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Frozen Wirsbo

Dof3 Member Posts: 120
The problem is the Munchkins need to be manually reset. If PEX is freeze proof I must have gotten a bad batch. I have well over 100,000 feet of tubing all over this county and this is the first time I have had a leak that was not manmade. I have had people put nails in it or drill holes into it but, I have never had it freeze and split till now.


  • Dof3
    Dof3 Member Posts: 120
    Frozen Wirsbo

    I installed a Wirsbo infloor system in a 3000 sq ft pole building and while the HO was gone the Munchkin shut down. Nobody caught it for about 10 days. I went out and got it going and got a call the next day that there was water all over the floor. I pressurized each tube and found most had cracked or were leaking somehow. I should have put glycol in the system but, I sort of count on someone to watch it and the euipment to be reliable. Just venting!! I suppose my insurance co will be getting a phone call next year. Happy New Year to all!!
  • Ericjeeper
    Ericjeeper Member Posts: 179
    what caused the system to shut down?

    Could it be they had their fuel shut off? due to no pay? Or ran out of #2 if it is an oil fired unit?Or ran out of LP? and had it filled before they called you?
    This might not be your fault at all.Don't always assume it is going to cost you..
  • Dof3
    Dof3 Member Posts: 120
    fuel supply was full

    I don't know what happened. It was a Munchkin 140. I wanted to check it for the season and ran out of time. Like all Munchkins it locked out in F10 code. I have 17 of these in the field and 10 of them have gone to F10 this season. They are all properly set up with the Combustion analyzer and have run for quite sometime. The F10 code is so frequent on some of them I have showed the HO how to reset them until I get there. It is my fault because I did not use glycol in the system. The HO even asked me to use it and I said no,that I did not like using it. Oh well!!
  • Tundra
    Tundra Member Posts: 93

    What does the wirsbo warranty say about this situation?
  • Geo_5
    Geo_5 Member Posts: 69
    John B

    Sorry for your loss and your a stand up guy to admit your wrong.I'm self employed and have been buying Plumbers liability going on 15 years without a claim,every year it goes up and up and up.Was just wondering will you take part in the replacement of the pex line's or seeing it's an insurance claim stay away,personly I don't know what I would do in your shoes.It's not the end of the world and tomorrow is an other year.Good luck,Geo
  • Dof3
    Dof3 Member Posts: 120
    Not sure?

    The customer is such a good guy I have to make it right with him. He put his trust in me to do it right and I feel like I failed. I know it can be fixed but, it is going to take some doing. Time and money. I have never made a claim in the 18 years I have been in business so I guess I should feel fortunate.
  • Kevin O. Pulver
    Kevin O. Pulver Member Posts: 380
    John B

    I just froze one instantly trying to start up a garage on a zero day. Dumb mistake but I'm getting rich in experience. It seems I got by without any leaks. I am very thankful for that.
    I really respect you for your attitude in wanting to make it right no matter what the cost. Many would try to shift the blame. I understand your attitude about responsibility to the customer. Never mind, with your commitment to do what's right, things will go right with you I believe. You will, "reap what you sow" (it's not just a good idea- it's the LAW) Happy New Year! Kevin
  • Dave Stroman
    Dave Stroman Member Posts: 763

    I use Trinity and have had lock outs too for no apparent reason. I remember years ago when I had a boiler that kept locking out. I put it on a simple timer that would shut off the boiler for 5 minutes every 12 hours. This would reset it and keep the place from freezing up if no one was around.

    Dave in Denver
    Dave Stroman
  • Joe D.
    Joe D. Member Posts: 19
    Cracked wirsbo.

    I'm new here, so excuse my ignorance, but I was under the impression that this pex tubing was basically freeze split proof. That is one of the reasons I had for using it.
    Did the tubing split, or was it a fitting?
  • Dave Stroman
    Dave Stroman Member Posts: 763

    Pex is certainly more resistant to freezing but not freeze proof. I also think the the hydrolic pressure created between 2 freeze points moving toward each other is what makes most pipes fail. Every place where the PEX dripped in and out of the bottom of the slab is a great place for the PEX to fail. As well as any of the pipe above the slab, the copper manifolds, and the the boiler too.

    I just replaced some finned tube baseboard that froze. The only places it split was where the fins where not.

    Dave in Denver
    Dave Stroman
  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873
    excellent idea

  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,479
    The language

    Wirsbo uses is freeze "resistant." I wish they would either say nothing or be specific. Years ago I had the same problem because i though it was freeze proof. My only claim ever on my liabilty insurance was the result. I pressurized a system with water waiting for the concrete contractor who never showed. I ran off to do some service calls, didnt drain the system and it froze overnight. To complicate things the concrete contractor showed up bright and early the next morning and was done before I got there. When I filled it up I got a call the next day saying the slab was leaking into the garage, down the driveway and out into the street where it was freezing and causing cars to spin out everywhere. I got a ticket trying to get there fast. I hired an infrared camera guy to find the leaks. We found and fixxed 5 before we gave up. We removed the slab and re-did the whole thing. I added glycol and it's worked fine ever since. My stomach still hurts when I think about it. WW

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  • Dof3
    Dof3 Member Posts: 120
    no sleep

    I know what you mean about the stomach ache. I have not slept good since I found the first pipe leaking. The HO is in AZ and we have not settled on the solution yet. Hope to resolve it soon!!
  • steve pajek
    steve pajek Member Posts: 28
    how is this your fault?

    Yes there could have been anti freeze added to the system, but!!! there are tons of hot water heating systems out there with out anti freeze in them, and some of them freeze up when no one is watching them. Whether their out of town or on vacation or the house is vacant or up for sale they should have someone watching it. I don't see how you have any fault here. It's not your job to baby sit every install you do. Once the system is installed and turned over to the custumer they have some responsability here. I would recomend they make a claim on their homeowners insurance and go from their.
  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162

    Made a floating panel system that installs much the same way as Pergo flooring. Saved our butts a few years ago when a builder who went disappearing after pounding nails through our new tubing-in-concrete system. HO's were moving in a week later & said it had to be fixed by then or lawsuits would fly.

    Problem was, the walls were finished and trim had been installed and painted. The Stadler system saved the day and prevented any major alterations to the just-finished walls/trim/doors. Only one door had to get a trim-job along its base.

    Costs us a bunch of money since the builder went belly-up, but it saved our relationship with the HO and they remained our customer.

    Much of the area received carpeting & we installed luan plywood over the Stadler floating floor and installed plywood strips along the walls to give the carpet guys a tack-strip catch area. A large area was covered in Pergo and we did not cover the Stadler system in that area since the Pergo foam barrier was in the sandwich. Had my doubts, but that was something like eight years back & no problems have arrisen.

    Good luck!

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  • Tim Doran
    Tim Doran Member Posts: 208
    PEX is not freeze proof

    PEX, or at least Wirsbo PEX is freeze resistant. This means that it can withstand a freeze up in many cases. It will expand several times it's original size before splitting so if a freeze is caught in time it may not split. Nothing is freeze proof!

    The Wirsbo installation guide clearly states that it best to pressure test with air, not water. As far as warranties go. The Wirsbo warranty covers product defects but does not cover freeze damage.

    Tim D.

This discussion has been closed.