Polyethylene raised temperature piping systems aren’t just for cold water and outside projects anymore.

Traditionally, piping systems produced from polyethylene (PE) material have always been produced for use in cold-water applications and have not been intended for use inside homes. This has changed with the introduction of a new form of polyethylene - one specifically made for use in both cold (73ºF) and hot (180ºF) water, while also produced with the intention for use inside homes.

The new form of PE, called PE-RT (short for Polyethylene – Raised Temperature), is specifically designed for flexibility and can be used in high temperature applications. This new pipe, in use now for several years for both hot and cold water applications, first began gaining acceptance in the European marketplace in the 1980s for end uses such as potable water, radiant heating and irrigation.

PE-RT tubing can appear in a variety of structures, from solid wall and barrier pipe to five layer and PE-RT/AL/PE-RT (composite) pipe. Currently, depending upon the structure of the pipe and the anticipated end use (application), the PE-RT pipe is to be used for, there are three ASTM Standards to which PE-RT pipe may be tested and certified:

ASTM F 1282Standard Specification for Polyethylene/Aluminum/Polyethylene (PE-AL-PE) Composite Pressure Pipe
  • specific for composite PE-RT pressure pipe for potable water and non-potable water systems in a size range of 3/8” – 2-1/2”.

    ASTM F 2623Standard Specification for Polyethylene of Raised Temperature (PE-RT) SDR 9 Tubing
  • specific for solid wall, barrier, and five layer PE-RT pressure pipe for non-potable water systems. The pipe is SDR 9 with a size range of 1/8” – 6”.

    ASTM F 2769Standard Specification for Polyethylene of Raised Temperature (PE-RT) Plastic Hot and Cold-Water Tubing and Distribution Systems
  • specific for solid wall, barrier, and five layer PE-RT pressure pipe for non-potable and potable water systems. The pipe is SDR 9 with a size range of 1/8” – 6” and is for use with F 1807 and F 2159 fittings.

    PE-RT products certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 14 against these performance standards have shown that they meet or exceed the minimum requirements on an extensive amount of testing.

    Some of the requirements between the performance standards and NSF Standard 14 include:
  • Minimum material specifications as identified by a cell class within the PE-RT standards
  • Identification of hydrostatic burst and sustained burst pressures and times at multiple temperatures of 73ºF – 180ºF
  • Verification of dimensional requirements
  • NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Section 4 compliance on products intended for use in potable water systems
  • Having an established Hydrostatic Design Basis (HDB)
  • Performing specified QC tests on new production at a set frequency
  • Performing calibration of equipment at a set frequency
  • Chlorine resistance testing

    All of these requirements are verified as part of NSF certification of PE-RT products, which includes extensive annual production facility audits and annual testing to ensure continued compliance.

    For a detailed list of current NSF-certified PE-RT products, visit www.nsf.org/Certified/Plumbing/. Select “PE-RT” under the “MATERIAL TYPE” menu.