In a testing lab owned by Lubrizol, an engineer claims that he received a parcel containing a piece of degraded CPVC pipe, and this package was not the first. The engineer says he confronted officials in the Lubrizol marketing department about the damaged pipe pieces, and suggested that there may be a problem with the product, but the executives ignored him. Now the public is discovering the truth, and companies like Lubrizol might be responsible for billions of dollars in damages.
What Makes CPVC Fire Sprinklers Dangerous?
Experts have discovered that CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride) piping is sensitive to several different chemicals commonly used at construction sites. This means that chemicals such as antimicrobials, anticorrosives, cutting oils, fire retardants, joint compounds, pesticides, and termiticides can break down the resin is these pipes. Such corrosion can lead to leaks or blowouts that could depressurize fire sprinkler systems and leave them inoperable in the event of a fire.
How To Fix The Problem?
Owners of condominiums all over the U.S. are discovering that the piping in their fire sprinkler systems is defective. Luckily, only buildings constructed between 2004 and 2009 are suspected of containing the faulty tubing, but repairing these systems is estimated to cost millions of dollars per building. Any tenants living in these buildings would be forced to move out of their condos and could suffer property value losses once work is completed.
“Using CPVC pipe for the fire sprinkler systems without testing if it was compatible with commonly used construction products in condominium buildings is reckless and tantamount to saying that it is safe to fly a plane using new/untested parts and without a pre-flight safety check,” Colson Hick Eidson informs the press.