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Old 01-18-2010, 08:08 PM   #1
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Tell me all about pex fittings!


I am researching a possible project I want to take on involving pex and I see all sorts of fittings such as shark bite (too good to be true?) and compression fittings. For example these seem to be another type:

http://www.pexsupply.com/HydroPEX-H0...-Tee-3726000-p

Do I need a crimper for those? It says application:heat so is the tube just heat gunned on?

Also what do stores like home depot tend to carry and what are the best fittings to look for?

When it comes to stuff like faucets and hot water heaters, do I need to buy specific ones that support pex, or would I use a pex to copper converter, or do they just screw on with tefflon tape? I'm new to the world of plumbing but I want to learn.

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Old 01-18-2010, 08:10 PM   #2
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Tell me all about pex fittings!


This PEX fitting may be used with the stainless steel clamping system or the copper crimp ring system.

My local Lowe's carries most of the Zurn fitting and copper crimp rings. There are some valves that have PEX fittings, but the other ones you can just use an adapter.


Last edited by jerryh3; 01-18-2010 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:00 PM   #3
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Tell me all about pex fittings!


Hi Red Squirrel, Yes you should get a crimper. The heat would be to soften it a little for when you put the connecter or joints. I haven't used the pex yet, but have watched my plumber use it. He loves it.
He used it on the cold and hot water lines.
If there's a home depot near you, they usually have how to seminars on things like this. You could also call and ask to speak with they person in plumbing department. That way you can find out how much that person knows, and go when there working so they can show you what you need and you can ask them any questions you have.

This is a link for some of the seminars. You just need to pick the location you want and it will show which ones they have.

http://diy.homedepot.ca/diy/seminar.jsp?langId=-15
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:18 PM   #4
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Tell me all about pex fittings!


You should check out the manufacturer. There is a huge lawsuit against one company and I cannot remember the name. The fittings were failing and creating a ton of water damage claims.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:56 PM   #5
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Tell me all about pex fittings!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovator2209 View Post
You should check out the manufacturer. There is a huge lawsuit against one company and I cannot remember the name. The fittings were failing and creating a ton of water damage claims.
Would it be sharkbite by any chance? I've heard some negative stuff about those fittings. They seem so easy to use though, but perhaps too easy! The fact that I don't have to apply a certain force kinda makes me wonder how good the connections are.

Guess the crimper method is best way to go? From my understanding I need to put a ring over the tube, put the tube over the fitting, then crimp?

Last edited by Red Squirrel; 01-19-2010 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:49 PM   #6
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Tell me all about pex fittings!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
Would it be sharkbite by any chance? I've heard some negative stuff about those fittings. They seem so easy to use though, but perhaps too easy! The fact that I don't have to apply a certain force kinda makes me wonder how good the connections are.

Guess the crimper method is best way to go? From my understanding I need to put a ring over the tube, put the tube over the fitting, then crimp?
I've never used sharkbite fittings but have read they work pretty good. I have a crimper and love it. I was just starting to learn how to sweat copper about 6 years ago and then used pex and now I mostly use pex. It is really easy to use, cut the pex, slid the ring on, insert fitting, crimp, check, have a beer, repeat as neccasary. The crimper is a little expensive and some of the fittings are kinda pricey but not horrible and they are worth the price in the time saved and easyness of use.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:12 PM   #7
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Tell me all about pex fittings!


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Originally Posted by Renovator2209 View Post
You should check out the manufacturer. There is a huge lawsuit against one company and I cannot remember the name. The fittings were failing and creating a ton of water damage claims.
I believe it's Zurn.

I am not crazy about taking what is supposed to be a certain diamater and putting in a smaller diameter fitting to crimp on. That just seems counter-intuitive. So, we are going to replumb our house with PEX using the Wirsbo / Uponor tool. Look at that and see what you think.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:47 PM   #8
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Tell me all about pex fittings!


According to what I have read and what I have learned from the guys at the plumbing supply house- -the problem was with certain Zurn fittings produced in a certain time frame some time back, like two years or so. There was a re-design of these fittings and Zurn fittings are still available with the newer design and the supply house guys say they sell a lot of them, along with other brands. IF you run a considerable amount of piping and you want to compare copper to PEX, you will find that PEX is easier to make the joints and is more forgiving in it's runs, as it is more flexible. The initial investment of tooling for PEX, for quality tools, is quite substantial. Proper PEX crimps are very important. You never see a real plumber use one of those "multi-tools" that fit two or three sizes of PEX. PEX has it's quirks when run properly, such as stub-ins, radius protectors, and the use of nail protectors. Of course you don't have to use these. Short cuts can be taken on any job. I'm "old school" in that I like copper. But let's face facts, it's expensive now. I like to mix the best of both worlds, I run PEX for the long runs, and stub out with copper. Stubbing out with copper gives the future homeowner a better chance of repairs, if necessary, down the road. Thanks, David
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:33 AM   #9
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Tell me all about pex fittings!


By all means talk to the people at a local plumbing supply house about your various options. Home Depot, Menards, Loewes, and other "big box" stores do not always have sales staff knowledgable
in this area. In fact "Sharkbite" fittings are generally for copper lines and are an off shoot of the older "push-push" connectors (in plastic) for 1/8 to 3/8" plastic tubing in low pressure faucet applications. Also check out the P.S.I. rating for your water PEX. I would want a heavier wall PEX with a 300 P.S.I. rating and one that is rated for potable water and not heat applications. Uphonor is a large manufacturer of many different PEXs and a good source to check out.

Last edited by Grampa Bud; 01-21-2010 at 10:41 AM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:09 PM   #10
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Tell me all about pex fittings!


i did a master bath add-on and used the sharkbite fittings for everything. i was tee-ing off of copper lines and it was real easy. i got all of my information from our local plumbing store and not from the home depo/lowes stores and they said that they don't have any problems with them. i used these instead of renting the crimper so i wouldn't be rushed to finish and return the tool and the price difference would be covered in one day rental. i will admit that they go together so easy and spin on the line with their o-ring seal that it makes you wonder if it will seal, but on the same note they use the same type of seal on hydraulic systems at much higher pressures with no problems. just my .02 worth, good luck!
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:48 PM   #11
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Tell me all about pex fittings!


That's for the info, I'll do more research and when I get to a project I'll know more what to look for.

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