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Old 04-01-2011, 12:03 PM   #1
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couple pex questions


what's better - crimp or clamp style connectors - from a quality point of view (e. g. which is less likely to leak?). A quick search here I didn't really see a lot of threads or info one way or the other but I apologize if this is a redundant question

I've used a couple of the crimp style before (since that was what was available in the store I was at) - the crimper really pushed the ring deep into the pex. with the right tool, is there any chance these will actually crush the barb fitting on the end of the copper? assuming if they leak I'll have to cut the pipe and the pex, solder on a new barbed end, and start over (whereas the clamp style can just be removed..?)

thanks for any feedback


Last edited by rtoni; 04-01-2011 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:10 PM   #2
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couple pex questions


From what I understand, as long as they are installed correctly, it doesn't matter. i just bought pex tools, I went with the zurn clamp style, seems easier.

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Old 04-01-2011, 02:05 PM   #3
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couple pex questions


thanks Andrew - the crimp style was the only type i've tried - seems to work - the crimp tool really does a job of compressing those rings. Have you ever had to take one (the clamp style) apart?

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Old 04-01-2011, 02:14 PM   #4
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couple pex questions


Not yet, I haven't even used it yet - I am doing a project this weekend, but (hopefully) it will not require removal of clamps...
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:30 PM   #5
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couple pex questions


Us pro's use crimp rings only. At least me and every pro I've ever met.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:46 PM   #6
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couple pex questions


A plumber I've used a bunch of times has used the clamp-style...not saying it's right, just what I've seen. Another guy used the expander type.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:08 PM   #7
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Well there ya go, just sayin.
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:13 PM   #8
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couple pex questions


I've used both the expansion & crimp style with good results. Never tried the clamp ones, so I can't comment on those.

With the crimp ones you can get a 'go-no go' gauge that will tell you if the crimp is good or not. Prolly a buck or two (I got mine with the tool), but worth it if you're nervous. A real PITA to take apart a fitting (hacksaw for the ring & utility knife to slice the pipe, careful not to nick the fitting or it's done) but doable. Hard to take out of round (crush) but it can happen. Remember that the idea is to mould the pipe over the barbs on the fitting, and fasten it with ring, using the crimper tool. It may feel like the fitting is being crushed, but it's not. Also you should make sure that the crimp tool is properly calibrated, http://www.ehow.com/how_6898649_do-a...crimpers_.html.

The expansion ones are nice, just a bit of a learning curve to get the proper expansion on the ring, slide it over the pipe, then get the fitting in the pipe, all in the 5-10 secs that the plastic's 'memory' allows. The tool is pretty pricey though, somewhere in the $300-400 range I think.
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:36 AM   #9
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couple pex questions


Crimp style fittings have a slightly smaller inside diameter than the expansion style fittings.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:27 AM   #10
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couple pex questions


There are on the market(s) a special pliers to remove PEX rings, both the crimp and "ear" type. I don't like the hacksaw method as it takes too long.
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Old 04-02-2011, 03:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIPlumber View Post
The expansion ones are nice, just a bit of a learning curve to get the proper expansion on the ring, slide it over the pipe, then get the fitting in the pipe, all in the 5-10 secs that the plastic's 'memory' allows. The tool is pretty pricey though, somewhere in the $300-400 range I think.
Rtoni,

The Wirsbo/Uponor pex system uses the expansion method. The ID of the connectors end up about smooth with the ID of the tubing which makes for better water flow. The crimp or cinch systems have the ID of the connectors smaller than the ID of the tubing which results in lower water flow with more turbulence and potentially more noise.

What I like about the Uponor pex system is that the tubing, rings and connectors are from the same company so are guaranteed to be compatible with each other. No worries about how good the crimps or cinches are since the contraction of the tubing and rings are automatic. The expansion tool is normally on sale at pexsupply.com for $289. Don't be fugal in buying tools since the money you save by doing it yourself will MORE than pay for the expansion tool.

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 04-02-2011 at 05:38 PM. Reason: added Rtoni as person post is directed to.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:30 AM   #12
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I've used all three systems mentioned. The ss crimp style is all I use now. Bought the copper crush style when pex started hitting the scene hard when copper skyrocketed and had no issues the first house I retrofitted from old red brass to pex, the second full retrofitted house cost me a callback due to 3 joints leaking a couple days later. I threw that tool in the trash, you shouldnt have to adjust a brand new 150 dollar tool after 1 bag of rings, not to mention replacing a clamp once its on there is a pain. The expander I borrowed from a fellow plumber but found it awkward to use in tight spots, needed 2 sets of hands sometimes, also as stated earlier only works w/ their fitting, trying to fix a leak after hours hd or lowes isn't gonna have your fittings. The stainless crimps are the fastest, easiest, removing a clamp once tightened is as easy as grabbing the cinched part, twisting it until it snaps, pull it off and slice the pex with a knife or your cutter. I've been using the same Watts pex cinchers for 6 years now, thousands of fittings and never had 1 leak or callback.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:08 PM   #13
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couple pex questions


thanks all - VIPlumber the tool I got does have a 'go /no-go" gauge and when I finished a couple crimps it just fit (very snug) over the ring so I assume it's ok (but I haven't run the water thru there yet - guess I'll find out soon enough).

Homerepairguy - I think (if my memory serves me) that expansion system was the first thing I ever saw related to pex (way back on some home improvement show maybe...?). I've never seen these tools up close (of course, never looked for them, or needed to worry about it until now). The way they just stretched the pipe - looked really cool and hard to imagine that it would shrink itself back to a tight seal - I didn't even know it was an option today (my limited vision beyond the box stores).

So now I have the crimps and I hope they're not going to let me down sometime down the road. Glendon88 - the ones you mention failed after a couple days. What if I can turn up the pressure and leave it for say a week and it's still not leaking, what are the odds it will fail a week, or a month later? Re-soldering a fitting or cutting some pex doesn't worry me - tearing out my shower wall does.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:15 PM   #14
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couple pex questions


If it didn't leak after a couple days under pressure you're probably fine. The ss clamps are nice because the tool won't come offthe fitting until it ratcheted all the way assuring a secure fitting. Unless you do plumbing all the time it's probably not worth investing in a diff. Style tool, ive been a plumber for 10 years and use mine all the time
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:09 PM   #15
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Quick pex question....I just did a new zone for my boiler using hePEX, and one crimp out of about 15 came out a little funny. The LED came on stating the tool was tight enough (Zurn Ratcheting Clamp tool), but with I looked at the clamp, the little ears were kind of bent to one side as opposed to pressed in from either side equally. It's been under pressure (about 20psi) unheated for 24 hours and hasn't leaked?

Is it ridiculous to leave it, or if it isnt leaking, is it ok? I assume once the water hits 180 degrees, the pressure will increase and have more chance for leaks?

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