Zurn Pex Plumbing Liability Litigation

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dlabrie

Member
Apr 23, 2015
52
Campton, NH
I had a leak in a Pex brass fitting. When I took it out this is what I found.

After some research, I came across this litigation site that covers millions of Zurn Pex F1807 Fittings.
I have a lot of this type of fitting and a lot of you may also. I read that there are around 70 million in service!
David
 

Thenewguy

New Member
May 4, 2015
21
Connecticut
What was it installed in heat or domestic drinking water. How long was it in service and are you on well water or city water? It is very possible that if you have well water something in the water could eat away at brass fittings. Brass doesn't break down for no reason.
 

dlabrie

Member
Apr 23, 2015
52
Campton, NH
What was it installed in heat or domestic drinking water. How long was it in service and are you on well water or city water? It is very possible that if you have well water something in the water could eat away at brass fittings. Brass doesn't break down for no reason.
Yes I have well water, but according to my reading, these fittings are defective even in potable water. This one was on my FHW system for 10 years. They are guaranteed for 25. I have other brass fittings in my house that are 40 years old and don't look like this.
 

ccmac

Burning Hunk
Jan 1, 2014
200
Indiana
I just plumbed my house a couple months ago (new construction). I used a pex made by Wirsbo, also called Aquapex. I really like it for several reasons but one specifically was that it did not use crimped fittings. It uses pex collars that are slid on the ends and then expanded with a tool and they then quickly constrict over your fitting (plastic in my case). I just felt like the crimped fittings were too risky because there are many variables that could prevent a perfect crimp at every joint. I realize the crimped fittings was not your issue. Anyway, I turned my water on the entire house 2 weeks ago and had no leaks!! Pretty amazing because I never plumbed anything in my life. God surely blessed me but I do really like the Aquapex. YouTube it.
 

heaterman

Minister of Fire
Oct 16, 2007
3,373
Falmouth, Michigan
Chinese brass = not "real" brass.

Nearly all of the OWB sellers/dealers use the cheapest fittings they can source. There is a reason they are cheap.
It's not isolated to Zurn fittings.
Flow rate/head have a lot to do with it also.
 

dlabrie

Member
Apr 23, 2015
52
Campton, NH
I just plumbed my house a couple months ago (new construction). I used a pex made by Wirsbo, also called Aquapex. I really like it for several reasons but one specifically was that it did not use crimped fittings. It uses pex collars that are slid on the ends and then expanded with a tool and they then quickly constrict over your fitting (plastic in my case). I just felt like the crimped fittings were too risky because there are many variables that could prevent a perfect crimp at every joint. I realize the crimped fittings was not your issue. Anyway, I turned my water on the entire house 2 weeks ago and had no leaks!! Pretty amazing because I never plumbed anything in my life. God surely blessed me but I do really like the Aquapex. YouTube it.
I have some of that in my house as well. I really like it. I remember looking at it and the expansion tool was quite expensive. But after this problem with the Zurn fittings, I will use that in the future.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,054
Northern NH
I bit the bullet a few years ago and bought the hand tool for wirsbro. I really like the system. Sure the fittings are expensive but I don't think anyone else makes them so the quality control is good. Of course Wirsbro had a product liability case years ago.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
6,788
Eastern Central PA
Chinese brass = not "real" brass.

.
This chinese stuff always comes back to bite us in the A$$. Probably 2c cheaper than american or canadian made. I checked my red and blue PEX pipes rolls and one is US made and one is Made in Canada. Recently read that chinese Pex pipe is toxic.
 
I do not think the use of crimp rings is going to have anything to do with a corrosion failure on a fitting.
Unfortunately, poor metallurgy on the water side is another story. I would expect to see more failures on DHW loops than space heating loops.
 

Bob Rohr

Minister of Fire
Jan 9, 2008
1,265
SW Missouri
I do not think the use of crimp rings is going to have anything to do with a corrosion failure on a fitting.
Unfortunately, poor metallurgy on the water side is another story. I would expect to see more failures on DHW loops than space heating loops.
I had a leak in a Pex brass fitting. When I took it out this is what I found.

After some research, I came across this litigation site that covers millions of Zurn Pex F1807 Fittings.
I have a lot of this type of fitting and a lot of you may also. I read that there are around 70 million in service!
David

Looks like dezincification. Bad alloy, high temperature and O2 rich environment are all part of the equasion. it happened to some of the big "name" brands also.
Most all potable water brass alloy is DR or DZR brass, if it's from a reputable manufacturer.
 

Buzz Saw

Minister of Fire
Jan 18, 2014
523
Attica, Ohio
Chinese brass = not "real" brass.

Nearly all of the OWB sellers/dealers use the cheapest fittings they can source. There is a reason they are cheap.
It's not isolated to Zurn fittings.
Flow rate/head have a lot to do with it also.
Can you find fittings(1/2"-1-1/2") made in the USA? If they are out there I would love to use them.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,363
Nova Scotia
I had a leak in a Pex brass fitting. When I took it out this is what I found.

After some research, I came across this litigation site that covers millions of Zurn Pex F1807 Fittings.
I have a lot of this type of fitting and a lot of you may also. I read that there are around 70 million in service!
David
Did you treat your OWB water annually?
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,054
Northern NH
Since you are in Campton NH (I will be down at Welch Dickey tomorrow) , you are most likely on well water. Have you had it checked?. Sometimes in rare occasions metallurgy and water quality line up to eat fittings but the standard for open systems is copper/bronze. I have also seen similar damage due to cavitation/high velocity issues. Generally cavitation is restricted to pump suctions and impellers and you will know it by the noise. Few folks run a high enough velocity to eat fittings. So barring corrosive water, my bet is cheap fittings.
 

Bob Rohr

Minister of Fire
Jan 9, 2008
1,265
SW Missouri
Can you find fittings(1/2"-1-1/2") made in the USA? If they are out there I would love to use them.

Agreed, it is getting tough to find domestic brass, and even if it meets the Buy America Act, a component may not be entirely made here.

It is possible to get quality parts built in China, many large and familiar US and European companies manufacture in PRC. The difference is the quality control, and constant monitoring. The first samples and batches are perfect, but then the products tend to slide in quality, unless you has an onsite quality control dept.

Turkey seems to be taking a lot of that production away from China these days, due mainly to quality control.

Without a doubt Italy produces the finest brass and alloy components in the world, they are well known for that industry from hardware to faucets to HVAC components, but it can be a bit higher priced.
 

Willman

Minister of Fire
Jan 15, 2008
670
Sabattus Maine
but it can be a bit higher priced.
Still a lot less money than redoing down the road in an occupied house.
Theres short term cost and long term cost. Take your pick.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
6,788
Eastern Central PA
China is well known for shipping us toxic goods, ther is no oversight on either side of the pacific.
 

heaterman

Minister of Fire
Oct 16, 2007
3,373
Falmouth, Michigan
Can you find fittings(1/2"-1-1/2") made in the USA? If they are out there I would love to use them.

Most of the good stuff comes from Europe, Italy specifically. Viega or Caleffi if you want good consistent quality.
 

Buzz Saw

Minister of Fire
Jan 18, 2014
523
Attica, Ohio
Most of the good stuff comes from Europe, Italy specifically. Viega or Caleffi if you want good consistent quality.
Viega, made in USA! This one 1/2". Bought it at the local supply house, and their prices were better than Home Depot.

The valves the supply house carry are made in Italy. I believe Legand was the brand they carry.

 

jrod770

Member
Oct 22, 2013
117
granville, ohio
Viega, made in USA! This one 1/2". Bought it at the local supply house, and their prices were better than Home Depot.

The valves the supply house carry are made in Italy. I believe Legand was the brand they carry.

That is odd. We only use Viega crimp fittings, when we're not running copper. Our Viega crimp fittings have either 6 or 7 smaller ribs as opposed to the 3 ribs that the one pictured has. I don't know what the difference is, but I have never seen a Viega fitting like that.
 

Buzz Saw

Minister of Fire
Jan 18, 2014
523
Attica, Ohio
New style of fitting?
I don't think so. I bought Viega fittings their 8 years ago and they looked the same. I've never seen the kind with 5 ribs. I even looked on Viega's website and couldn't find them.....

Different fittings for potable water vs non potable water?
 

Buzz Saw

Minister of Fire
Jan 18, 2014
523
Attica, Ohio
-I thought that style was push lock style or a pro press type fitting.
-So with this style the crimp ring is built in?
-Can the fittings be reused like the style I posted?
- The style I posted used the copper crimp ring, like the style you see at Home Depot, etc.
 
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