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reelturner 03-06-2012 11:11 AM

Residential well water issues ..... low PH
I am a HO from central North Carolina and want to ask you for some info. I just registered and was told of this forum by a member from the site that he said this was a sister site to that one. So I came here for info on re plumbing my house.

Some history is I lived at my current location since '86 and back then the copper was brittle to touch that it was so thin in places. So me and my brother in law re-plumbed my one bath house with polybutylene pipe/with copper fittings.

I have acidic well water where I live and have read up on all about the problems with acidic water corroding up my copper pipe and now my polybuteylene copper tee's , elbows, etc.. .

I have had my PH checked 4 or 5 times and the writing is on the wall. All with a ph of below 7. I had a new well drilled in the fall of '93 and since then re plumbed my house with the grey quest pipe....I never had any problem with it either, just the fittings. Now I have about 1/2 of the house with pex and the other 1/2 with Quest.

I just have some questions regarding the brass vs poly alloy fittings that I can purchase at Lowes and even though I am going to install the neutralizer should I just go on with using the brass??

I have some local water systems business near me that I have recently purchased a acid neutralizer sold by Watersoft.


Arthur Moody posting as "reelturner" from NC

The above is the private message that I posted on the plumbingzone forum and have received input to my questions.

After coming over here to this site I have found numerous topics to my questions and just wanted to introduce myself as a new member.

I realize that adding a acid neutralizer will/should prevent any further corrosive water issues as all my water tests only show abnormal results from the low PH.

I have had 4 or 5 water tests with a PH of 6, 6.2, 6.8, 6.96, 6.3, and one of the last ones was 5.5 (I do question this one as to so much of a difference from all the others in the 6 range. Note: The PH test were in random order and the PH did not reflect a increasing trend as I typed it)

Daniel Holzman has said what I have discovered all along with faulty brass fittings and the lawsuits resulting from them. I am aware of though that with inferior brass or quality control on top of having a acidic water I guess there was no hope for me. I have read that alot of the faulty fittings were manufactured in Korea and Sweden. I do know that I have NEW unused brass pex fittings laying around out of the rain, under shelter and they have started to show signs of pitting inside them and I would dare to never think of using them in my water lines. So after doing research and reading up about this I think I am still going to buy the poly alloy fittings made from a high performance polymer virgin plastic.

One of my concerns was the polyalloy fittings ID is smaller than a brass fitting ID, although I still know I will have a neutralizer installed. ???? How much difference would I notice or if any at all of the amount of flow?? I have now and will go back to the trunk and branch method, 3/4 trunk and branching off to 1/2 to the sinks, commodes, tub, washer.

Like Daniel Holzman earlier mentioned not all components are to be found in plastic even though recently I have seen plastic cutoffs valves. So in short I guess with a neutralizer and if I decide to go with poly alloy I hope I will be eliminating all my corrosive water issues. Now If I just had the long track history of poly alloy with water flow then maybe I would be set.

This is my situation,....thanks.


Daniel Holzman 03-06-2012 11:36 AM

I am not certain about the term poly alloy. There is NO metal in any of the plastic fittings I have purchased for my Wirsbo PEX tubing. The term alloy generally refers to metal, so I would assume that the term poly alloy would refer to a combination of plastic and metal fitting, which as I say I have never seen (not that it doesn't exist). My fittings of choice are polysulfone plastic, which is an all plastic fitting made from a specific type of plastic. No metal to corrode.

As to your pH, 6.3 is close to neutral, not really very acid at all. My well water has a pH close to 5, which is more than ten times as acidic as 6.3 (every decrease of one unit means an increase of ten times in acidity). At a pH of 5, one would expect pitting and degradation of copper and tin/lead solder joints. I am not certain one would expect degradation at 6.3. Regardless, you seem to have the problem.

The fittings you get at Home Depot or Lowes are certainly not Wirsbo fittings, as Wirsbo (Uponor) is only sold in plumbing supply stores, not in any big box store I have ever seen. The fittings you are looking at are probably from a company like Zurn, which does distribute through big box stores. Wirsbo fittings use the expander system with a pex ring, this is unique to Wirsbo, everyone else uses crimp rings of one sort or another, or the shark bite type of fitting, which is an interesting type of friction fit (I have a couple of shark bites in my house, I use them as disconnects).

The very slight reduction in area due to use of fittings is unlikely to produce any noticeable reduction in flow or pressure in your house. PEX is somewhat smoother than copper, so typically the total pressure loss through PEX is about the same as for an equivalent copper size pipe, even though the interior diameter of PEX is somewhat smaller than copper. Fitting losses are typically not a significant issue with PEX, since proper use of PEX requires only a small number of fittings relative to copper, especially if you purchase long rolls of PEX (I bought 500 feet) and make smooth bends rather than use 90 degree fittings.

I have certain concerns about crimp ring fittings, mostly to do with the tolerance required for the ring. Careful use of a properly calibrated tool should work fine, but my experience has been entirely with the Wirsbo expansion tool, which is a little tricky to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, is very easy to get no leak fittings every time.

reelturner 03-06-2012 01:09 PM

poly alloy

I am quite sure were talking about the same product. The link above is I think the only company manufacturing the poly alloy fittings for other companies. The plastic fittings I am speaking about are packaged in a clear/yellow package labeled by Vanguard. There is no metal in them.

You are correct that the fittings I speak of are not Wirsbo fittings that you use a expanding tool to install ....their crimped.

PH measured on a scale from 1 to 14 with 7 being neutral. Every site I have looked at concerning acidic water says anything below 6.8 should be treated and even some sites mentioning 7.

Just wanted to make sure?

We talking about the same ones????


reelturner 03-06-2012 01:11 PM

polymer used in plumbing of potable water...
AcudelŪ modified PPSU

AcudelŪ modified polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) is a family of proprietary formulations that fill the cost-performance gap between PPSU and polysulfone (PSU).

This the actual polymer used to produce the fittings.


Daniel Holzman 03-06-2012 02:04 PM

I am not aware of the exact chemical composition of the Wirsbo fittings, but it sure sounds like the same material. Again, I have never heard of it referred to as poly alloy, I am not certain where you got that term from.

As for treating water at a pH of 7, that make absolutely no sense, at least if you are treating for pH, since 7 is perfectly neutral. You may want to check out this website

for information on the normal pH range of drinking water, they indicate that surface water supply typically ranges from 6.5 to 8.5, and groundwater ranges from 6 to 8.5. Whether or not it is necessary to treat the water is often more of a function of contaminants such as lead, arsenic, calcium, iron or manganese rather than the exact pH. PEX is essentially non-reactive with water within normal pH ranges, certainly PEX is not reactive at the pH you or I have.

reelturner 03-06-2012 05:08 PM

water ph and fittings
As for treating water at a pH of 7, that make absolutely no sense, at least if you are treating for pH, since 7 is perfectly neutral. You may want to check out this website

Your right, I would not treat the water for ph if it was 7. Mine is below that, anywhere from possibly from a test of 5.5 to more usually in the 6 ish range.

Poly alloy is the term I have seen those pex fittings on the package where I live.


reelturner 03-06-2012 05:13 PM

just checked.....
that site out Daniel.

Maybe I have with the lower ph values some other contaminants in it as well. According to all the tests I have had, every other areas of concern was ok, everything else fell within the testing laboratories limits.


jaydevries 03-06-2012 07:02 PM

this is the brand i use but i use the bronze not the poly but they claim they have fixed the reduced flow issue

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