PEX fitting failures

Mike Fromme

Burning Hunk
Apr 18, 2014
213
64
103
Maine
Anyone else having failures?

I had this one burst last Friday. Luckily I was home and heard it... 1" main supply line to my manabloc. The 'brass' is corroding and is very brittle.

There were two other 90's. One twisted apart when I touched it. The other looked brand new, but I cut it out anyways. There was corrosion on the inside of the fitting.

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Bob Rohr

Minister of Fire
Jan 9, 2008
1,268
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SW Missouri
It seems odd that the crimp ring has green fuzz? Looks like water quality may be part of the failure.

What brand? Some of the early high-zinc, yellow brass dezincified, I think there was a settlement from Zurn maybe.

Check the water ph. Glad you caught it right away.

sagewater.com has some info about the yellow brass fittings
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,272
986
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WI, Leroy
seems to me and I am no expert that running pex and having a brass fitting corroding indicates a acidic problem in your heating solution/ medium. For me hopefully the shark bites and the pex + copper lines are going to hold for a few years. Had A 1/2" line blow out Sat. copper line that had a galvanized nipple in it - hot water - Galvanic action rotted the galvanized nipple. Same will happen on a cold line just takes longer. Too bad the plumber that put this in is long gone or there would be some serious discussions/repercussions.
 

DaveBP

Minister of Fire
May 25, 2008
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SW Maine
I'm in Southern Maine and my well water does the same thing to copper and brass, too. Highly acidic here.

Is that the same water that flows through your boiler? It can do the same thing to steel and black iron pipe.
 

Mike Fromme

Burning Hunk
Apr 18, 2014
213
64
103
Maine
My collection of failed fittings is growing. :( probably 10 or so. Starts out as a very slow weeping leak that causes that green corrosion. Then a slight drip. I've had two burst that were in areas that I didn't notice the corrosion. It's not the crush ring failing. Always the fitting.

They've all been on the domestic water side. None on the heating pipes. Though I'm not sure they are the same brand fittings.

They are q-Pex (Zurn) from about 10 years ago. I have had my water tested every couple years. High iron, hard water. PH has been on the high side of normal.
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jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,067
1,355
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Long Island NY
Jeez what a pain, sorry to hear it but thanks for posting this problem. Contractors have used some pex in my 1960's house during renovation. I will have to check and see how the fittings are faring.
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
156
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N.W. Ohio
Maybe the plastic fittings are better after all ? I usually use the metal ones but maybe I should switch.
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
156
803
N.W. Ohio
I didn't realize there were plastic pex fittings.
Yes, and they are cheaper to buy than the metal ones. I'm not sure how well they would hold up to high heat like from a boiler though.
 

Mike Fromme

Burning Hunk
Apr 18, 2014
213
64
103
Maine
I saw that settlement. Not worth even filling out the paperwork in my case. No real damage and I fixed the pipe myself. So I'm only out a few bucks.

I am lucky though. All of the pex is homerun from the manabloc to the individual faucets. There are no fittings hidden in the walls. Not even the copper stub outs.

I spent some time looking at things in the basement. None of the fittings on the boiler system are zurn and look in great shape. I have one more zurn fitting that is just beginning to show corrosion that will be easy to change. FWIW I do have a few non zurn fittings on the domestic water pipes that appear to be fine as well. Seems like this is a problem specific to a certain batch of fittings.
 
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Mike Fromme

Burning Hunk
Apr 18, 2014
213
64
103
Maine
I'm in Southern Maine and my well water does the same thing to copper and brass, too. Highly acidic here.

Is that the same water that flows through your boiler? It can do the same thing to steel and black iron pipe.
Same water but I used wood boiler solution when I filled the system. I've looked for signs of corrosion when I changed a few components without seeing any signs of trouble.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,598
1,398
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Northern NH
The zurn lawsuit was preceded by a much larger lawsuit on some variety of plastic pipe. I have the Uponor/Wisbro fitting in at least one hidden spot that I really hope lasts forever.
 
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Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
862
310
803
Northern Maine
Northern Maine user of Wirsbo here. Good water. Home run to manifolds for everything. No sign of any corrosion in 10 years.