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Which PEX connection system do people favor?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by dave11, Dec 28, 2009.

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  1. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    I'm getting ready to re-plumb parts of my house, changing out the 60 year-old copper lines and valves for PEX. Curious if anyone here has worked with the any or all the PEX options, and what they liked or disliked.

    I'm leaning toward Hydropex, but am open to suggestions.

    Thanks.

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  2. DWW68

    DWW68 New Member

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    I like the stainless steel cinch rings. The tool is smaller and able to get into tighter spots. Also they are easier to remove than the copper press rings in the event you have to take anything apart.
  3. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    No personal experience w/ any of the systems - but pexsupply.com seems to have a pretty decent set of guides on the various options - look at both the PEX tubing and the tools section, and expand all the options on the "How to Choose" guides...

    Based on their guides, plus some of the other discussions that I've seen in the past, I would probably go with the stainless crimp rings as well - it seems like they offer more choices in terms of compatible tubes and fittings while being less expensive than the "expander" type setups that they seem to recommend for the pros... The copper crimp ring systems seem to be a close second, but it appears to me to be slightly more expensive for the tooling and rings, plus being more of a pain to keep changing the tool jaws, while not offering any visible advantages over the stainless crimps...

    If some of our industry members could pitch in with any comments on why the expander type setups are better, I'd be interested in hearing them - but I'm not seeing what justifies the extra money and the requirements for using the more expensive tubing and fittings...

    You may find more on this topic over in the boiler room area if you haven't already searched there...

    Gooserider
  4. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    I have done a fair amount of PEX (for an electrician anyways). I have done 2 homes (both mine) and a boiler system with in floor heat. I have always used the cooper rings as that is what i own the tool for. I have only had one go bad on me. That was after about 2 years, the connection behind the washing machine in my new house started to leak. Easy to work with no real knowledge required. If you have specific questions fire away, I'll make up an answer.
  5. matt701

    matt701 Member

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    I bought really cheap but good quality 1/2" pex on ebay and the rest including the tool from the houseneeds website online and it was really easy to work with. I love the manabloc manifold, it's really easy to add new connections and it adds a valve to every line in your house and uses compression fittings which is also simple. I used the copper rings and never had one fail. This was my first ever plumbing try and it was fairly easy and has been completely durable.
  6. Squiner

    Squiner New Member

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    I'm a DIY'er and I used PEX for a new water line from my well pit. Also used PEX to hook up an acid neutralizer. Probabaly did about 40 copper ring connections and all have been fine since I did it last fall. Crimp tool was able to get into all the tight spaces I had.
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Replumbing parts of a house would be a pain. My 43 year old house is all 1/2" copper and I wince with fear every time I need to shut off a stop valve for a faucet or anything like that. Pipe seems fine. I did a bathroom addition and used the sharkbite fittings. They are push on fittings that require no tools so you can just cut to fit and shove it on. The sharkbites will attach to copper, PVC, and pex so your transitions won't require soldering.

    I thought you used the sharkbites goose?

    They aren't cheap. Like 5$ per fitting, but every one of them passed the pressure test.

    The days of doing a house in copper are gone.
  8. BucksCoBernie

    BucksCoBernie New Member

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    i just ripped out all the copper water pipes in my house and replaced everything with 1/2" PEX from Lowes. I was tired of fixing pinhole leaks every other month (well water). The entire project took about 2 days doing everything myself. total cost was about $230. I borrowed the crimping tool from a friend. Pex is great to work with.
  9. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    No, I've never used the sharkbites... I'm impressed by the positive reviews, but I still have "trust issues" on them... Plus it seems the "pros" consider them a bit questionable. Given that the pros don't really have to worry about parts cost (it gets passed on to the customer) if they consider an approach to be "dodgy" I will tend to avoid it as well... Also it seems to me like an awfully expensive way to go if doing more than a very small number of fittings - from the pricing I've seen, it would seem to me like it would pay to get the tooling for the SS clamp ring style fittings if doing more than about 20 joins, or about 30 if doing the copper rings...

    Gooserider
  10. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    I've used the sharkbites many times, and after a few years so far, none have leaked. I'm impressed with how well they work and how easy. I suspect the plumbers don't like them for territorial reasons.

    But I would rather use pex than new copper for what I need to do. there are too many turns to make, in tight quarters, close together. PEX should work better and be cheaper overall.
  11. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Same here and agreed on all counts.
    Plumbers don't wanna use them cause they can't justify the same labor costs as these do reduce labor.
    These phase out plumbers in many situations, especially repairs. That is why plumbers while not totally dismissing them, will not okay them either, IMO.
  12. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    +1. I've used sharkbites several times now at my home with no leaks. I used them to relocate my water heater, add a whole house filter and so on. One has to consider time spent on the work when talking about sharkbites. They go together fast...wicked fast. One step, walk away. I recommend them to anyone in the DIY world....
  13. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    Sharkbites are great in certain places, like when you don't have your tools nearby.

    Never tried the SS rings. I think the advantage of the expander system is that the ring expands with the material and acts like a spring, like the spring loaded hose clamps you see on diesels. That said, I use the copper rings and haven't had any problems. Not that hard to get them off to re-do something when needed. The compression fittings (delrin sleeves) are useful to hook up to existing fixtures sometimes.
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