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Old 01-21-2011, 05:46 PM   #1
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Best tool for crimping PEX connections?


Hello everyone, I have noticed there are several options for crimping tools for PEX. I am putting in a shower that will be tiled over so I want to make sure to get these connections right. I saw Lowes has the $30.00 pliers that go all the way around the PEX to crimp the round metal rings. Then there is a larger set of crimpers that are about $180.00 that just crimp the little protruding part of a different kind of metal ring. And also I have seen in the forums that some people recommend a $300.00 pair of crimpers that I haven't seen yet. What do you think? Can I get by with the $30.00 crimpers or will I regret that later?

Thanks, j

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Old 01-21-2011, 07:03 PM   #2
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Best tool for crimping PEX connections?


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Then there is a larger set of crimpers that are about $180.00 that just crimp the little protruding part of a different kind of metal ring.
Ayuh,... I found a ratcheting 1 by Watts, I believe, for about a Buck, ten, plus tax....

I love it, it works Great...

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Old 01-21-2011, 11:31 PM   #3
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Best tool for crimping PEX connections?


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Originally Posted by jpeake View Post
Hello everyone, I have noticed there are several options for crimping tools for PEX. I am putting in a shower that will be tiled over so I want to make sure to get these connections right. I saw Lowes has the $30.00 pliers that go all the way around the PEX to crimp the round metal rings. Then there is a larger set of crimpers that are about $180.00 that just crimp the little protruding part of a different kind of metal ring. And also I have seen in the forums that some people recommend a $300.00 pair of crimpers that I haven't seen yet. What do you think? Can I get by with the $30.00 crimpers or will I regret that later?
The "different kind of metal rings" with the little protruding part are stainless steel rings. The tool "cinches" the little protruding part as opposed to the one that goes completely around the "copper" ring which "crimps" the ring.

The $289 Uponor tool "expands" the pex tubing and pex expansion ring. It does not crimp or cinch like the other two methods.

My "personal" take (with experience with #1 but not with #2 or #3) in order of preference is:
1. Expansion using Uponor pex.
2. Cinching using stainless steel rings.
3. Crimping using copper rings.

Other's mileage will vary,
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:17 AM   #4
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Best tool for crimping PEX connections?


Thanks for a very thorough and technically informative response. I suspect that your ranking is correct and I will do some searching around to learn more. I have access to the cinching pliers so I will probably use them, I do not have access to the best option... I will see if I can rent them somewhere.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:22 AM   #5
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Best tool for crimping PEX connections?


I'm sure the Uponor tool is an excellent one, for someone who does a lot of crimping, which is not me. I do "HandyMan" type work and do use PEX often. There are advantages to both styles of crimping rings. When under an existing vanity for instance: Room to work is limited, so the "eared crimp rings" work well for me there. IF there is room to use my larger PEX crimpers, I'd rather use those as I feel that they give a more consistent radial crimp, Just My Opinion.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:36 PM   #6
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Best tool for crimping PEX connections?


A bit late but perhaps a warning to most?

"Uponor has stopped selling the style of brass pex fitting at issue in this lawsuit. In court filings, Uponor has admitted that these plumbing fittings were "defective," "unreasonably dangerous" and "not merchantable." These defects, according to Uponor, caused the fittings to fail prematurely."
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:21 PM   #7
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Best tool for crimping PEX connections?


IF your doing one bathroom and that is it and you also don't plan on doing anymore pex then I would do shark fittings and call it a day.
forgot to add I use the watts tool. I like it.

Last edited by proremodel; 01-30-2011 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:29 PM   #8
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Best tool for crimping PEX connections?


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Originally Posted by kibblesret View Post
A bit late but perhaps a warning to most?

"Uponor has stopped selling the style of brass pex fitting at issue in this lawsuit. In court filings, Uponor has admitted that these plumbing fittings were "defective," "unreasonably dangerous" and "not merchantable." These defects, according to Uponor, caused the fittings to fail prematurely."
Uponor is still currently selling brass Propex fittings. The fittings referred to in your post are per your quote "the style of brass pex fitting at issue in this lawsuit". Apparently they don't sell those types of brass fittings anymore so is your warning still valid?

There is also the plastic type of propex EP fittings which have never had a problem AFAIK.

My personal pex installation method is to always install supports at every fitting in a manner to eliminate any excessive sidewards pressure or tension on the fittings exerted by the pex tubing. Pex tubing expands and contracts at a rate of 1" per 100' per 10 degrees temperature change which can be substantial in hot water lines. To me it is imperative to prevent that expansion/contraction from exerting sidewards pressure or tension on any fitting and creating micro fractures in the fitting (like bending a clothes hanger back & forth until it snaps).

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 01-30-2011 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:11 PM   #9
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Best tool for crimping PEX connections?


Not all sales outlets sent the product back or pulled it off their selves it seems. So yes you can still find these fittings for sale but when there are so many other brands with no problems why take a chance?

Good tips as to how to install any PEX lines though. Any type if installed poorly will fail. In fact any type of piping, copper, plastic or whatever will fail if you don't know what the heck you are doing.

Currently:
"(EMAILWIRE.COM, January 29, 2011 ) New York, NY Class Action.org has released a consumer alert regarding the Pex brass plumbing fittings sold by Uponor Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Radiant Technology (RTI). Allegedly, these plumbing fittings are defective and can fail sooner than expected, causing significant water damage. The brass plumbing fittings in question are inserted into cross linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing and are stamped on the side with P Pex or MB Pex. If your plumbing system has been installed with these fittings and you have noticed leaking or other problems, you may be able to recover compensation for damages resulting from your Uponor Pex failure. Visit http://www.classaction.org/uponor-pex-plumbing-fittings.html and complete the free case evaluation form to find out if you can participate in an Uponor class action lawsuit.
Due to issues with the brass fittings cracking and leaking, Uponor Inc. sued the company that manufactured these products. In this case, Uponor admitted in court filings that the fittings were not merchantable, unreasonably dangerous, and defective. However, according to a putative class action complaint, the Minnesota-based company has refused to replace all affected systems or otherwise compensate residential and commercial property owners as required under their product warranties.
If your home or business has suffered property damage due to Uponor Pex failure, you may be able to participate in an Uponor class action lawsuit to recover compensation. An Uponor class action lawsuit would afford property owners the opportunity to collectively bring a claim in court for damage caused by water leaks. To find out if you can participate in an Uponor lawsuit, visit Class Action.org today. The Uponor class action lawyers working with the site are offering this online legal consultation at no cost and remain dedicated to consumers who were affected by faulty products. "
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:26 PM   #10
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Best tool for crimping PEX connections?


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Originally Posted by kibblesret View Post
Not all sales outlets sent the product back or pulled it off their selves it seems. So yes you can still find these fittings for sale but when there are so many other brands with no problems why take a chance?
I rather doubt that the defective fittings are still being sold. Thanks for posting the class action info that points out that the defective fittings are stamped on the side with P Pex or MB Pex. Very useful info to know.

Just use the non-brass propex EP fittings and there is no "why take a chance" consideration. The only necessity for brass fittings are any copper to pex transition couplers. There one can insure that they are not stamped with P Pex or MB Pex as the info points out. Also, the pex tubing to those adapters should be supported so there is no sideways pressure/tension on the fitting and there is no chance of the fitting breaking. I don't see any "why take a chance" involved but that's just me.

Other's milage will vary,
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:58 PM   #11
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Best tool for crimping PEX connections?


The OP mentioned "putting in a shower that will be tiled over so I want to make sure to get these connections right." Might I suggest you intall your new shower in a way that will allow you access from the other side of the wall. That way, if your plumbing does fail yo can repair it without tearing out your tile on the finished side.

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