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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    9

    Unhappy PerPEXing Problem

    I am an inexperienced, more than novice, homeowner who, along with my husband, is renovating an abandoned farmstead. My husband and I have gutted the whole house. After seeing Richard install PEX, we were really excited about it and had planned on using PEX plumbing throughout our home. We have bought all of the supplies and tools we need to complete the project. But now, I am extremely concerned about the articles that I have been reading that talk about the dangers of PEX when manufactured using the t-butyl peroxide method of production. This method causes a gasoline taste and leaches chemicals into the water that can affect many medical conditions including asthmatics breathing the steam from these pipes when showering. The answer to this problem is to empty the lines from every faucet in the house daily. This isn't feasible for us to do as we have a low yield well and must conserve water as much as possible. Does anyone know what method of production is used by PEX manufacturers now? Does anyone know if the problems with t-butyl peroxide still exists? It was an older article and I thought maybe they had quit using the t-butyl peroxide method of production. Is there a way to distinguish PEX piping that uses the t-butyl peroxide method from those that don't? Can we be sure that all methods of producing PEX are safe, or are there potable water problems with all forms of PEX? Also, the article mentioned that rodents were prone to eating through PEX piping to have easy access to water. Has anyone had any experiences with this problem? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: PerPEXing Problem

    Sorry, I can't help with those questions, but I can offer you this: Plastics, all plastics, off-gas and leach their chemicals into whatever is touching them. Try this test and you'll see what I mean. Go to your kitchen cabinet where you keep all your Tupperware storage containers and take a sniff. Smell that? That's the plastic off-gassing, and it will never end.

    Another wonderful benefit to PEX is that rodents love it. They'll chew lot's of holes in it and enjoy every bite. I've seen this first hand and it isn't pretty.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: PerPEXing Problem

    Thank you so much for your input. I can fully relate to your tupperware analogy. That is why I no longer own any tupperware and try to keep plastics out of my kitchen. I didn't realize that it was off-gasing and that there was an actual chemical release. I just thought it smelled bad and makes my food taste bad. It never dawned on me that I was setting myself up to contaminate my drinking water with plastic by installing PEX. Thank you for taking the time to bring my thought processes full circle.

    I'm sorry that you have had first hand knowledge of the destruction that rodents can have on PEX. I can imagine the cost issue as well as the mess in tearing out walls to get to the leaks. We live in the country and I'm pretty sure it is a code violation if you don't have rodents.

    We are returning the PEX. You just save us a lot of money and hassle. Thanks again for your time and input.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: PerPEXing Problem

    You're welcome.

    The experience I mentioned was a client. We did a total exterior remodel on their manufactured home and installed VCT tile throughout the interior. Less than one year later the rodents ate the PEX all the way through in 4 different spots, though there was tooth marks everywhere. 90% of the plumbing on a manufactured home is under the house, so the repipe wasn't all that bad. I was also able to provide access points to the sub area from inside the house by cutting out the damaged areas of the floor, so the plumber didn't have to do the belly crawl too much.

    I love your "code" reference about rodents! LOL I can certainly relate, having grown up in the country myself. The city has it's fair share of furry critters too that we must contend with. You just might be right about that code thing!

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