Plumbing and HVAC Expert Witness Comments on Polyethylene Tubing

Plumbing and HVAC Expert Witness Russell Keeler of Chason Energy commented on an assignment involving PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) tubing:

“PEX was installed in a residence, and when the water was turned on, it was found that the domestic water was unusable, as the water was blue, caustic and toxic.  My investigation disclosed that the cause of the problem was a combination of brass fittings (an alloy of copper and zinc) and water with a high pH.  The high pH caused the zinc to go into solution as zinc hydroxide.  While the pH does not directly attack the copper, some copper goes into solution and creates copper hydroxide.  Copper hydroxide is blue, caustic and toxic.  The solution to the problem was to treat the incoming water, as it was too expensive to replace the fittings.”