A report that can be used as a reference guide for the installation of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipe has been issued by the American Water Works Association (AWWA). Authored by the AWWA C904 Subcommittee of the Standards Committee on Polyolefin Pressure Pipe and Fittings, the report details the methods of manufacturing, material properties, and the capabilities of the flexible pipe known for durability, performance characteristics, and installation efficiency.
"This report puts all pertinent information about PEX pipe in one place with a high level of information for municipalities and installers. We regard this as another landmark document by the AWWA," states Tony Radoszewski, executive director of the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), the major trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry. "The AWWA committee delineated the attributes of PEX pipe, and this information can now be readily used by any municipal engineer or plumbing system designer for reference or for inclusion in a proposal."
Published in the JOURNAL AWWA, March 2012 issue, the 12-page report also examines PEX pipe’s temperature and pressure capabilities as well as its resistance to freezing, chlorine, corrosion, UV, and chemicals. "There are many different areas covered by the committee," Radoszewski states, "and it was important that each also had to be verified with empirical research and testing. For example, the Hydrostatic Stress Board (HSB) of the PPI was instrumental in determining the long-term hydrostatic strength and recommended design stress values for thermoplastic compounds used in PEX pressure piping applications. The HSB is made up of engineers, chemists, scientists, and others with expertise in thermoplastics and long-term strength testing and is chaired by the PPI technical director. For the past 53 years, this group has made contributions that have set evaluation and usage guidance that has validated the performance of all thermoplastic pipe for a variety of applications — gas, water, process, waste, and industrial systems."
Primary authors were PPI staff members Camille Rubeiz, P.E., subcommittee chair, and Randy Knapp, plus Sarah Chung of Jana Laboratories; Gary Morgan of Watts, Inc.; Lance MacNevin of REHAU, Inc.; Gary Runyan of Zurn PEX, Inc.; and John Fishburne of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities, N.C. and committee chair.
"AWWA C904 is very important also because it certifies that PEX pipe has been tested and certified for compliance with NSF/ANSI Standard 61 for drinking water system components," Radoszewski adds. The report can be found at the AWWA website: