I see that there has been many problems with some of this piping. A house that we inspected today had this piping according to the writing on the pipe but it was white NOT gray like most of the defective piping that I’ve seen on the internet. Has anyone seen this white or almost translucent piping ? Should I call it out ? It’s marked qest-pex sdr 9-100 .Thanks for your help.
Polybutylene and PEX are two different products. PEX is cross-linked Polyethylene. PEX is made by many manufacturers and is the newer generation plastic that replaced Poly B. If proper installation procedures and handling of the product are followed I have not heard of any problems. For info on this particular manufacturer go to
Google PEX and you will find lots of information about it.
Thanks Dave. The pictures on that site are very similar to what this house has. I did google PEX but i added other words such as “recalls” so I kind of freaked when I read what came up. I never saw that piping before so I just wanted to be sure it was OK before I released my report. This board is EXTREMELY helpful. Thanks again
PEX is an excellent piping system with the newer materials and connectors (if done correctly), except that it is easily subject to dammage and the jury isn’t out on long term performance.
As dave indicated Polybutlene (PB) piping is the one with significant historical problems. There are two type of PB pipe … those that are leaking, and those that will. Check the following links for more info on PB piping …
P.S. If ya see PB piping, but it has brass/copper fittings and the newer stainless steel clamp rings (not the older plastic fittings and copper or alum crimp rings) it mave have had some repairs, but still should be noted (maybe everything wasn’t repaired). Here is a pic of the newer SS clamp rings …
Wirsbo brand pex has been in this country for ay least ten years. Invented in europe, there water is much more corrosive than we see in most cases here.
I visited the factory in Minnisota, they have a roll of pipe under test for aslong as the factory has been open. Each year they cut off a piece, stretch it , kink it, repair it and pressure test it till it explodes. It will not explode at the repair, Also the test pipe shows no sign of aging. Also, any plumber that attends the factory school is given extended warr. on the product for life.
Not to many products can compare.
Although PEX has been in use even longer in Europe, a quality plumbing systems should have at least a 50 to 75 year life, which is why I say that the jury isn’t out yet on PEX.
JMO & 2-nickles …
That is a great theory, the only pipe to stand up to the 50 to 75 year standard is brass as long as the threads can hold up. Even copper can’t meet the 50 year standard. I agree the jury is still out on pex, but when in search of a good product, some pex, not all, are holding there own. Every day I go into supply houses and the number of different types of pipe is staggering and scarey. It will be interesting to see were all these companies will be in ten years when product failure and bankruptcy occur. The same goes with flex gas piping! The Wirsbo pipe was built out of need for a strong pipe, many others were created to compete.
I don’t see copper as being any better than pex. Most of the plumbers that use pex around here are really behind it 100%. I have spoken to more than a few plumbers that have been replacing copper lines due to the walls getting thin after about 30-35 years of use in our hard water environment. When copper starts to leak it is only a matter of time before the inevitable happens, I might add, most likely when you have gone away for a few days and come back to that dreaded sound of running water. “Honey, did you leave the tap on in the bathroom?”
Copper piping (both water supply and waste piping) will last at least 50 yrs (usually longer) around my neck of the woods, and I think most areas, as long as it’s installed correctly and local water conditions are not aggressive. 50 years is also the minimum design/expected life for residential buildings per many industry guidelines and standards (NAHB, HUD, FHA, ASCE, etc). Anything buried inside walls that is not readily accessible should last at least that long. Your local mileage may vary.
In any event, 10 years of field use is still not long enough to come to any definitive conclusion on the long term durability and performance of PEX … but the results so far are promising.
JMO & 2-nickles …
those are some great guide lines but that is all they are, the reality is copper will rot. I personally have replaced hundreds of feet of copper installed on city municipal water systems. Check out Wirsbo’s website. The pex was invented in 1968 and began use as pipe in 1970.
I’m doing about 160 draw inspections a month and I would say in my area about 75% of the houses going up are getting PEX. It’s pretty fast and easy and the manifold with all the valves centrally located is very convenient for the homeowner.