Interviewer: There’s been a lot of information lately on Pex piping as people get their homes replumbed with that. I heard there’s concerns about it, what can you…can you shed any light on that whole idea of putting Pex in your home?
Rick Allen: Well there are quite a few concerns about the Pex piping. It seems like the greatest answer in terms of preventing pinhole leaks, and it certainly does not have a pinhole leak problem like copper plumbing does in today’s current water conditions, but there are concerns about the plastic off-gassing a variety of chemicals, many of which are considered to be carcinogenic. There are concerns about the ability for Pex to actually leech chemicals through it from the outside and have it taint the drinking water in the home. There’s certainly concerns about bathing in water that has been heated and run through plastic, hot water and plastic. There are a multitude of studies showing problems with regard to biofilm actually growing internally in the Pex, which is not something that occurs in copper materials.
Interviewer: Wait, what is biofilm? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that.
Rick Allen: Basically that’s a situation where you have bacteria, you know, catching hold on the pipe wall and growing. It’s virtually the ability for Pex tubing to grow slime internally, which then can overrun things or become an issue in the future. It’s certainly not something you would want to have in your home, a situation where you’ve got a particular type of tubing material that is actually breeding bacteria or enhancing the growth of bacteria on the interior of the entire pipe system.
Interviewer: So what can you offer as far as a solution to somebody that, you know, let’s say that they bought Pex and they’ve already got it in their house, it sounds like they’re a little bit maybe in danger, what can you do?
Rick Allen: Well we have to be cautious about that, but I will tell you we are severely concerned about what’s coming down the pipe with regard to what we’re learning about the Pex, you know, plastic tubing. The reality is we don’t know a lot about it right now, and the concerns are mounting, and I have a great deal of fear, actually, for production homebuilders, plumbers alike who are doing large volume in the Pex without us really knowing the long-term effects of it, both from a health standpoint and from basically a standpoint of possibly getting brittle if you don’t address the water quality issues. So to answer your question, what we wanna do for somebody who has re-piped a house in Pex, is we want to remove the chloramines and the aggressive chemicals that could possibly shorten the life of that Pex. So we wanna protect that new piping infrastructure. We wanna do what we can to minimize the growth of biofilm, and that’s a little trickier said than done. We certainly wanna make sure that we are doing everything possible to protect all of that plumbing, but again the chemicals and things that are coming in in the city water right now are highly aggressive and we’re seeing that because it’s eating through copper, but it’s certainly…
Interviewer: Is that like all districts around through Orange County and LA area, or?
Rick Allen: It’s very…it’s West Coast-driven, definitely from San Diego up through Santa Barbra, in through the Inland Empire, the Coachella Valley, but it’s not limited to that, there’s a lotta problems happening with this in Florida, in Texas, in Colorado. It definitely is a national situation, and the reality is we feel like we found the hot new material to solve one problem, but we don’t know yet what the ramifications are of using it.
If you’re concerned about the epidemic pinhole leak in South Orange County and you live in any of these cities: Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, El Toro, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, or San Juan Capistrano, you need to take control immediately and address your water chemistry to protect the copper plumbing infrastructure in your home, as well as your family’s health. So please give us a call with the number below and we’ll be happy to help you out.