Las Vegas, Nevada
Uponor products mentioned in this case study
COMMERCIAL: Plumbing Systems
When the Rock Springs Vista VIII Condominiums in Las Vegas, Nev. began to experience leaky plumbing, the owners needed a solution fast. After 12 years, the acidic desert soil was wreaking havoc on the copper plumbing installed under the slab, making an alternative plumbing system a necessity.
Larry Moncrief of KDT Plumbing knew Uponor crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing was resistant to the aggressive water and soil conditions in Las Vegas. Although he had never installed an Uponor plumbing system before, he felt the system would be the best option for all 244 condominium units.
“Plumbing re-pipes present unique installation challenges because of space constraints,” Moncrief says. “PEX tubing is fast and easy to install, works well in tight spaces and offers a nice solution to the pinhole leaks often seen with copper plumbing.”
Uponor plumbing systems use Wirsbo AQUAPEX® tubing that provides flexibility and durability unmatched by copper pipe. Because the tubing is flexible, joints are not necessary every time the tubing changes direction. Fewer joints save the installers time and money.
“We were able to retrofit eight units per week using Wirsbo AQUAPEX,” says Moncrief. “It would have taken us twice as long to replace these systems with copper.”
The durability of PEX tubing is especially significant in areas such as Las Vegas since it is resistant to aggressive water and soil conditions and will not develop pinhole leaks commonly found in copper tubing. In addition, Wirsbo AQUAPEX tubing is non-toxic, so it does not leach harmful toxins into the drinking water running through it.
The Rock Springs Vista project also used Uponor’s revolutionary ProPEX® fitting system. ProPEX fittings rely on the shape memory of Uponor PEX tubing to make a watertight connection in seconds. A special tool expands the tubing enough to insert an oversized fitting, and the tubing then squeezes around the fitting as it returns to its original shape. ProPEX fittings do not require torches, glues or gauges, which is especially beneficial in re-pipe situations where the systems are installed in finished structures.
“We were very satisfied with every aspect of the Rock Springs Vista re-pipe project,” says Moncrief. “The ProPEX fitting system is very easy to use and is perfect for retrofit situations where space is limited. The flexible tubing easily snaked in and out of tight areas, which decreased our installation time significantly. A retrofit like this would have been a nightmare with a rigid product like copper.”
Summary of Benefits
Fast and Easy Installation — Flexible Uponor PEX tubing is easily installed in restricted areas, which are typical in re-pipe applications. And because the tubing is flexible, a joint is not necessary each time the tubing changes direction. Fewer joints save both time and money. In the case of the Rock Springs Vista re-pipe, the Uponor plumbing system was installed in half the time it would have taken for a copper system.
Reliable Fitting System — Uponor ProPEX fittings use the shape memory of Uponor PEX tubing to make a watertight connection. ProPEX fittings do not require torches or glues, eliminating fire hazards and noxious solvents from the jobsite. Torches and glues are particularly undesirable in re-pipe applications where the work is typically done in constricted areas of a completed building.
Corrosion Resistance — Unlike copper, Uponor PEX tubing is resistant to the aggressive water and soil conditions common in the Las Vegas desert, eliminating the problem of pinhole leaks.
Peace of Mind — Wirsbo AQUAPEX tubing comes with a 25-year warranty when installed by an Uponor-trained plumber like KDT Plumbing. The Rock Springs Vista condominium owners can rest easy knowing their new plumbing system will last.
The design information in this case study is provided for illustrative purposes only. The actual requirements of similar projects will depend on regional climatic conditions, project-specific heat loss, owner expectations, applicable building codes, etc. Please contact your Uponor representative for assistance in designing your specific projects.
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For more information about the benefits of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing, contact a reputable manufacturer, such as Uponor North America (www.uponor-usa.com).
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