PEX Tubing for Potable Water Plumbing

PEX or Cross-linked polyethylene is a form of polyethylene with crosslinked bonds. It is formed into plumbing tubes used for potable plumbing applications as a replacement to copper and PVC, and CPVC piping. PEX tubing ranges in size from imperial sizes of ¼” to 4″ in diameter however ½” ¾” and 1″ are most commonly used. PEX tubing works directly with PEX fittings. Metric PEX is 16/2025/32/40 mm in diameter. PEX tubing for plumbing has been used for much longer in Europe but is not becoming the plumbing material of choice for the North American market as well.

Almost all PEX is made from high density polyethylene (HDPE). PEX contains cross-linked bonds in the chemical polymer structure, changing the thermoplastic characteristics to a thermoset state. Crosslinks are accomplished at the point of or directly after the extrusion of PEX tubing. The degree of cross-linking, (to comply with ASTM Standard F 876-93, is from 65 to 89%. A higher degree of cross links could result in brittleness/stress-cracking of the PEX.

The high temperature properties of the PEX are improved by cross links. Adequate strength to 120-150°C maintains by reducing the flow tendencies. Chemical resistance is enhanced by dissolution resistance. Tensile strength, scratch resistance, and brittleness fracture resistance are also enhanced. PEX cables have a maximum conductor temperature of 90°C and a high rating to 140°C. This rating is the same on PEX fittings as well.

PEX material for plumbing projects was first prepared in the 1930s. The process was to irradiate the extruded tubes with electron beams. The beam-processing method was made developed in the 1970s but was still quite expensive. In the 60s, Engel PEX-linking was deployed. With this method, a peroxide chemical is mixed with the HDPE before extrusion, the cross-linking happens during the passage of a melted polymer through a long heated die. In 1968, the Sioplas process incorporating silane was patented, followed by another silane process called Monosil in 1974. Also a manufacturing process using vinyl-silane was developed and used in plumbing supplies in 1986.

The current classification in the US and Canada for PEX tubing is 0006, 0008, 1006, or 1008 numerals. In North America PEX tubing products perform to certain standards and should be rated for performance by ASTM (F876, F877), NSF body (NSF-pw, NSF 61, NSF 14, CL-TD, CL-R), and Canadian Standards Association CSA standards B137.5, for which they are tested. The certifications/listings met by the products are printed onto the tubing to be sure that the product is used for the application to which it was intended.

In the European standards there are three classifications are referred to as PEX-A, -B, and -C. The classes are not related to any type of rating system.

After installation, PEX-B material will have the same properties as PEX-A. PEX-C is produced with electron beams process, in “cold” linking (under the crystal melting point). It provides lower-degree crosslinks that are less uniform than through the Engel method, especially at diameters over 1″ (2.5 cm). When the process is not controlled well, PEX outer layers of the tubing becomes brittle over time affecting pex plumbing for potable plumbing water applications. Yet, it is still the cleanest, most environmentally efficient method of the three processes, because it does not involve any other chemicals and uses only high density energy electrons to split carbon/hydrogen bonds to facilitate cross linking.

Plumbing Courses

The plumbing profession employs both graduates of formal plumbing courses and people who have gained their experience on the job. This profession, however, is changing. Increasingly, governments are mandating that trades be regulated and licensed: all individuals entering the professional in an area where such legislation exists will have to have formal education in the trade and pass exams to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. At this time, anyone considering a career in plumbing should regard a training program as mandatory.

Plumbing school is comprehensive education in all aspects of the trade. Students learn how to read blueprints and follow the specifics of construction code. Construction of plumbing systems, including hot and cold water supplies, plumbing fixtures, waste water systems, venting techniques, and troubleshooting of leaks and other plumbing problems, is basic to the training. Plumbing courses also consolidate background knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology that the plumber needs to do the job with competence.

Plumbing school is a good career move at this time as the profession is growing and is expected to expand considerably more in some areas over the next five to seven years. Overall, an increase in demand of about 16 percent is expected across the United States. According to America’s Career InfoNet, the states of Idaho and Nevada, meanwhile, expect to need 40 percent more plumbers or more, with other states in that area also expecting large increases. Tradespeople, including plumbers, are also in great demand in many areas of Canada due to cutbacks in plumbing courses and other trades training programs in recent years.

Plumbers work for large and small construction firms, commercial and government complexes where constant maintenance is required, various industries, and many are self employed. On average, a plumber in the United States earns about $42,000 a year, with the scale ranging from around $23,000 to $70,000 annually. Graduates of plumbing courses have an obvious advantage in the job market: even where the profession is not regulated, prospective employers will often choose an educated individual over one they would have to train themselves.

Stats used from PayScale, America’s Career InfoNet, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Do You Need a Permit in Canada For Storage Buildings and Sheds on Your Property?

Adding storage buildings and sheds on your property can increase the value of your property and provide extra storage space. Whether you want to store tools, paints, lawn gear, or clutter from the home, a shed or storage building can be used to hold just about anything. When adding a building to your property you have to be aware of governmental guidelines.

When preparing to add or build a shed or storage building, you need to consider the location and size. The best thing to do is to check with your local permit office to learn about the necessary pemits that you will require before you install the building. Generally speaking, if a building is under 100 sq.ft., you will not need a building permit. Any size above 100 sq.ft., a permit is needed.

Permits are normally set by the provincial building code, but enforced by municipalities. Permits are required to ensure that zoning requirements for the town or city are met and that safety and fire codes are also met. Zoning regulations can usually be found in the town or cities zoning by-laws. Municipalities and towns may add specific zoning requirements for their area. Any structure being added to a property requires a permit that not only meet municipality and provincial regulations, but must also comply with the National Building Code of Canada

The location of the structure is very important. It cannot impact septic tanks, property lines, easements, utility lines, water, or drainage systems. In some places, there may be rules regarding where the building can be placed. For instance, there may be a by-law stating that one cannot place a structure within so many feet of a public road. As well, if you live in a subdivision or gated community, the propety association may have their own regulations that must be adhered to. For instance, the shed may have to be a specific size or color. Some subdivisions may not even allow a shed to be constructed.

When submitting an application, you may have to provide a diagram illustrating the location of the building. Included will be the location of water lines, power lines, septic tanks, and property lines.

The two most basic permits you might need are the development permit and building permit:

Development Permits: Development permits are associated with the design and appearance of the proposed building. It is usually regulated by a town, city, or municipality land use by-law.

Building Permits: Smaller shed or storage building projects may require a building permit. These permits are much simpler. If you require a building permit, you may also need additional permits such as electrical, plumbing and gas permits.

When constructing a large storage building, construction plans are required to obtain building and development permits, which may include:

–  A plan showing the dimensions of the planned building.

–  Cross-section building plan showing the material used for the roof, walls, and floor.

Depending on where you live, you may require an inspection through the building inspection department. As well, approval time depends on where you live. It could take a day or up to 10 days. Payment varys and is required when the application is submitted.

Sheds and storage buildings are a great way to increase storage space. Knowing the steps to securing a permit will make the installation process much quicker and easier.

Plumbing Training Is Worth It

If you’re thinking that the cost of that trade school, and its plumbing training, might not be worth the cost of attending, think again.

In the United States the median hourly pay for pipe layers was 13.68 – and that was for the last year the wages were studied – 2004. The wages have gone up some since that time. The lowest ten percent, those just starting out their on-the-job plumbing training, made only 9.19 per hour on average, while the highest 10 percent earned over 25.07.

Whats important to keep in mind about these figures, too, is that these are for all plumbers who, either in the midst of training, or having completed it, work for other plumbing or related companies. Plumbers who work for themselves may earn as much as 130 per hour. Of course, these are generally folks who are paying the overhead costs of the business, and perhaps people who work under them so its not all gravy.

Plumbing employees, once training has been completed, start out with some variation in wages depending on which industry they work in. If they are employed in natural gas distribution, for example, they make the highest hourly wage – 23.86. Those employed in the area of construction of non-residential buildings earn a median U.S. wage of 21.55 per hour. Plumbers working for contractors in the building equipment industry make approximately 19.85 per hour, while those in construction of utility systems earn about 18.29 per hour.

Local government pays the lowest of these categories – 16.30 per hour.
Apprentices, those still taking part in on-the-job plumbing training earn approximately half of the going media wage for experienced plumbers, pipe layers, steam fitters or pipe fitters. As their skills improve their wages increase. After a predetermined waiting period, these plumbing training apprentices receive benefits equal to their experienced co-workers.

The ten best known schools in the United States and Canada that offer plumbing training are Everest Institute in Houston Texas, National Institute of Technology in Long Beach Texas, Wyotech in Fremont, Calif., New England Institute of Technology in Warwick Rhode Island, Pennco Tech in Bristol Pa., Vatterott Colleges with two campuses in Missouri, Vancouver Career College with seven different locations in Canadas British Columbia, Eastwick Colleges in Patterson New Jersey, the online Professional Career Development Institute PCDI and Penn Foster Career School which is also entirely distance learning and Web-based.

At New England Institute of Technology, for example, the plumbing training can lead to either an Associates or Bachelors degree in plumbing technology. Students learn the latest technology in heating and plumbing, pipe fitting, drafting, blueprint reading, draining, vent, waste management, and troubleshooting. Completion of the plumbing training program at NEIT qualified the plumber to work as a pipe fitter, a plumbing contractor, or a water supply technician.

At PCDI you can learn at your own pace online or in print, and its monthly payment tuition program helps make your plumbing training affordable.

Plumbing Companies Adapt For Demand In New Services

The push for energy efficient products and services particularly for the needs of the average consumer is boosting the demand for new services in the plumbing industry.

In one main example, failing to preempt the demand for expertise in the installation and other particulars of gas tankless water heaters has impeded the wider availability of these energy efficient appliances.

Even with widespread federal support highlighted by tax incentives and private backing from the tankless water heating manufacturers that furnish consumers with additional inducements such as discounts and expanded warranties, the limited availability of plumbing services for this particular product has put off interested consumers.

Although the US has fallen behind its European and Asian counterparts and its other Northern American neighbor, Canada, in gas tankless water heater use, they are making a serious attempt at catching up. More and more consumers and industry service providers are realizing this. To that end, plumbing companies are adapting-albeit a tad late-to meet the demand.

Companies that provide the usual plumbing needs such as piping; garbage disposal; water heating; faucet, sink, toilet, sewer, and drain repairs and installation are scrambling to get plumbing professionals that can deliver expert service in newer, energy efficient technologies.

Throughout the years, the style and design and programs of these units happen to be modified and also developed leading them to more compact and hassle-free. Such units really are, more or less, available in compressed style with amazing functions for terrific performance. You could use these to be the point-of-use models, included on to your running water supply. Having an instruction manuals as well as installation guidebook, you can use them fixed over or in the basins, bath rooms or anyplace whereby these are needed.

Aside from environmental concerns, the need for energy conservation and efficiency is, to be blunt, driven by the economic benefits the consumers hope to derive from their investment. As appliances like gas tankless water heaters and other green products tend to cost more than their conventional equivalent, installing them in homes take a lot of thought and planning on the consumers’ part. Imagine planning to layout a substantial amount for such an appliance only to face difficulty in finding qualified experts for installation or repair and maintenance.

Finally acknowledging that they cannot beat the tides of change back, plumbing services companies have decided to join it. This is great news for consumers; this can mean wider choices in service providers and hopefully, more competitive prices.

As for the plumbing services industry, this is a reminder that keeping abreast with the changes in technology can benefit everyone in the long run.