Water Testing After Pex Repipe
I live in South Orange County, California, a repiping companies paradise. A massive amount of newer homes are being forced to repipe due to copper failing and slab leaks. The pinhole leaks begin developing between 8 to 15 years after the home is built and sometimes sooner. The theory according to most is that the builders went cheap and installed copper M in the homes, while the water company uses cholormine which the Copper M can’t handle. Most repiping companies will recommend PEX A, but also market USA made Copper L for the repipe. Some of the repipe companies that have installed copper L said they have seen pinhole leaks develop 12 years after it being installed, even with the USA Copper L.
I’m inclined to use PEX on my repipe, but a couple neighbors who installed the PEX A still have a chemical smell in the water 30 to 90 days after installed. One neighbor who installed PEX over a year ago said the smell went away on high use areas, but still a year after can smell the water in sinks not used frequently.
I’ve seen some of the studies from Dr. Andrew Whelton about various pex brands and some of the chemicals found in the water including ETBE and MTBE. Most of the studies were short term focused 30 days or less, so its really hard to determine if PEX leaches chemicals in the water after the pipes have significant use over a long term.
It seems like the California Environmental Study on PEX was also concerned about short term impact of PEX since it makes all new installations flush twice to prevent construction workers from ingesting MTBE on a daily basis as they move from site to site. But does this mean PEX chemical leaching is only a short term impact on the water supply?
Has anyone installed PEX in their house and had a detailed lab water test analysis a year or two after the fact? I love to hear the results.
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