Old wells, lots of things to fix (C) Daniel FriedmanPlastic Piping Leak Causes & Symptoms
Cause, cure, prevention of plastic pipe leaks in water supply or drain piping

  • PLASTIC PIPE LEAK CAUSES - CONTENTS: causes of leaks in plastic piping systems, both supply and drain. Causes of well or municipal water service piping leak. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe properties, installation, leaks & failures. Characteristics of a leak in the pipe between well or municipal water supply & the building. Effects of well or municipal water service piping leaks, diagnosis, effects, remedy. DEFECTIVE PVC PolyVinyl Chloride PIPING LAWSUIT, leaks, explosions, whistleblower; JM Eagle. Kitek® PLASTIC PIPE LEAKS, CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT, PlumbPex® PEX PIPE LEAKS, CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs abouit the causes of leaks in plastic piping in buildings
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Leaks in plastic water supply or drain piping:

This article series describes the causes of damaged or leaky buried plastic water pipe & resulting poor water pressure, poor water flow, or water leaks in water piping between a well or municipal water service main & the building. We include links to in-depth reports of pipe leaks occuring at various types & brands of plastic water supply piping & building drain piping and we provide a catalog of the most frequent causes of damaged or leaky plastic piping at buildings.

Knowing just what kind of leak is occurring in a building helps pinpoint the problem and also helps specify the necessary plumbing repair. The articles at this website will answer most questions about diagnosing and repairing pumps, wells, water supply systems, and building piping.

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What Causes Leaks in Plastic Piping?

Article Series Contents


Causes of Damage, Leaks, or Crimps in Buried Plastic Water Piping

Leaky plastic water pipe (C) Daniel Friedman

Inspect your plastic pipings connections carefully with the well piping under full pressure before burying the water piping.

Defective PVC Polyvinyl Chloride Pipe Production, Leaks, Explosions, & Whistle Blower Lawsuit - JM Eagle

JM Eagle facebook page image This topic has moved to



JM Eagle produces roughly 60 percent of plastic water piping sold in the U.S. and also distributes its products in Canada and Mexico and describes itself as

JM Eagle is the leading manufacturer of PVC and PE plastic pipe.... JM Eagle recently announced a 50-year warranty on its products*. Plastic-pipe products from JM Eagle will maintain their performance for the next 50 years or the company will replace them.

Early in 2010 New York Times reported that John Hendrix has accused PVC piping manufacturer JM Eagle of falsifying PVC pipe quality testing results, covering up the discovery that pipes that should last 50 years are failing as early as in one year, risking costly leaks and dangerous explosions.

In a review of news reports through March 2015, the failure rate and extent of failure of JM Eagle's PVC piping raised some troubling questions about the actual extent of and occurrence of damage.

See JM Eagle® DEFECTIVE PVC PolyVinyl Chloride PIPING LAWSUIT for details.

Kitec® PEX Plastic Pipe Fitting Leaks

Kitec pipe cross section view from Meacham (2003) patentDetails of this topic have moved to a separate article.


Excerpts are below.

Kitec PEX plastic piping was / is a composite tubing produced by IPEX and consisting of an aluminium tubing laminated between two layers of polyethylene or PEX of various comositions described by several U.S. Patents cited below.

Kitex® tubing was sold in Canada and the United States (and possibly other countries) for a wide range of applications including pressurized potable water piping and heating water piping for radiant heat floor systems.

Meacham's figure above, edited for clarity by InspectApedia, shows a cross-section of the three concentric sections of Kitec tubing. Flexible outer and inner layers 62 and 64 in the illustration are made of resilient and flexible non-metallic portions coating the extgerior and interior of a thin-walled flexible metallic pipe-66.

The Kitec piping system included both the flexible tubing collection of brass plumbing fittings & connectors intended for use with PEX type plastic piping. Kitec, also in some sources spelled Kyetec is a brand of brass plumbing fitting that was recalled in 2005 by its manufacturer, IPEX, due to its tendency to quickly corrode.

Plumb-PEX Plumbing System Class Action Settlement - PEX piping leaks

In March 2012 the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota court-ordered homeowner notification program was scheduled to begin.

People who own or previously owned a building where Plumb-PEX plumbing components were installed are notified of a proposed class action settlement involving Radiant Technology, Inc. and Uponor, Inc who sold Plumb-PEX insert fittings and stainless steel PEX tubing clamps.

Those components may have leaked, or may leak, causing building damage. The defendants denied all claims of the lawsuit but have agreed to settle the case. [14][15]

Plumb-PEX Settlement Details

RTI Plumb-PEX Plumbing System fittings and components including


Plumb-PEX Settlement Provisions

The settlement reimburses for property damage caused by a qualifying leak in the Plumb-PEX installation, and it provides for possible repair or replacement of the RTI Plumb-PEX installation in structures suffering two or more "qualifying" leaks.

Plumb-Pex Class Action Settlement Deadline

Watch out: If you are eligible for a claim under the Plumb-PEX settlement, you must file your claim within 18 months of the notification date of 22 March 2012

Leaks in Municipal Water Service Piping

JM Eagle facebook page image In 2015 JM Eagle, a large plastic pipe producer posted this remark on the company's Facebook page:

Cold weather dramatically increases the chance of a break as pipes expand and contract with temperature changes. On average, 400 to 500 water main breaks occur each year in [Washington D.C.] - JM Eagle on Facebook, retrieved 22 March 2015, original source:

Photo at left: the report cited above at Facebook.

[Click to enlarge any image]

As Carson Dunlop's Home Reference Book points out,

Plastic water service piping may be polybutylene (PB), polyethylene (PE), cross-linked and Tubing Tubing Tubing Tubing Tubing Tubing Tubing polyethylene (PEX), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC). Most plastic piping is buried at least 18 inches deep. [In freezing climates water piping is buried below the frost line, a depth that can exceed 8 feet in some areas.] Exposed piping may be subject to mechanical damage and deterioration from sunlight.

Since the supply line from the street cannot be seen, no comment is offered during a home inspection. If there is a leak, it may go undetected for some time. In some cases, water can be heard running outside the basement wall. Water accumulating in the basement or a wet spot on the lawn is often the first indication. Leaks may be caused by building settlement, excavation, poor connections, faulty valves or a flaw in the pipe itself.

The underground water service line from the property line to the house is owned by the homeowner. Beyond the property line, the pipe is the responsibility of the city. A leak in the pipe requires excavation, and it is often difficult to know whether the leak is on the city’s or the homeowner’s side.

The city is usually contacted and they excavate their section of the pipe, correcting the problem if they discover it. If no problem is found, the homeowner is left to correct the problem on his or her own. In some cases, the homeowner must pay for the city’s work if the city pipe is not at fault. Some municipalities use sophisticated leak detection equipment.

While the comments below originally described the cause of a leak in plastic well piping, the same conditions can cause a leak in buried municipal water supply piping between the building and the street. As Carson Dunlop's Home Reference Book points out,

Poor water pressure in the house may be the result of a partially closed or obstructed valve in the street. It may also be because of blockage, such as a stone or other foreign body in the pipe. New piping may be crimped during installation or become pinched under a rock during back-filling operations. This can also cause low water pressure.


Other Defective Piping Reports


Continue reading at PEX BRASS CONNECTOR LEAKS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.


Or see WELL PIPING LEAK DIAGNOSIS iIf your building water supply is provided by a private well see

Or see LEAK TYPES, WATER SUPPLY or DRAIN PIPES for help in finding leaks by understanding different types of leakage and when it occurs

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