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By: FlowGuard on Dec 5, 2022 1:00:00 AM
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5 Problems that can lead to CPVC pipes failing

Why FlowGuard® Pipes and Fittings may fail earlier than expected (and how to avoid it)

Despite ongoing efforts in mechanical engineering and technology, there will never be such a thing as a perfect plumbing pipe system.

Mistakes in installation can be made. Plumbing pipes can fail, leading to system defects, underperforming water supply lines and potential damage to homes. This can occur with copper pipes, cast iron pipes, PEX pipes or any type of pvc pipes.

Anyone who has experienced performance issues, pressure failures or leakages with their FlowGuard CPVC plumbing system may have encountered one or more of the issues listed below.

However, using the best practices highlighted in this blog, with trained professionals, homeowners can enjoy industry-leading hot and cold water plumbing performance for decades.

Here are a few reasons why FlowGuard Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC) pipes and fittings may fail earlier than expected.

Thermal Expansion

All types of plumbing pipes must be installed with provisions for thermal expansion and contraction, a naturally occurring process in hot water lines.

FlowGuard CPVC plumbing pipes can be installed to move within a safe degree of freedom within water distribution systems without sustaining damage, as the rigid plastic pipes safely bend in the necessary areas.

Properly installing expansion loops, expansion offsets or including deflection mechanisms can help sustain healthy performance in plumbing systems, without the risk of pipe failure.

Incompatibility of plumbing pipes

FlowGuard CPVC is compatible with a healthy number of common ancillary materials, which it will sometimes be necessary to include.

For example, CPVC can be seamlessly integrated with copper pipes or galvanized steel pipes. It must be handled with care, using only specifically approved compatible materials. This includes solvents, adhesives, hangers and paints.

It is highly recommended to consult the FBC System Compatible Program if your FlowGuard CPVC system requires integration with other non-CPVC materials.

Cracks reforming in plumbing pipes

Improper handling of CPVC repairs can lead to defects in the plumbing system in the same location as before, making it necessary to repeat the process and keep incurring costs.

When repairing aged or cracked CPVC pipe, always ensure a clean square cut, maximising surface area for a new solvent cement bond.

Residual water, sand or paint, anywhere near the plumbing material, may interfere with the welding process.

When re-cutting pipe, ensure the cut is made at least 2 inches beyond the formation of the crack to ensure a perfectly square pipe end for each new fitting.

Failed application of solvent cement

In some parts of the world including many regions in Africa, hot outdoor climates can affect the way FlowGuard CPVC installation is performed.

Solvent cement dries faster in hot temperatures. While this does speed up the installation process (saving time and costs,) installers must be mindful that preparation must also be faster, to ensure the solvent cement is doing its job correctly.

Always ensure pipe and fittings are joined while solvent cement is still wet. It is recommended to do this in cooler areas to allow yourself more time.

If solvent cement dries before joints are made, the affected pipe and/or fitting must be cut out and discarded and the process must be started again. Dry solvent cement will not form a molecular bond between plumbing pipes and fittings and can lead to pipe failures later on.

Untrained installers

FlowGuard CPVC's installation process is an innovation which has saved the plumbing industry time and money many times over decades. However, the advantages only apply when a thorough, accurate installation has been performed on every pipe and fitting in the system.

This is why we make training resources and technical support readily available all year round for plumbing professionals to make the most of FlowGuard CPVC and avoid any of the performance or safety issues mentioned above.

Learn more

To learn more about proper installation of FlowGuard CPVC in residential or commercial buildings, avoiding pipe defects and performance failures, download the FlowGuard Pipe and Fittings Installation Guide.