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 1282–Standard Specification for Polyethylene/Aluminum/Polyethylene (PE-AL-PE) Composite Pressure Pipe
ASTM F 2623 – Standard Specification for Polyethylene of Raised Temperature (PE-RT) SDR 9 Tubing
ASTM F 2769 – Standard Specification for Polyethylene of Raised Temperature (PE-RT) Plastic Hot and Cold-Water Tubing and Distribution Systems
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:
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.