Investigators into failures of installed thermoplastic water piping systems often do not have sufficient knowledge of the types or classes of failure and their causes to make a proper analysis of problems in this area because of the newness of thermoplastic piping. The authors, who have had extensive detailed and long-term experience in this field (40 and 28 years respectively), decided it would be helpful to users, manufacturers, installers, piping engineers, code officials, and other interested parties if a concise treatment of this topic was presented.
The types or classes of failure found in thermoplastic water piping systems are burst, damaged pipe and/or fittings, and leaking joints. The causes of these failures are improper system design, overpressurization, use of materials not intended for manufacture of piping components, non-standard materials, contaminated materials, improper manufacture, improper handling, faulty installation, poor joints, and the installed system being damaged by third parties. These topics are discussed in detail. A list of publications that describe procedures and recommendations to reduce failures in service is given.
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