Schedule 80 Pipe Leaks on Copper Joins for Well Water Treatment System?

We have experienced catastrophic/basement flooding leaks using Schedule 80 piping on our well water treatment system 3 different times now, even though the plumbing was installed by two different experienced, licensed plumbers who both claim they have never seen Schedule 80 piping fail in this way.
The main plumbing in our house is copper. The water comes out of the well pump (60 psi) into white plastic (Schedule 40?) line and then flows through Schedule 80 piping to a retention tank and then through Schedule 80 piping again to copper piping to the filtration/water softening tanks which have Schedule 80 joins then back out into the copper lines to the house. Our well water has a lot of sediment and iron in it but generally no other harmful chemicals.
The first two leaks occurred when the Schedule 80 pipe cracked at the join with both the filtration and water softening tanks. The first plumber appears to have replaced the Schedule 80 pipe with Schedule 40 pipe and it seems to have fixed the problem (although our second plumber is confused as to why Schedule 40 would work when Schedule 80 did not). The third time we had a failure it was at the elbow join between Schedule 80 piping from the retention tank into the copper house lines. The join split completely.
I am just curious if anyone else has experienced this and/or if you might have any explanations why this occurred or what to do to prevent these breaks from occurring in future. Thanks for any information!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

piping on our well water treatment system 3 different times now, even though the plumbing was installed by two different experienced, licensed plumbers who both claim they have never seen Schedule 80 piping fail in this way.

(60 psi) into white plastic (Schedule 40?) line and then flows through Schedule 80 piping to a retention tank and then through Schedule 80 piping again to copper piping to the filtration/water softening tanks which have Schedule 80 joins then back out into the copper lines to the house. Our well water has a lot of sediment and iron in it but generally no other harmful chemicals.

both the filtration and water softening tanks. The first plumber appears to have replaced the Schedule 80 pipe with Schedule 40 pipe and it seems to have fixed the problem (although our second plumber is confused as to why Schedule 40 would work when Schedule 80 did not). The third time we had a failure it was at the elbow join between Schedule 80 piping from the retention tank into the copper house lines. The join split completely.

any explanations why this occurred or what to do to prevent these breaks from occurring in future. Thanks for any information!
Two thoughts. Schedule 80 is more rigid and perhaps, for some reason, it is getting stressed and cracked while the S40 flexes.
The S80 was made by the outfit mentioned in another tread and is defective.
OK a third thought. The warehouse has the S80 pipe sitting in the yard for the past 15 years exposed to UV light and both guys bought from the same batch.
Seem like S80 is overkill anyway. I know of a couple of softeners that run about 300 to 500 GPH through them and have been working well with S40 for the past 10 years.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A buddy had a problem like the OP......
He traced it to a former owner accidently using non pressure tested PVC....
He ended up replacing about 300 feet of lines
forget what the wrong line was marked.......
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Who was the schedule 80 made by? What is the name of the manufacturer?
On Friday, October 12, 2012 2:58:36 PM UTC-7, Nona wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Can you feel any vibrations in the pipe in the vicinity of the failures, over a period of time that could cause the failures.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I actually think plastic pipe is reliable. But if I ever had *one* catastrophic failure with it, I don't think I'd ever use it again, at least not in any place where failure could be catastrophic.
That said, I've seen a few hack jobs with the installation of the stuff.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How about some photos of the locations of the failures?
What are the details of the points of failure? Male copper threads into into female PVC threads?
Over tightening of threaded joints? Incompatible pipe dope on failed joints?
Sunlight, over tightening of threaded joints (metal into PVC), crappy solvent joints using "Red Hot" and Sch A that was mechanically damaged are my only experiences with failed PVC in over 40 years of use.
If your failures involved threaded joints...maybe the fittings were bad or overtightened? Source of the fittings? Country of mfr?
cheers Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
make certain the pipes and fittings arent marked DWV... that stands for drain waste vent and is NOT designed for pressure applications!!
With the ease of use and low cost of PEX today its probably a better choice.....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thank you all for your comments and follow-up questions! I went back and found the photos from all the leak situations.
First, an additional detail that all of these failures occurred within approximately one week of their initial installation.
It turns out my question is more than just about Schedule 80 piping. From looking at the photos, the first two leaks were not with Schedule 80 piping but with something else (PEX? S40?) I am not a plumber so I can't tell you what kind of piping this was. This plumbing has now been replaced with mostly copper with some S40 and S80 parts (none of which have failed, knock wood, so far).
I uploaded some photos here where you can see the failures and for the first two failures, the plumbing that fixed the situation. http://imgur.com/a/S71oH
As for the current S80 failure, someone asked for details on the kind of pipe it was. The piping is marked "Charlotte Pipe Truefit System, 1 1/4" PVC 1120, Sch 80, 520 PSI." It says it is "Made in the USA."
There does not appear to be any vibration issues with the plumbing that we are aware of although the second plumber indicated this "might" be an issue with regard to the S80 failure. The well pump is a submersible pump located well away from the house.
Because the prior failures with our system were not with this kind of piping, I would appreciate any insight on whether you feel the failures were due to the piping used, the plumbers' skill or something else related to the system itself.
We are just trying to figure out why these plastic joins keep breaking on us so that when we inevitably need to repair or upgrade the water treatment system in the future we can do so without fear of flooding and can contemplate finishing off our basement. Thank you!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It's hard to tell from the pics exactly where the leak is, but it looks like it's leaking where they screwed a brass male fitting into a female PVC adapter. When you do that, sometimes the plastic can crack, particularly if it's over tightened. If possible, I would always try to do it so that you use a female brass fitting going on to a male plastic adapter. That is how they appear to have done it in the repair photo.
Fron the earlier description you also said an elbow split. But was this an elbow that was glued at both ends or was it an elbow that had female threads on one end? If it has threads, then it could be the same problem as above. It's rare for a glued elbow to split, unless it's subjected to some unusual forces, most likely some kind of tension from the way the pipes are secured.
I think the focus on the pipe is completely misdirected. From everything indicated, it's not the pipe that is failing, it's the fittings. And that pipe is from a major US supplier, who's products are widely used. I've used them for years with no problems. The fittings, who knows.....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

the piping used, the plumbers' skill or something else related to the system itself.

My money is on the installation. I think you need a better plumber.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Replace it all with copper and the problem is over.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.