- Upscale residential community plagued by chronic pinhole leaks in copper water-supply piping
- Efforts to re-pipe with new copper fail again and again
- Flexible, easy-to-route Uponor PEX saves installation time and labor by reducing the number of fittings needed
Bob and Patti Jones of Tellico Village, an upscale community near Knoxville, Tenn., were at wit’s end. During a 12-month period, they had hired plumbers three times to repair the pinhole leaks that had formed in the copper piping throughout several parts of their home.
Actually, they were only one of many Tellico Village families dealing with a recurring problem of pinhole-size leaks in their copper water-supply tubing. Ten to 15 percent of the households were reportedly affected, with approximately 100 reports of pinhole leaks during the second quarter of 2005 alone.
The problem became so bad that a group of retired professionals formed a six-member committee to investigate the source of the problem and to suggest viable alternatives. They issued a statement strongly recommending the use of either cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) or chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) instead of copper for future potable plumbing material.
Out with Copper; In with PEX
When repeated attempts to repair the leaks with more copper piping failed, the Joneses sought the help of Marty Myers, president of A-1 Plumbing Co., Inc., of Loudon, Tenn. After reviewing all the options, including CPVC, Myers chose PEX tubing – specifically, Wirsbo AQUAPEX®, made by Uponor. Unlike copper, corrosion-resistant PEX is practically impervious to pinhole leaks and holds up extremely well against aggressive soil and water conditions.
The complete re-piping job at the 4,200-square-foot Jones home required 700 feet of PEX tubing, which was installed in five days at a cost of around $4,000. As Myers notes, “Replacing piping with copper would typically take seven days – or an extra two days – for a house this size. That’s because copper is a rigid material. PEX tubing, on the other hand, is very flexible and can be bent around corners,” saving as much as 30% in labor costs.
Benefits to the Jones Family
Guaranteed Peace of Mind
The residents of Tellico Village desperately wanted a resolution to their pinhole-leak problems with copper pipe. Uponor PEX tubing provided that resolution, as well as the peace of mind that comes with a 25-year limited warranty when the product is installed by Uponor-trained professionals like Marty Myers and his five-person crew.
No More Leaks
Clean and Easy Installation
||4,200 square feet|
||Wirsbo AQUAPEX |
|Amount of Tubing
||300 feet of 1/2" tubing|
400 feet of 3/4" tubing
||ProPEX® Fitting System|