Contractors often install pipes, water-based heat transfer systems, sprinkler systems, and drain lines components made of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) because they're less expensive, and easier, to work with than those made of metal. These pipes and fittings can cause serious - and costly - damage when they leak or burst.

CPVC components can fail for a variety of reasons. Because this material is a thermoplastic made by combining raw materials, one or more ingredients might be faulty. Errors in manufacturing can lead to defects in the extrusion or injection-mold processes. Other potential risks include inadequate warnings, and improper shipping and handling.

To minimize your exposure to losses when working with products made of CPVC, construction risk management professionals recommend that you:

  • Use proper handling and storage procedures - for example, avoid exposing CPVC components to sunlight.
  • Make sure that the booster pump pressure is not too high when designing the piping system.
  • Do not use CPVC components in pressurized-air applications.
  • Review assembly techniques carefully.
  • Check the type of adhesive used, and the amount (the Goldilocks principle).
  • Set the right amount of dry time.
  • Inspect the alignment of pipes and fittings.

Last, but not least, do not mix CPVC pipes and fittings with those made from its distant cousin, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which has different chemical properties, physical characteristics, and capabilities.

Of course, most of these precautions apply just as well to installing pipes or fittings made of any material.

As always, our agency's Construction insurance professionals would be happy to offer their advice on keeping your workplace as safe as possible. 

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