Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) piping has grown to be a popular substitute for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping in newer construction homes in Alabama. Most of its popularity stems from PEX’s ease of installation, use and less fittings. This ease of use allows for quicker installation compared to PVC or copper plumbing systems.
Originally invented in the 1950’s, PEX’s design was improved by Thomas Engel and Dow Corning in the 60’s and marketed to all of Europe as an easy substitute for copper in the plumbing and heating industries. Two decades later, PEX was brought into the United States for radiant heating systems, but it was not until recently where the heating and plumbing industries started installing PEX products for potable water.
Recent Lawsuits Based on PEX Plumbing System Failures
However, recent lawsuits have shed light on the failures PEX plumbing systems bring and prove that they aren’t as good of a substitute as originally assumed. Failures in the PEX plumbing systems have been seen in the fittings as well as the piping. Most notable is when the PEX plumbing fittings fail and causes leaks with massive damage.
PEX Can Become Vulnerable When Exposed to Certain Solutions
In addition to the products design failures, the product becomes vulnerable when exposed to certain solutions, including petroleum products and oxygen, causing toxic chemicals to seep from the PEX material. Tap water contains small amounts of chlorine, since most our tap water comes from water treatment facilities. Oxidations can occur once the chlorine passes through the PEX piping, causing the piping material to degrade.
To combat the effects of degradation due to chemicals, manufacturers added antioxidants to the piping material. However, the chemicals have the same effect on the antioxidants and over time the antioxidants degrade, making way for the chemicals to have their turn with the PEX materials. The level of degradation in the piping material depends solely on the level of chemicals in the water.
Risk of Contamination of Tap Water
Similarly, when PEX piping is used underground, the piping can come into contact with tap water as well as ground water. There are certain areas of our country where the ground water is contaminated with pesticides or petroleum products and these chemicals can also seep through the piping and into the tap water causing the tap water to become contaminated.
Increasing Lawsuits in Newer Construction
These failures are surfacing in great numbers as newly constructed homes are undergoing severe damages as a result of PEX plumbing systems. As the number of failures rise, the number of lawsuits are being filed by plaintiffs who have suffered massive damage to their new homes.
If Your Home Has Suffered Major Damage, Call Us Today
Our firm is currently working on PEX plumbing lawsuits with clients who have experienced massive damages to homes less than 10 years old. You may have a legal claim if you or a loved one has a newly constructed home where PEX materials were used to installing the heating and plumbing systems. Please give our attorneys a call to discuss your options. 205-324-1212