<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=904069823712396&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1"> Frequently Asked Questions About CPVC | FlowGuard® Plus

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FlowGuard® Plus CPVC Frequently Asked Questions

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    Where can I use FlowGuard® Plus CPVC?

    FlowGuard® Plus CPVC is designed for use in hot-and-cold-water distribution systems and heating and chilled water systems. FlowGuard® Plus CPVC systems are ideal for all potable water piping requirements in typical villas, apartments, hotels, hospitals, offices, and other high rise buildings.


    What pipe sizes is FlowGuard® Plus CPVC available in?

    FlowGuard® Plus pipes and fittings are available in ½ inch to 8 inch. A full range of fittings exists in all sizes. In applications calling for larger lines, FlowGuard Plus CPVC is available on request.


    What is the expected performance of a FlowGuard® Plus CPVC water distribution system?

    FlowGuard® Plus CPVC piping systems have been installed and operated since 1959, and initial installations are still performing faultlessly. FlowGuard Plus CPVC piping will not fail prematurely due to corrosion, electrolysis, or scale build-up in areas where water, soil, and/or atmospheric conditions are aggressive.


    Are there other benefits associated with the polymeric makeup of FlowGuard® Plus CPVC systems?

    Yes. Due to the FlowGuard® Plus CPVC polymeric structure, costly condensation concerns are eliminated, further reducing the long-term problems that one expects with a metal installation. Also, FlowGuard® Plus CPVC offers a potable water distribution system that eliminates the metallic taste and potential health hazards associated with metal systems.


    What is a CPVC pipe made of?

    CPVC pipes, also known as Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride, are made of a special thermoplastic material used for plumbing applications. Additionally, this material for CPVC piping is created by chlorinating PVC, enhancing its heat and chemical resistance while making it ideal for both hot and cold-water systems. For best results, select a FlowGuard® Plus CPVC pipe. It contains a high-quality molecular structure that makes the object survive under high temperatures and aggressive water conditions. Furthermore, the pipes are highly durable, are corrosion resistant, and offer long-lasting CPVC piping solutions.


    Are CPVC pipes flexible?

    CPVC pipes are known for their excellent combination of strength and flexibility. Although they might not be as flexible as some other pipe types like PEX, their inherent rigidity ensures added stability and durability in plumbing systems. The reliable CPVC Solvent used in joining them makes these pipes form leak-proof connections. Their outstanding heat and chemical resistance make these pipes a preferred choice for a wide range of plumbing applications.


    Can you use CPVC pipes for potable cold water lines?

    Yes, CPVC pipes can be safely used for outdoor cold-water lines. CPVC is renowned for its excellent weather resistance and durability which makes it a perfect choice for outdoor applications. Its inherent ability to withstand varying temperatures, UV rays, and harsh environmental conditions ensures reliable performance for outdoor cold water supply. When installed with appropriate CPVC fittings and all the manufacturer guidelines, these pipes offer a cost-effective and long-lasting solution for transporting cold water in outdoor settings while also providing peace of mind and efficiency for your plumbing needs. Remember, when opting for CPVC pipes for potable cold water lines, look for FlowGuard® Plus CPVC pipe as they are NSF/ANSI/CAN 61/GRIHA/IGBC Green Certified and ensures that they are suitable for drinking water applications.


    Will CPVC fail because it gets brittle?

    CPVC is designed not to become brittle over time. It is formulated to resist brittleness and maintain its flexibility, even in extreme temperatures. When used within its intended temperature range, these pipes won't become brittle at all, rather it ensures a reliable performance for both hot and cold-water applications. Proper installation and adherence to recommended guidelines will further prevent any potential issues. Overall, CPVC's durability and resistance to becoming brittle make it a dependable choice for various plumbing needs. Choose FlowGuard® Plus CPVC for your plumbing system and keep away from such worries.


    Cost FAQ's

    Will FlowGuard® Plus CPVC save me money?

    Yes. FlowGuard® Plus CPVC can be installed at least 25% more quickly than any other piping system. Many contractors reported a saving of 50% on labor compared to PPR. Financial savings are also realized with regard to lower tool costs and insurance advantages, fewer site accidents, and rework.


    Will a FlowGuard® Plus CPVC system offer a financial advantage to owners in terms of utility expense?

    Yes. The thermal conductivity of a copper system is 2,500 times that of a FlowGuard® Plus CPVC system, and FlowGuard Plus CPVC thermal conductivity is about 30% better than other plastic pipes. The improved insulating characteristics associated with FlowGuard® Plus CPVC can generate substantial long-term savings for an energy-conscious homeowner or tenant. FlowGuard® Plus CPVC will keep hot water hot for a much longer period of time compared to other types of pipes.


    Are there insurance advantages associated with FlowGuard Plus CPVC systems?

    Yes. Insurance cost reductions result from several factors:

    • Absence of the torch and welding machines during construction.
    • Significant reduction in injuries, particularly burns, can translate to reduced workmen's compensation costs.
    • Reduced job site theft loss.


    Technical FAQ’s

    How does solvent cement work?

    Solvent cement is not a glue simply holding the pieces together. Instead, solvent welding is a chemical process that fuses the pipe and fittings together creating one continuous piece of plastic.

    Solvent cementing uses a solvent to soften the surface of the pipe and fittings. When this happens the molecules of the two surfaces are freed to fuse with each other when forced together. The CPVC contained in the solvent cement then fills any gaps between the two surfaces pipe and fitting.

    The fused joint becomes the stronger part in the system.


    Will FlowGuard Plus CPVC solvent cement work on a PVC piping installation?

    Yes. FlowGuard Plus CPVC solvent cement technically will work on PVC piping. However, PVC solvent cement is not recommended for CPVC piping because of temperature limitations.


    Should specific types of primers and solvent cements be used on a FlowGuard Plus CPVC system? Are specific colors required?

    FlowGuard Plus CPVC Plus solvent cement should always be used for FlowGuard Plus CPVC Plus piping, and the solvent cement should be manufactured to meet ATM F 493 requirements.

    Purple primer manufactured for PVC pipe is acceptable. Faster drying FlowGuard Plus CPVC primer is available, and is recommended for cold weather installations. Orange FlowGuard Plus CPVC solvent cement and purple primer are specifically required by certain code bodies to facilitate identification by plumbing inspectors.


    Should I use pipe dope, Teflon® tape, or Teflon® paste with FlowGuard Plus CPVC threaded adapters?

    Teflon® tape is always safe and effective with FlowGuard Plus CPVC. If you wish to use a paste or pipe dope, always check with the manufacturer for a recommendation because some pastes or dopes contain solvents that may be incompatible with FlowGuard Plus CPVC.


    How should I size the lines in a FlowGuard Plus CPVC system?

    FlowGuard Plus CPVC has higher flow output and less pressure drop compared to all other plastic water pipes, therefore, you can either use the same pipe size, or downsize one size if the velocity inside the pipe allows for it and does not exceed 2.3 m/s.


    How can I use FlowGuard Plus CPVC if I run under slab?

    When using FlowGuard Plus CPVC with joints under slab, YOU MUST PRESSURE TEST THE SYSTEM BEFORE POURING THE SLAB.


    Must I use plastic insulators wherever FlowGuard Plus CPVC passes through a stud? 

    Technically, no such provision needs to be made when passing through wood studs. When passing through metal studs, some form of protection must be used to protect the pipe from abrasion and to prevent noise. This protection may come from plastic insulators, rubber grommets, pipe insulation, or similar devices.


    What are the preferred methods of cutting FlowGuard Plus CPVC pipe?

    A benefit of FlowGuard Plus CPVC pipe is that numerous, inexpensive choices of cutting tools are available to the installer. FlowGuard Plus vCPVC piping has for years been cut by fine-tooth saws. The preferred method is the circular tubing cutter, modified with a plastic cutting blade. This cutter assures a square, clean cut each time and is extremely efficient in terms of labor.

    An alternative and quicker and easier method is the ratchet cutter. This option is not suitable during cooler weather (10℃ or lower) but can be safely used during warmer weather.  Keep the cutting edges of the cutter sharpened.

    Several power tools have been used on major job sites where larger diameter pipe is being installed. Circular saws and portable grinders with abrasive cutting discs are two of the numerous methods being employed by contractors.


    I have been told that FlowGuard Plus CPVC pipe can split during installation. Why would this occur? How can these cracks be prevented?

    Most cracks are initiated by rough handling. This handling can occur during shipment, while being inventoried at the wholesaler, or while on the job site. Also, fine cracks can be caused by cutting the pipe with dull or damaged ratchet cutters, or by using ratchet cutters in lower temperatures (below 10℃).

    To reduce problems resulting from a cracked product, several measures can be initiated:

    • Educate your installers. Make them aware of the potential problem and instruct them to handle FlowGuard Plus CPVC in an appropriate way.
    • Use a saw or a circular tubing cutter with a plastic cutting blade to cut pipe to length.
    • Inspect pipe ends thoroughly prior to making a joint. Should a crack be evident, cut off any split portion at least 5 cm above the crack before proceeding.
    • During cold weather, gripping the tubing tightly around the area to be cut for about 10 seconds prior to making the cut will warm the tubing and reduce possible problems.


    Does FlowGuard Plus CPVC piping system resist Chlorine and Chlorine Dioxide?

    Unlike polyolefin pipes like PPR, PEX, and PB, FlowGuard Plus CPVC resists Chlorine and Chlorine Dioxide. For the life of the system it will not be affected by the presence of those disinfectants.

    All other plastics and metal pipes are greatly affected by these disinfectants and special monitoring is required. Chlorine Dioxide, which is becoming the main disinfectant due to its excellent disinfectant and non-toxic properties, is not allowed to be used with PP-R.

    PPR Pipe Erosion vs CPVC Pipe Erosion


    Is FlowGuard Plus CPVC a factor in reducing noise associated with the movement of water?

    Yes, FlowGuard Plus CPVC is extremely quiet due to the polymeric structure of the product. FlowGuard Plus CPVC systems are virtually silent. Also, noise associated with water hammer is all but eliminated.


    What is the maximum allowable pressure?

    All pipes are schedule 80 rated and the pressure rating is 58 bars for ½ inch pipe and reaches 18 bars for the 8 inch pipe. The 1.91 inch pipes can withstand 48 bars at 23 degrees C, and 12 bars at 82 degrees C.


    How long can FlowGuard Plus CPVC systems be exposed to sunlight?

    The main degradation process is dehydrochlorination, not oxidation. This dehydrochlorination, whilst slightly accelerated by UV, does not break down the polymer chains to any significant extent after outdoor exposure. The effect is mainly limited to a surface discoloration effect. There may be a loss of impact resistance due to the impact modifiers losing efficiency. This may even result in increased modulus.

    If a portion of the piping system will be left exposed to UV light, a standard grade of exterior, latex paint will protect the pipe adequately.

    This is in contrast to polyethylene and polypropylene, where U.V. acts as a strong catalyst for the oxidation process. This process breaks down the polymer chains, leading to weakness in the pipe and loss of hydrostatic strength.


    What is the thermal expansion rate for FlowGuard Plus CPVC, and how can I best allow for expansion and contraction when installing?

    FlowGuard Plus CPVC has better thermal expansion coefficient compared to other plastics—almost half of the PPR and PEX pipes’ thermal coefficient. 

    Compared to metal pipes and metal reinforced plastics (multilayer pipes), FlowGuard Plus CPVC piping will expand about 4 inches per 100 feet with a 37.7℃ temperature change. The fact that FlowGuard Plus CPVC has higher thermal expansion than metals is due to the difference in elastic modulus.


    Should special considerations be taken to connect FlowGuard Plus CPVC to a hot water heater?

    In some instances, yes. However, these considerations are based on concerns regarding external sources of heat. The hot water from the heater will not affect FlowGuard Plus CPVC if the temperature exceeds 95℃.

    When connecting to a gas water heater, FlowGuard Plus CPVC should not be located within 50 cm of the heater's flue, if the flue has no insulation. A metal nipple or flexible appliance connector should be used.

    This measure eliminates the potential for damage to plastic piping that might result from excessive radiant heat from the flue. If the flue is insulated, the instructions of the flue manufacturer should be followed.

    Environment and Safety FAQ’s

    What about health and safety?

    Metal piping interests have initiated many attacks on plastic systems, under the guise of health and safety issues. Tests performed at respected universities, independent laboratories and major international organizations confirm that FlowGuard Plus CPVC is superior to copper/lead solder, polypropylene, and polyethylene systems in terms of water quality effects and biofilm formation.

    Those major international organizations include:

    All plastics used in potable water systems must be tested regularly and certified by a similar third party certifier as meeting the strict public health requirements of ANSI/NSF 61. This testing ensures that drinking water carried by plastic pipe meets all EPA standards.


    What about fire toxicity issues?

    FlowGuard Plus CPVC is "no more toxic than wood" in a fire. It has a 25/50 flame/smoke rating under ASTM E84/UL 723, which makes it one of the rare plastics pipes that can be installed in plenums under building codes.


    Is the solvent cement used with FlowGuard Plus CPVC environmental friendly or is it toxic?

    All FlowGuard Plus approved solvent cements, primers and cleaners meet the requirements for Low VOC (volatile organic compound) emission limits established by the California South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), one of the USA's strictest air quality regulatory bodies. Low VOC emissions support cleaner air. All FlowGuard Plus approved solvent cements provide the following benefits:

    • High quality performance with excellent installation properties.
    • User friendly.
    • Reduced fumes and odor for the comfort and well being of pipe installers.
    • NSF, UPC and/or CSA Listed.
    • Meet ASTM Standards for solvent cements used for plastic pipe installation.
    • Environmentally responsible. LEED® Compliant (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
    • LEED Green Building Rating System For New Construction & Major Renovations Version 2.2 (Indoor Environmental Air Quality: EQ Credit 4.1 Low-Emitting Materials - Adhesives & Sealants)

    Still have questions about using FlowGuard Plus CPVC for your plumbing system needs? Contact our team of piping systems consultants today.

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