Homeowner Greg Morin built his dream home outside Watkinsville, Georgia. A scientist by trade — he has a doctorate in organic chemistry — Morin was hands-on with the entire building project and said he knew he wanted certain things done in certain ways.
Plumbing for the water, for example, was something he took particular interest in, and that’s when Viega products popped up.
“I did more and more research and learned that there are three ways to manufacture PEX. I decided the way Viega manufactures it was the best way to go.”
PEX is a material made up of molecules of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) that are permanently linked to each other by a process called crosslinking. This process allows PEX to withstand higher temperatures and pressures compared to standard HDPE tubing, making it ideal for hot and cold potable water applications as well as hydronic radiant heating and cooling systems.
The three ways PEX is manufactured are PEX-a (peroxide method), PEX-b (silane method) or PEX-c (electron beam method). The “a, b, c” subscripts are not a ranking system but simply a way to distinguish between manufacturing methods. The designations “a,” “b” and “c” are nothing more than a reflection of the nomenclature adopted in early European tubing standards. All PEX is required to meet the same minimum performance criteria to be used in potable applications.
However, not all PEX is created equal. Viega’s PEX-b tubing holds the highest attainable ratings for chlorine and UV resistance in the industry, which offers superior protection against degradation. Viega manufactures its Viega PureFlow PEX tubing to exceed standard requirements. Through excellent design, Viega engineers provide superior protection and density to deliver greater quality assurance and performance. Reviewing manufacturer information can provide additional knowledge on product performance and testing to enable the best product selection.
Viega is the only U.S. manufacturer to offer both PureFlow press fittings and PureFlow PEX tubing controlled from the raw material to the finished product. Its cross-linked polyethylene tubing is flexible and durable, giving you more options and better performance than rigid pipe like CPVC. These fittings feature corrosion resistance and compliance with Zero Lead requirements, as well as NSF approval. Viega’s Smart Connect technology provides installers with added confidence in their ability to ensure the integrity of connections.
The system uses the same hand and power tools as the bronze PEX Press system to join PEX tubing using plastic fittings without O-rings, glues, cements or lubricants. The hand tools do not require calibration so installers can trust that each connection is secure.
Combined with PureFlow Press, installers can make secure connections without adhesives or other joining materials. With the widest range of sizes and configurations in the industry in two material types, high-performance polymer and Zero Lead bronze, Viega fittings can be installed in nearly any type of residential or commercial potable or reclaimed water application.
Viega PureFlow Press is the only system on the market molded from 100 percent Radel R, a superior plastic material. Fittings are available in sizes 3/8 to 2 inches, and include couplings, elbows, tees, lav adapters and closet adapters. The system offers metallic threaded and solder transition adapters for joining PEX tubing with other materials. PureFlow tubing is also able to withstand, on average, nearly 10 percent higher burst pressures when compared to PEX-a. Viega’s PureFlow Press fittings carry the patented Smart Connect technology, assuring that connections are complete and carry a 25-year limited warranty.
Once Morin had chosen Viega PureFlow PEX products, he got in contact with Joe Welsh of SCW Inc., a manufacturer representative, who looped Viega reps in. Everyone worked hard to get all of the product needed for the project.
Morin’s home is approximately 10,000 square feet, plus an apartment over the garage. In building his dream home, he said he built to a “very high standard, with a lot of high-quality materials,” and he didn’t want to cut any corners. “I know Viega has been around a long time and produces a very high-quality product. It’s a solid company with a solid track record,” he said.
Using the PureFlow System, several ManaBlocs were installed throughout the residence. Between 4,000 and 5,000 feet of PEX link all the facilities in the home back to the ManaBlocs. And again, using the ManaBlocs was something that Morin requested specifically, noting that in his research he learned the Viega homerun system was “the” one to have, especially when using PEX.
For water distribution, the Viega ManaBloc system is the premier choice for a plumbing installation. The homerun method offers fast hot-water delivery and water efficiency with individual distribution lines to each fixture in a system, providing more consistent temperatures and pressures than any other method.
Viega ManaBloc provides an innovative alternative to branch and tee systems; Viega’s flow-through fittings make “series” and “loop” installation a possibility. Viega ManaBlocs have several benefits. For example, having fewer fittings behind the wall minimizes potential leak points. They provide quicker hot water delivery resulting in less water waste, plus there is less pressure drop during fixture use. Having individual control of all fixtures via the ManaBloc is similar to having an electric panel for the potable water system in a home, all in a centralized place.
Plumbing contractor Randy Colquitt of C&S Plumbing in Athens, Georgia, was familiar with Viega and had done a lot of crimp work with PEX in the past, but this was his first foray into Viega PureFlow Press technology. He said he was pleased with how simple the pressing process was.
“I liked how the power tools made it easy. And one great thing about press, when you put it in a fitting and press, you know right then and there that you don’t have a leak,” Colquitt said. “My guys liked getting a break from all that crimping we would have done with a manual tool. I would love to do more pressing in the future.”