In order to position yourself to take advantage of the expected increase in demand for residential fire sprinkler systems, you need a proven-reliable, cost-effective, easy-to-install piping system material. Here are 10 reasons why CPVC Piping CPVC pipe and fittings are the smart choice for all your residential fire sprinkler system installations and why, across the globe, they are specified more often than PEX for fire sprinkler applications by a wide margin.
#1 Superior hydraulics and water flow. BlazeMaster CPVC fire sprinkler pipe is manufactured to Iron Pipe Size (IPS) SDR 13.5 dimensions. This compares favorably to PEX pipe, which is manufactured to Copper Tube Size (CTS) SDR 9 dimensions. This major difference in internal diameter, which actually allows a ¾" PEX pipe to fit inside a ¾" CPVC pipe, allows for increased water flow.
#2 Lower total installed costs. Recent side-by-side cost comparisons, created as a result of designing different fire sprinkler systems for the same home, confirm that a CPVC fire sprinkler system—and more specifically, a stand-alone CPVC system— represents the most cost-effective alternative. Superior hydraulics, as previously discussed, is one reason as they can allow for pipe downsizing and reduce the number of sprinkler heads when using CPVC pipe. In order to deliver sufficient water flow to meet code, PEX pipe must often be upsized or installed with the addition of a separate pump—both of which add to the total cost.
#3 No “Bucket Test.” Per their respective UL listings, PEX multipurpose systems require a flow test (“bucket test”) after every installation is completed in order to obtain approval from the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) on the hydraulic performance of the system. This involves additional labor hours and scheduling of the AHJ to be on-site to witness the test. CPVC stand-alone and multipurpose systems are not required to perform this test, thus saving time and money on every system installed.
#4 Faster, easier installations. The use of BlazeMaster CPVC pipe and fittings leads to a fast and easy installation process—regardless of the pipe size. PEX, on the other hand, while considered by some installers to be highly flexible in smaller diameters under 1", loses much of its flexibility and becomes difficult to work with in diameters 1" and above. Due to water flow requirements, PEX pipe sizes 1 ¼" and larger are often required. At this size, PEX loses much of its installation benefits.
#5 More efficient material usage. A BlazeMaster CPVC system, which typically includes a tee and branch design, represents a more efficient design. PEX, in contrast, is installed using either a looped or network design—both of which use considerably more feet of pipe than a CPVC system. In addition to the environmental ramifications, this additional pipe also adds to the cost of the installation.
#6 Proven reliable joining system. The solvent cemented joints used in a CPVC system, when installed properly, have proven to be the most reliable part of the overall system, as they are stronger than the pipe or fittings alone. For other piping systems on the market today, the joint is the most vulnerable to leaks.
#7 No concerns regarding permeability. The chemical structure of PEX pipe makes it permeable to various solvent-based termiticides and household cleaners. This is the reason why some state codes (including California and Florida) require that PEX pipe be sleeved when installed underground where termiticides are being applied.
#8 Universal approvals (no jurisdiction restrictions). Still today, more than 20 years since the concept for a combined fire sprinkler/ plumbing system was first introduced, multipurpose systems are not approved in many jurisdictions. Since PEX is only approved for use in multipurpose systems, there are limits as to where it can be installed. BlazeMaster CPVC, in comparison, is approved for stand-alone and multipurpose systems.
#9 Longer track record. BlazeMaster CPVC fire sprinkler systems have been successfully installed for nearly 30 years. They are today featured in thousands of residential and commercial installations in more than 60 countries.
#10 Superior safety performance. BlazeMaster CPVC exhibits outstanding flame and smoke properties. It will not sustain burning or support combustion, largely because of its very high Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI). This means that there is not enough oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere to keep it burning on its own. PEX, on the other hand, will continue to burn long after the flame has been removed. In addition, any smoke that is generated from CPVC is no more toxic than that from traditional building materials, such as wood.
Even with CPVC piping, make sure to get to know your system so that you can keep the fire sprinkler system working.
For additional background on why BlazeMaster CPVC pipe and fittings remain the most specified non-metallic fire sprinkler system on the market today, visit: