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Cubey 08-29-2012 04:25 PM

Can anyone recommend a good Pex crimp tool?
I am going to be replacing the old water lines in my 1978 motorhome that may be black Poly B. I am going to be full timing in the motor home so I need good trustworthy plumbing that isn't leaking.

I will be replacing it all with red/blue pex (for hot/cold color coding) but want to make sure I get a good quality (and affordable) crimping tool for leak-free installation. Nothing worse than having to go back and redo some of it due to leaks.

I looked at and they show two (larger) tools, both by the same company:

Apollo PEX One Hand Cinch Clamp Tool

Apollo PEX Quick Cinch Clamp Tool

The one hand one has some bad reviews and the other has no reviews. Has anyone used either one with good success or is there something better out there?

Even if a tool costs $75-100, it will be more cost effective than using gatorgrip fittings with as many 90 degree bends I need to put to get it around corners and the limited space required to run the lines through.

EDIT: I now realize theer are different methods of sealing pex... strange. I am unsure what method to go with. I've heard that clamps aren't so great... but I need something that will be fairly easy to install in tight places at all angles at times.

Should I go with cinch-clamps or crimped copper rings?

VIPlumber 08-29-2012 09:49 PM

I can't offer advice on the cinch method, but can vouch for the crimp method. It works really well. You could go to the big orange, at least around here and rent pex crimpers for a few $ a day. And make sure to rent the angle crimper as it's meant to be used in tight spaces.

Cubey 08-29-2012 09:52 PM

Big orange?

joecaption 08-29-2012 09:53 PM

And crimp rings are far easer to find.

VIPlumber 08-29-2012 10:04 PM


Originally Posted by Cubey (Post 999476)
Big orange?

Home Despot.

Cubey 08-29-2012 11:02 PM


Originally Posted by VIPlumber (Post 999489)
Home Despot.

It seems they don't do tool rentals here.

I only need to do one size line... 1/2" unless I am mistaken. So at least I'll only need one angled tool.

TheEplumber 08-29-2012 11:13 PM

199 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Cubey (Post 999532)
It seems they don't do tool rentals here.

I only need to do one size line... 1/2" unless I am mistaken. So at least I'll only need one angled tool.

My local HD doesn't carry the style VIP referenced. Only the larger set which doesn't get in close. Perhaps you'll have better luck.
You can get knock off imports on ebay though. I wouldn't buy them for every day use, but for a one timer-probably ok.
I have also used the pair you linked to in the second link(different brand). Used it on 1/2, 3/4 and 1" pex. One tool for all sizes. Worked fine and still holding pressure :thumbsup: The rings are available at my local HD and a couple plumbing supply houses.

Cubey 08-29-2012 11:24 PM

The bigger ones will probably be easier to use in terms of getting a good crimp. I don't have the best strength in my hands to use a smaller tool that relies more on hand pressure than a larger one that can be used with both hands.

I might have to get creative in terms of running the new lines. I don't know if the plumbing was put in before they put in the interior or after. But they did give fairly good access to the lines at least except where it splits off in the wall near the water pump. But I think I may be able to either make it work.. or cut a slightly larger hole in the sheet metal wall near the water pump. It wouldn't be visible since a piece of plywood is normally screwed down to cover the water tank and water pump below the bed.

That tiny area there to the right is where the line goes into the wall is where it tees off for the sink, water heater and shower and toilet. I might have to leave some of the old there unless I can figure out if I can take off the wall inside the bathroom to get at the tee that splits off for the toilet, which looked to have a rubber hose when I looked at it today.

TheEplumber 08-29-2012 11:47 PM

199 Attachment(s)
Looks like a challenge- better you then me :thumbup:
I think the Apollo tools will do just fine for you. They ratchet pretty easily were as the others can take a good squeeze.
And if you leave some old pipe in you will need these-
They should adapt to your pipe- different ID's

Cubey 08-30-2012 12:02 AM

Well... like I said if I have to, I'll cut a larger hole in the metal wall there. It won't hurt anything. It's just a sheet metal outer wall for the bathroom. It won't even be visible and would make the job easier and I would be able to see better if it's leaking at any of the crimps.

And I'm not even sure if that's Poly B or Pex. Both were around in the late 70s so there's no telling. One person on an RV forum said it looked like Poly B (except that is usually grey) while someone else there said it looks like 70's pex (copper fittings, with galvanized crimps). The best marking I've seen just say Vanguard Plastic. I need to take a better light out there and try to see if I can find more writing on a longer length of pipe.

If it's pex, I would trust it more and not be in such a hurry to replace it all. I'd try putting water pressure on the system and listen for any water running. If not, I'd leave it a few hours and check back to see if any water is dripping from the van. If it's poly b and not leaking... I'd be weary... I've heard that stuff is horrible and can go at any time. Although, the water pressure on the system IS kept low with a water regulator (at least by me and others who treat an RV properly) so it doesn't have massive city water pressure on the system. I'm on well water right now and it's pressure isn't anything like city water.

plummen 08-30-2012 04:07 AM

I bought my set at menards for around $100.00 it came with a bunch of differant dies for differant size fittings.
Im not a fan of pex myself Ive only used it on a couple of well jobs where everything was in a pit and easily accesable,but havent had any call backs on them.:)

md2lgyk 08-30-2012 06:19 AM

If your tubing says Vanguard Plastic, it's polybutylene.

itisiyousee 11-04-2012 08:53 PM

I have "Zurn" crimpers for the copper crimp rings and I have used the cinch style stainless rings one time but I wouldn't trust them for myself, and wouldn't use them for anyone else. You have to be careful to put both styles on straight so you do need room, unless you can put your lines together and then slide them into place afterwards. Just an idea. But the copper colored copper and black colored copper crimps seem to be much stronger and more reliable. If you know a plumber you might be able to buy all the parts and get them to install the lines for youwhile saving some money. Something else to think of. Good luck....

itisiyousee 11-04-2012 09:10 PM

I just seen the post with the color of your pipe you should check to see if it is the same as "CTS". CTS is the same size as copper tubing and it can be used with crimp rings, cinch rings, and I think you can use a type of compression nut with a stainless crimp ring, furrule, plus a stainless steel insert. You might check at your local plumbing store by taking a piece of your plumbing in with a fitting attached to size them both. Good luck...

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