Pex Piping Failure (RTI Uponor)

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    • #279801
      ianl

      I was wondering if any of the other members have experienced any failures that pertain to the RTI system recently. I have read a few threads, but it appears that the problem(s) have not been mentioned for some time. This product was manufactured by Uponor, but they have delisted the product from their sales catalog and it is no longer made. Regardless, this system has been installed in many homes across the nation.

      We continually have issues with either the actual fittings dezincifying and/or the Oetiker SS clamp breaking, both of which cause catastrophic damage. If anyone knows of issues that pertain to this product, please speak up.RTIUponorDUNBAR2007-08-24 09:49:52

    • #301707
      DUNBAR

      Do you have any information/links to this? I’ve heard of KITEC piping systems in Las Vegas closing up at the brass fittings and recently ZURN PEX brass fittings are now snapping/breaking off after a few short years due to how thin the brass fittings were made along with dezincification over time.

    • #301710
      chase05

      As far as links that pertain to this product, I have only found this thread:

      http://www.masterplumbers.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=6670

      It appears that these failures are attributable to the dezincification of the brass fitting, the expansion rates of the different materials (pex pipe, brass fitting and stainless steel ring) and the ring not sealing entirely around the fitting.

      Let me explain in more detail for each of the instances above as it is not the same issue that revolve around the Kitec fittings.

      There are three reasons the RTI fittings are failing.

      The first being dezincification. The zinc “leaches” out of the fitting in the form of a merangue once the water is introduced in the system (dezincification). This chloride-rich merangue then gets on the stainless steel ring and after a period of time eats through the ring. This process is called chloride induced stress corrosion cracking.

      Coupled with the issue, each of the materials used in this system expand and contract at different rates once hot water flows through the connection. The pex piping and the brass fitting expand and contract much more than the stainless steel ring primarily because the stainles steel ring has a higher tensile strength. So what you have is the internal materials of the connection (pex pipe and brass fitting) trying to expand once heat is introduced and the stainless steel ring trying to “stay put”. Well with the chloride merangue eating at the ring and the expansion of the brass and pex pipe “pushing” on the ring, a failure occurs.

      The last reason for the failure is that the stainless steel rings do not seal aroung the brass fitting entirely. The rings used leave a minute/microscopic “gap” where the head of the ring is sealed. That void in the seal allows for water to travel through the connection and after a period of time a “channel/grove” is created in the barbs of the brass fitting to the extent that it becomes a leak.

      The above mentioned failures are entirely different from the Kitec/Zurn issues that are prevelant in the Las Vegas area, and I believe are going to occur each time cheap brass and stainless steel rings are used in making connections.

      The only way to get around these failures is to get dezincified brass installed with a redeigned ring that is thicker and made of a different material (such as a Vangaurd copper ring) each time a connection is made.

      Thanks.

    • #301733
      Montucky

      RTI failures are increasing at an alarming rate. The Stainless Steel Clamp is breaking thus causing catastropic claims. Uponor is trying to mitigate their exposure and at present, in denial. The reply listed on 8-24-07 by chase 05 hits the nail right on the head. I have had failures nearing 100 in one market alone, damages in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Uponors reply is; “never heard of this before, it must be an installer error”. It takes about 18-36 months to surface with certain elements present. Be careful!     

    • #301740
      DUNBAR

      Thanks for the reply Montucky in regards to this product failure.

      Any and all information you can gather to share with the public eye is much appreciated.

    • #301746
      lila.godel

      Check out my “Jeff Spear,Uponor,Pex” and “PEX-Leaking blowing fittings H E L P !!” links at http://lila.godel.com/html/info-res.htm.

    • #301748
      r3vhead

      After using various PEX products, i have come to the conclusion that Rehau Rautitan system is the best by far!

      Never had a leak! Quick to install and most other pex products use either a o-ring or a crimp. The ‘memory” of the pipe always trys to expand back to its original shape, with Rehau the compression sleeve prevents this from happening.

    • #301933
      sraiter

      I am an attorney and am pursuing several cases against RTI and Uponor for this type of failure. I would like to learn more about failures you have experienced. I can be reached at sraiter@larsonking.com

      Thanks.

    • #301935
      DUNBAR
      sraiter wrote:
      I am an attorney and am pursuing several cases against RTI and Uponor for this type of failure. I would like to learn more about failures you have experienced. I can be reached at sraiter@larsonking.com

      Thanks.

      This site might be of help regarding these matters.   DUNBAR2009-07-07 11:28:42

    • #301939
      hamton

      I just had this happen in our kitchen which these fittings were installed this summer. I saw water downstairs in the rec room(beneath the kitchen) and thought the crimp ring had come loose. During the cutting of the PEX line to redo the ring the fitting ribbed end snapped off. I thought maybe the fitting had been cracked before installing it. Went back to Home Depot to get another one the sales staff handed me a different fitting saying it was a less costly one. Now I’m wondering if he knew what the problem was and was covering H.D. rear.

      This fitting was a Waterline product.

      I saw on the internet these fittings are to be certified (less than 15 % zinc) or proven dezincification-resistant yellow brass alloy.

      Obviously I’m going to pursue this with H. D. tonight and the fact I have more of these in the kitchen. I’ll have to get these changed quickly due to our water softener is probably the cause of this happening so fast.

    • #301944
      DUNBAR

      hamton,

      If you could post photos of your situation it would greatly help others that might be able to chime in with your exact situation.

      This is an old post but did you rectify the situation and did they work with you to find a resolution?

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