AWWA Issues Report on PEX Pipe Installation

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) recently released a report that can be used as a reference guide for the installation of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipe. Authored by the AWWA C904 Subcommittee of the Standards Committee on Polyolefin Pressure Pipe and Fittings, the report details the methods of manufacturing, material properties and the capabilities of the flexible pipe known for durability, performance characteristics and installation efficiency.
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?This report puts all pertinent information about PEX pipe in one place with a high level of information for municipalities and installers,? said Tony Radoszewski, executive director of the Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI). ?We regard this as another landmark document by the AWWA. The AWWA committee delineated the attributes of PEX pipe, and this information can now be readily used by any municipal engineer or plumbing system designer for reference or for inclusion in a proposal.?
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Published in the AWWA Journal?s March 2012 issue, the 12-page report also examines PEX pipe?s temperature and pressure capabilities, as well as its resistance to freezing, chlorine, corrosion, UV and chemicals. ?

?There are many different areas that were covered by the committee,” Radoszewski added. ?It was important that each also had to be verified with empirical research and testing. For example, the Hydrostatic Stress Board (HSB) of the PPI was instrumental in determining the long-term hydrostatic strength and recommended design stress values for thermoplastic compounds utilized in PEX pressure piping applications. ?

?The HSB is made up of engineers, chemists, scientists and others with expertise in thermoplastics and long-term strength testing, and is chaired by the PPI Technical Director. For the past 53 years, this group has made contributions that have set evaluation and usage guidance that has validated the performance of all thermoplastic pipes for a variety of applications ? gas, water, process, waste and industrial systems.?
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Primary authors were PPI staff members Camille Rubeiz, P.E., subcommittee chair and Randy Knapp, along with Sarah Chung of Jana Laboratories, Gary Morgan of Watts, Inc., Lance MacNevin of REHAU, Inc. Gary Runyan of Zurn PEX, Inc., and John Fishburne of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities, N.C.
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?AWWA C904 is very important also because it certifies the PEX pipe has been tested and certified for compliance with NSF/ANSI Standard 61 for drinking water system components,? Radoszewski said.

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