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JPWMU 04-19-2010 02:53 PM

PEX Questions
I have done a search and read a lot of stuff on here about PEX.

We live in a 950 sft house with a hodge-podge of iron and copper (all 1/2") pipe. I need to relocate the water heater and want to install a series of valves so I can work on the project then just flip the valves and disconnect the old water heater. My long term plan is to re-plumb the entire house with PEX. I am wondering about the PEX fittings more than anything. I am big on purchasing tools and doing things myself, as I think it saves money in the long run, and then I always have the tools for the next house.

I would like to do everything with 3/4 PEX. I am planning on doing it all myself and just valving sections and work on it over a couple weekends. I was going to buy a crimp tool (has 3/8, 1/2, 3/4 and 1 all in one kit, about $90 at Lowes) and use brass fittings. I have read about the push on type fittings (referred to as Sharkbite or Watts Quick Connect) and the expander fittings (where the actual pipe is stretched out over the fitting).

I am just wondering if people can give a personal preference on the type of fitting that they recommend and why.

Also, what are your thoughts on manifolds or tees? I only have a kitchen, laundry and bathroom (shower/tub, lav, toilet) in the house. Im thinking of just using tees, but I want to keep the water pressure up where it is now.

DangerMouse 04-19-2010 03:52 PM

I was born in Kzoo.... nice town for the most part. (If you can stand driving on Westnedge)
To save some $$$, check CraigsList to find tools cheap, then put them back on CL when done.
Personally, I like cpvc, but that's just me..... I DO hear good things about sharkbites, except for the cost.


Daniel Holzman 04-19-2010 04:30 PM

I did my house in PEX, used Wirsbo tubing and fittings. The Wirsbo tool is an expander, not a crimper, and costs a lot more than $90 (I paid about $300 for mine, handles 3/8 to 1 inch pipe). I used some brass fittings, but was not very happy with them. I prefer the plastic fittings, Wirsbo makes theirs out of polysulfone plastic, seems to be quite good. Before you get into brass fittings, check out the lawsuit against Zurn for leaky and failing brass fittings for PEX. Makes you think twice.

I don't know anything about the crimp type fittings, and I have never used sharkbites. Perhaps someone on here who has used the crimp fittings can comment.

JPWMU 04-19-2010 08:59 PM

Where did you purchase the Wirsbo pipe, fittings and tools?

Jim F 04-19-2010 09:35 PM

If you are doing your entire house, either PEX tool will pay for itaself in a hurry compared to buying all the Sharkbite or other push-on fittings you will need. They are a nice convenience but quite expenxive compared to conventional fittings. I would just use those for hard to reach places.

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