The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. has published a new, free guide related to the installation of plastic pressure pipe materials in the vicinity of recessed lighting fixtures, also known as “pot lights” or “can lights.”
Technical Note 56 Installation of Plastic Pressure Piping Materials Near IC-Rated and Non-IC-Rated Recessed Lighting Fixtures provides guidance to installers of CPVC, PEX, PE-RT, PP-R and PP-RCT piping materials about protecting these piping systems against excessive heat through distance, insulation or other means. These piping materials are commonly used for hot- and cold-water plumbing, fire protection and hydronic heating or cooling systems.
According to Lance MacNevin, P. Eng., director of engineering for PPI’s Building & Construction Division, “The piping materials CPVC, PEX, PE-RT, PP-R and PP-RCT, which are commonly used for residential and commercial systems, are rated for continuous high-temperature operation, but every material has limits. Recessed light fixtures are available in two classes, non-insulation contact and insulation contact (i.e., IC-rated). Certain light fixtures may have exterior temperatures as high as 194 F. Frequently repeated or long-term exposure to air or surface temperatures above 180 F may have negative effects on some plastic pipe materials.”
For this reason, it is recommended, even with IC-rated light fixtures, that the pipe installer allow adequate spacing around plastic pipes to install enough insulation to ensure the surface temperature of the pipe is kept to 180 F or lower. For more information, visit plasticpipe.org.