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Old 12-04-2012, 11:08 AM   #1
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PEX vs PB vs CPVC


Me and my husband are in the middle of renovating our home. Its a small mobile home. We are now to the point of the renovation for plumbing to be roughed in. I originally wanted to go back with CPVC, but my husband wants to use PEX. We have PB pipe now and because of that pipe, we have had to do a total gut job on the whole house due to water damage from leaking pipes. So far we have removed all of the PB pipe, and mapped out the new plumbing diagram, but which is safest to use in terms of water leakage? Does this new PEX tubing leak around the fittings like PB? It seems like it is the same stuff.

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:29 AM   #2
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I'm close to re-doing the plumbing in my basement and I plan on using the AquaPex lines along with the Wirsbo ProPex Expander tool. I've heard great things about this setup, but the tool is very expensive (I plan to sell it when I'm done with my job).

I've heard many folks on here having success with the Pex crimp rings as well.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:16 PM   #3
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PEX vs PB vs CPVC


Pex is a totally different product from PB. Were I to redo my plumbing, it's what I would use.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:19 PM   #4
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PEX vs PB vs CPVC


There are three types of PEX connections (well, 4 if you count push-fit, which I don't, because I don't trust them). There's the expanding joint that Trucon01 mentions, then there's the copper crimp rings, and finally the stainless clamp rings. The steel clamp rings remind me too much of PB, so that's why we went with the copper crimp rings. Tool was only $100, but we spent a lot on rings and fittings since we did the traditional trunk-and-branch layout. 1" crimp rings are surprisingly expensive!

IMHO, I think the copper crimp rings can make as good as a connection as the expanding joint, but the expanding joint is harder to mess up (working in a crawlspace or in other tight quarters, it's easy to get a copper crimp in the wrong position, or even crooked, since the crimp tool is huge).
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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PEX vs PB vs CPVC


I researched this topic a lot also and was ready to get the Wirsbo expander for pex, but you have to order ALL of the supplies online. You can not run down to your local big box store to get supplies. When was the last time you did a plumbing project where you got everything you needed on the first trip?

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Old 12-04-2012, 02:52 PM   #6
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When was the last time you did a plumbing project where you got everything you needed on the first trip?
That's a good point, I forgot about that. Now that you mention it, we did end up making extra several trips for more tees, ells, and crimp rings... I suppose the other option is to buy more than you think you'll need, but then it gets expensive.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:39 PM   #7
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PEX vs PB vs CPVC


All most all the fitting come in a contractors packs, cheaper then just buying one at a time.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tylernt View Post
That's a good point, I forgot about that. Now that you mention it, we did end up making extra several trips for more tees, ells, and crimp rings... I suppose the other option is to buy more than you think you'll need, but then it gets expensive.
There are some good PEX buys on the net just because of that. DIY people buy extra and sell the remainder when the job is finished.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:02 PM   #9
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It is not necessary to order PEX on line, you do need to go to a plumbing supply house, not a big box store, to get supplies. I purchased my PEX tubing in a 300 foot roll, this is cost effective if you need a lot of it. I purchased my Wirsbo rings in 25 piece bags. Some contractor supply stores will sell to individuals, and in some cases they will sell individual pieces at approximately the same unit cost as single pieces.

I used the Wirsbo system, but others on this forum have had good luck with crimp rings. I also have used a couple of sharkbite fittings as disconnects, this is useful for example when connecting to a water heater or an expansion tank.

Here is little trick I learned off this forum. To remove a PEX line from a fitting without damaging the fitting, you can cut off the crimp ring or PEX ring with a knife, then heat the PEX tubing gently with a torch. When it turns translucent, you can easily remove it from the fitting without damaging the fitting. The tubing is junk at that point, but this technique has saved me a lot of grief when I wanted to keep a specific fitting in place.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:02 PM   #10
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PEX vs PB vs CPVC


Some parts of the country use cpvc with great success. But in my area we don't use it anymore- only when it's part of a repair on existing work. We have moved on to pex.
My preferred method is wirsbo for 2 reasons- full size fittings and you have no chance of rings left uncrimped after you make a connection.
I have used all three types of joining methods(expansion,crimp and cinch) and I feel all are reliable.
You do need to support pex more often then normal- a minor set back. It is excellent for repipes as you can fish long lengths up or down walls and bend it to reduce the amount of 90's and labor needed- which means less cost.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:50 PM   #11
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Here is little trick I learned off this forum. To remove a PEX line from a fitting without damaging the fitting, you can cut off the crimp ring or PEX ring with a knife
I really can't imagine what you mean by cutting through a metal ring with a knife.

They make a special tool that will cut off a PEX joint and leave the fitting in good shape.

The tools for PEX are really not that expensive. Using Pro Crimp Rings (at least that is what one company calls them) you get a spacer built in so you don't have to guess at the crimp ring spacing from the fixture, and you don't have to worry about holding that heavy crimper moving the ring slightly as you try to crimp it.

Anyway, PEX is definitely better than PB piping and I'm not aware of any problems with it. It may seem the same, but it's different and better. I would not hesitate to plumb my entire house with it. (edit: source, not drain, of course :-) )
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:02 AM   #12
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I really can't imagine what you mean by cutting through a metal ring with a knife.
He is talking about the plastic ring used with Wisbro expansion system.

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