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Case study

Copper pipe leak repair with Uponor AquaPEX® 

Learn why the contractor chose Uponor for the repipe project to avoid pinhole-sized leaks in copper



Knoxville, TN

Project highlights

  • Upscale residential community near Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Plagued by chronic pinhole leaks in copper plumbing
  • Homes re-piped with Uponor AquaPEX®
  • Durable PEX immune to corrosion, pitting, scaling
  • Flexible, easy-to-route, less invasive for re-pipe
  • Fewer required fittings cuts install time, labor costs

Products used

  • 4,200 square feet
  • 300 feet of ½" Uponor AquaPEX
  • 400 feet of ¾" Uponor AquaPEX
  • ProPEX® Fittings

Tellico Village

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. And they weren’t the only ones. Several Tellico Village residents were dealing with the recurring problem of pinhole-size leaks in their copper water-supply pipe as well. 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.

Durable AquaPEX® is the solution

In the case of the Jones family, Marty Myers of A-1 Plumbing Co., Inc., was called in to investigate a permanent piping solution. After a thorough examination of all the alternatives, including CPVC, Myers chose Uponor AquaPEX® tubing. “We were amazed at how quickly it was installed,” said Patti Jones. “Also, we liked the fact that the PEX product was less invasive to our house than copper. Because the material is flexible, Marty was able to route the tubing through small holes he cut throughout the house. Copper would have been much more difficult to route, in addition to being messier.”

About 90% of the home was re-piped with PEX. The few areas that could not easily be reached — without requiring serious damage to the drywall — were left alone, despite the fact that pinhole leaks could occur at some point in the future in those areas as well. Neighbors Robert and Susan Brackenridge, on the other hand, did not want to take any chances. They decided to have Myers’ team re-pipe their entire 3,500-square-foot home. By the time Myers arrived, the water from the pinhole leaks caused major damage to one section of their ceiling.




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