All materials will change as they age and should be handled differently as time goes on, FlowGuard Gold® CPVC is no different. As FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings age, the pipe may discolor or turn brown but does not affect how the piping system functions or pressure bearing capabilities. These changes will not affect the life expectancy of the system under normal use conditions and these systems can remain in service if they are handled properly.
Never Use Ratchet or Scissors-Style Cutters
New CPVC pipes for residential applications are tan in color and relatively flexible; however, as they age, they may begin to turn brown and become more rigid. The increased rigidity comes with increased pressure-bearing capability, but it can make it difficult to cut into aged piping using traditional plastic pipe cutters.
Service contractors who attempt to cut into older CPVC pipe with ratchet cutters or scissors-style cutters have experienced issues with cracking or splintered pipe. This is not due to a defect in the pipe, but instead the use of the wrong tool.
The manufacturer-recommended tool for cutting into older CPVC is a C-style tubing cutter. This tool will not compress the pipe and virtually eliminates the risk of cracking or splintering. If a C-style tubing cutter is not available, a fine-tooth saw or wheel cutter are also acceptable – never use a ratchet or scissors-style cutter on older CPVC.
Repairs and Solvent Cementing
If a repair is needed, there will most likely be water in the pipe, but it is important to get the system as dry as possible. Once it is as dry as possible, cut the pipe with the appropriate tool, then check again that the joint is dry before beginning the solvent cement application. The joint may take longer to cure than would be required for a new system, which is a common concern from service contractors working with CPVC.
While normal FlowGuard Gold® one-step solvent cements can take up to a few hours to cure in new construction, specially formulated Oatey Orange Lava solvent cement enables rapid, one-step cure times as fast as 15 minutes for cold water lines.
Always verify code requirements and follow the directions of the solvent cement manufacturer for proper cure times and installation procedures. To properly install a new system or make a repair, each installer should be vigilant to solvent cement each joint as they are installed. Errors can occur when the system is not installed joint by joint. There should be a bead of solvent cement on each joint, and the day’s work should be reviewed after each shift for the best possible installation.
Using FlowGuard Gold’s pipe and fittings solvent weld system creates a strong, solid system by taking the two pieces of pipe and creating one solid piece of pipe.
To get more insights on this topic visit our blog post titled, “Servicing Old CPVC: Use The Right Tools To Avoid Common Concerns”.