Pex Plumbing Suits
This is an evolving story, if you come across information, please let us know, we will post it here. TPREIA cautions you to stay abreast of this and we know some inspectors who are declining to inspect homes equipped with PEX systems.
TPREIA is watching and gleaning information on the PEX fresh water line systems. PEX is not new and has been used in commercial applications for several years.
When the residential builders experienced a rise in copper pricing in 2006, they looked to other avenues to keep their costs down. One was PEX.
While PEX is innovative and much better that the polybutylene systems of the 1970's-80s, the connections remain in question.
The class action suites indicate the connectors are the problems.
The PEX website is http://www.zurnpex.com/
Print and read the installation and consumers manuals, they have 'need to know' information.
A TPREIA inquiry to PEX regarding the suites netted no responses.
The response from the International Code Council, regarding the issues with PEX, is reprinted here:
From: Fred Grable
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 7:50 AM
To: Lis Valdemarsen
Subject: RE: 03 IPC PEX
ICC appreciates you taking the time to ask questions through our Code
Interpretation website link. However, your request is not for an
interpretation of code language and as such, we cannot offer any
opinions that are not directly related to you having better
understanding of the published code language.
For your general information, PEX piping has been listed as an approved
water distribution pipe material since the 1993 edition of the BOCA
National Plumbing Code (one of the legacy codes of the International
I suggest that you contact the Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association
(PPFA) for more information on the subject you have asked about.
Fred Grable, P.E.
Codes and Standards Dept.
International Code Council
PH: 1.888.422.7233 ext 4359
From: Lis Valdemarsen
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 3:26 PM
To: Fred Grable
Subject: 03 IPC PEX
I have forwarded your request to Fred Grable.
If you have any questions regarding the status of your reply to your
code opinion question, please contact me by either phone or email.
International Code Council, Inc.
Los Angeles District Office
5360 Workman Mill Rd
Whittier, CA 90601-2298
Phone: (562) 699-0541 ext 3201
Fax: (562) 699-4522
For code questions go to the ICC website,
The Plan Review Services of ICC is ready and available to serve you for
all of your plan review needs. Please contact us at 888/ ICCSAFE or
visit the ICC website for further information or assistance.
From: ICC Webmaster [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2008 12:15 PM
To: Lis Valdemarsen
Subject: 03 IPC PEX
This information was just submitted via the ICC site:
Member Name: Cothran Michael L
Member Number: 5142586
Contact Name: Mike
Address: 20138 Cottonglade
City, ST Zip: Humble Texas 77338
Code Edition: 2003
Code Section: Plumbing
I understand that ICC has included PEX fresh water piping and
connectors into the code (correct me if I am wrong). Recent class
action suits are pending now (urls included).
http://www.plumbingdefect.com/index.html , zurnclassaction.com ,
I would like to know the ICC view of PEX at this juncture and what (if
any) future actions or studies are pending.
The urls for PEX suites are:
PEX News from California who is trying to exclude PEX from use in California
PEX Makers Win Lawsuit vs. California
By Kelly Faloon
Posted: February 2, 2003
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association against the California Building Standards Commission and other state agencies, ordered the inclusion of PEX plastic pipe into the California Plumbing Code. The judge agreed that the state agencies had acted in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner in excluding PEX from the state's plumbing code.
The suit was filed on behalf of PEX pipe manufacturers and PPFA members Vanguard Industries, Uponor Wirsbo and Zurn PEX Plumbing and Radiant Heating Systems (formerly Qest Hydronics). It sought to overturn California 's adoption of an updated plumbing code on May 2, 2002, which deleted PEX from the code pending an environmental review in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act.
In a decision handed down in late December, the judge found that the California
Environmental Quality Act could not be used to exclude PEX because PEX is a "product" and not a "project" under state law.
But the industry isn't out of the woods yet. There is potential for an appeal by the building commission and the five state agencies that advise it on code adoption - the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Division of the State Architect, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, the Department of Health Services and the Department of Food and Agriculture.
“There is no indication at this time that they will appeal the ruling”, said Dick
Church, executive director of the PPFA.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development's Chief
Counsel Richard Friedman said that no appeal decision has been made yet. The agencies have 60 days from the official judgment to file an appeal.