Most people never give their home plumbing a second tho […]
Most people never give their home plumbing a second thought until something goes wrong. Knowing what type of pipe has been installed in your walls, however, can often help you prevent developing problems before they result in costly repair bills. Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipes are proving problematic for homeowners because of their limited longevity and tendency to become brittle and to crack over time. This can cause leaks inside walls that may go undetected until serious damage has occurred.
CPVC pipes have a number of known drawbacks that include the following:
CPVC pipes are typically connected with glue, which can deteriorate over time to allow pipes to shift and leak.
As CPVC ages, it becomes increasingly brittle and can crack or shatter with the slightest impact.
Breakdown and deterioration of CPVC pipes can be accelerated by hot outdoor temperatures and by chlorinated water delivery from public utilities.
Pipes made of CPVC are more likely to break in freezing temperatures than those made of other materials.
Direct exposure to ultraviolet rays from sunlight can cause CPVC materials to degrade.
CPVC produces toxic fumes when burned and can present serious risks in house fires.
According to the experts at the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), CPVC pipes are expected to last for 50 to 75 years under optimal conditions. Unfortunately, many area homeowners are seeing cracks in their CPVC installations after as little as 14 years. When those breaks occur behind walls or in crawl spaces, they can lead to an added set of risks for families:
Damage to drywall, flooring and support structures
Mold and mildew buildup in damp areas and the negative health effects caused by these fungal growths
Increased risk of fire if water reaches electrical wiring inside the walls
Higher water bills