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-   -   Expandable Pex Line Leaking (http://www.diychatroom.com/f7/expandable-pex-line-leaking-168922/)

brandibissell 01-12-2013 03:53 PM

Expandable Pex Line Leaking
 
Our plumbers have not returned our calls to move some lines in our house so that we can finish our basement. They did the original installation and put in the Pex line that expands over the fittings. Soo.. we decided to move these on our own. Bought the tool, all fittings and line, watched an online video to see how the tool worked. When we were done, we turned on the water and at almost every connection there is a slow drip. I did not expect this at all after the research I have done on this. Is there something I am missing? Should we wait a certain amount of time for the line to shrink down? Does heat need to be applied? Unfortunately, there is only one plumber in our area that works with this. There are no supply stores in the area so I feel as though I am at a loss here. Any help would be extremely appreciated. Very frustrated right now.

TheEplumber 01-12-2013 03:58 PM

Did you buy the proper fittings for the system your using? Did you put the expansion rings on too?

Trucon01 01-12-2013 03:59 PM

You bought the Pro Pex Expander tool? The one that is $400 by Milwaukee?? Can you post a picture? We may be confusing terminology. There are a few ways to make PEX connections, crimp, compression, etc. Big box stores sell the crimp tool, but I dont think they sell the expander tool.

brandibissell 01-12-2013 04:14 PM

2 Attachment(s)
We bought a used tool off of ebay and bought the head on pexsupply.com. Here are pictures of both.

Attachment 63577

Attachment 63578

Trucon01 01-12-2013 04:20 PM

OK, thats the manually version. Did you make sure you turned the tool each time you cranked it? Also, did you get the compression fittings from PEXSUPPLY.com as well?

Lastly, what type of PEX are you using A, B, or C?

brandibissell 01-12-2013 04:30 PM

We are using Pex A and yes, we got all of the fittings at Pex supply. I don't think that the tool was turned each time. Does this matter?

Trucon01 01-12-2013 04:58 PM

Everywhere I've read, it should be rotated each time you expand. The electric powered tool does this automatically... Not sure if that is the cause though.

Javiles 01-12-2013 05:15 PM

Is he the only plumber in town, Videos make things much easier than it looks at least you had leaks now and not a ripped joint a month later, when your out of town maybe? oh and when the insurance company asked who did the work. AH i did, sorry sir claim denied failed to use qualified professionals to make alterations to your home. seen it more than once, call a plumber that's not like changing your kitchen sink faucet. sorry for being blunt.

Daniel Holzman 01-12-2013 06:21 PM

That looks exactly like the Wirsbo expansion tool I use for all my work. I have never had a leak, so I am guessing you are not using proper technique. Here are a few possible reasons your installation is not working:

1. It is necessary to fully expand the PEX prior to installing it on the fitting. For 1/2 inch pipe, this generally takes 4 expansions of the tool, and I always rotate the tool approximately 1/4 turn between expansions. For 3/4 inch pipe, it seems to take about 8 expansions. I have not worked with 1 inch pipe.

2. It is necessary to install the ring over the end of the PEX pipe. Once in a while the ring will slip from the end during the expansion, in that case it is possible to get a drip, so if the ring slips, my suggestion is to start over.

3. It is necessary to use new fittings in most cases. It is easy to get a drip if you remove the PEX from an existing fitting by cutting the PEX off with a knife, as you can score the fitting. In this case, installation of new PEX will invariably drip. If you need to remove PEX from an existing fitting and you plan to reuse the fitting, you should cut off the PEX ring, then heat the PEX pipe with a torch until the PEX turns translucent. Once the PEX is translucent, you can pull it off the old fitting without damaging the fitting.

4. There are many different companies that make fittings which are supposed to work with Wirsbo rings, however I always use Wirsbo fittings as I am skeptical about the quality of fittings from lower cost competition. You did not mention what brand of tubing, fittings, and rings you are using, there may be a compatibility problems.

5. Wirsbo states in their manual that you are supposed to wait about 20 minutes after installation before turning the pressure back on. I try to follow this rule, however I have pushed it to as little as 10 minutes on a few occasions without issue.


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