.
A Focus on Market Education
In addition to hands-on demonstrations highlighting the ease of installation of FlowGuard Gold CPVC, we conducted four industry presentations, addressing key topics builders should consider when selecting plumbing systems. Here’s a quick recap of those presentations:
- The Fine Print: how normal drinking water can void some plumbing warranties
Most builders don’t realize that the warranties on some PEX and copper plumbing systems can be voided by the drinking water flowing through the pipe. That’s because the manufacturers of these materials aren’t confident the material won’t be affected by the chlorine disinfectants in the drinking water. No one wants to spend time combing through warranties, so if you want to be sure your water doesn’t affect your coverage, select a material immune to chlorine degradation.
- Healthy Homes, Healthy Water: water quality and environmental impacts
Different plumbing systems can have varying impacts on water quality. Materials that are permeable, subject to unsafe leaching or have a high biofilm growth potential increase the risk of chemicals or bacteria entering the water supply. No plumbing material can improve water quality, but builders should understand the impact of various materials on water quality before specifying plumbing systems.
- The Evolution of Water Treatment: new disinfection methods can affect piping materials
You may not think about it too much, but municipalities regularly make changes to water treatment practices to respond to growth in the distribution network or changes in water quality. These new practices almost always increase the concentration of disinfectants in the water. That can raise the water’s oxidative reduction potential (ORP) to levels that threaten the reliability of some plumbing materials. Only a material that is immune to chlorine, such as FlowGuard Gold CPVC, is impervious to these changes.
- Don’t Flex Your PEX: how bending PEX pipe can contribute to system failures
Analysis of field failures of PEX piping has uncovered a previously unknown vulnerability related to the flexibility of PEX piping. In addition to PEX’s limited resistance to chlorine under certain conditions, bending or flexing of PEX piping due to expansion and contraction or manipulation after the pipe has been exposed to chlorinated water is now understood to create stress on the internal wall of the pipe that can increase the risk of premature failure. Some installers appreciate the flexibility of PEX piping, but builders should be wary of it.
A Partnership You Can Count On
The value of FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings isn’t limited to high-performance, cost-effective plumbing materials. Our FlowGuard Gold CPVC team is committed to working as a partner with builders to ensure their success through the highest quality manufacturing and unrivalled training and support. Sign up to receive updates and resources on plumbing materials and best practices.