The question was raised a few weeks back about using hose clamps on
PEX instead of using the PEX rings and crinping tool.
My brother had to install a new water softener in his hundred+ year
old house and decided to use PEX rather than risk using the torch. He
tried hose clamps, and after tightening them till just before they
stripped (by trial and error) he turned on the water and blew the
connections right off within minutes. After that he went and gladly
spent $50 for a proper PEX crimper and rings.
On Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 10:43:32 AM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Well, I guess that settles that. At least it happened while he was
watching. What would have happened if it happened sometime later,
with no one around..... With some things, it just doesn't pay to
fool around, take half measures, etc.
On 03/07/2015 09:43 AM, email@example.com wrote:
Last summer I also used PEX to replace a very bad section of pipe in my
118 year old house.
Though I am known by my wife as one who makes half-ass repairs it did
not even occur to me to use hose clamps.
The PEX fittings I used did not require a crimper and they worked perfectly.
All galvanized pipe was removed, so I went copper to PEX to copper.
On Sat, 07 Mar 2015 10:43:30 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Thats what I like about this newsgroup. You get actual results, not
"facts" based on making sales. I actually thought that the hose clamps
would work too, and they were just pushing these crimp rings and the
costly tool to make money. Why these crimp rings hold better than hose
clamps, I find somewhat puzzling. Hose clamps do get damn tight.....
And why have they not developed a "better" hose clamp just made for PEX?
There are times that pipes need to be installed temporarily, and those
crimp rings are permanent. They can not be removed. To me, that is a
"turn off" to using PEX.
I am planning to replace my pipes and seriously considered PEX. But
after looking into the cost of the fittings, having to buy that costly
tool, and more than anything, the fact that the ID size of PEX is
considerably smaller than other pipes, meaning I'd have to use all 1"
and 3/4" PEX, rather than 3/4" and 1/2", or use one of those
"manifolds", which wont work for my situation, (on an existing
building), without ripping too much of the building apart. I came to
the conclusion that the only way to do my plumbing is to daisy chain the
pipes like they have traditionally done since the beginning of indoor
In the end, I opted to NOT use PEX. I checked into CPVC, which is much
cheaper, and real easy to install, (and I have used in the past), and
decided to just use that. However, where the source pipe goes to the
water heater and over to the washing machine (exposed pipes), I decided
to use copper, just because it's stronger, and tend to question using
CPVC directly to the water heater, just because of the heat.
But once I get started, I might just end up using copper for everything.
I installed a lot of copper when I was younger and know what I'm doing.
And even though copper pipe is expensive, the fittings are still much
cheaper than PEX fittings, and I dont have to buy any special tools.
PEX tubing is cheap, but when you add in the cost of the fittings, and
have to buy that tool, copper ends up being about the same price.
On Sat, 07 Mar 2015 13:02:27 -0600, email@example.com wrote:
The Pex tool is about the same price as a good MAP torch, and you
don't need to keep buying fuel for it.
That said, I'm still a copper man. Plastic for drain and vent.
If I was building a new home, I'd likely go with PEX. A lot quieter as
the hot water warms up the pipe on a cold morning.
When I sweat a copper joint, I know it's permanent and will not come
apart. If by chance I made a poor joint, it will show up as soon as I
turn the water on, and leak. But once I know there are no leaks, I can
feel safe leaving home and not worrying about having a flood in the
With PEX, there is always the possibility that a joint was just slightly
too loose, and some day I will come home and find water pouring out of
my house because a joint separated. If I had PEX, I would always be
worrying about that sort of thing, and I'd probably shut the water main
valve off whenever I left home for more than a day.
So, maybe it is a negative attitude, but for just reason. I am going to
stick with traditional copper pipe. Both copper and steel pipe have
been around for many years and were always reliable and durable.
I do have a good torch, and it's a turbo torch with a hose between the
tank and the head. I use it for lots of stuff, besides sweating copper
pipe. A PEX tool only serves one purpose.
Lead solder was a little easier to use, but I quickly adapted to the
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copper splits and leaks when frozen, and the lines need replaced/
PEX tolerates freezing, and most often expands when froze with no real damage, then melts and goes back to normal
OEX is way easier to work with. plus saves tons of time installing
Yes, I have dealt with frozen copper pipes splitting.
Actually, iron pipe holds up better when frozen, but that is hard to
install in a finished building.
CPVC splits too, and breaks apart when frozen. It's weaker than copper.
I dont know if I agree about PEX being easier to work with, because I
can sweat copper pipes quite fast, since I have done a lot of it. CPVC
is even easier and quicker to work with, and is the least costly of all,
but it has it's problems too.
I did help someone install some PEX, and I thought it was a pain in the
butt to crimp inside walls. For NEW work, it's probably easy, but not
in a finished building. I can solder in a much tighter place, and I
know it's not going to leak, whereas a crimp inside a small wall opening
can not be inspected real well. In fact, when I helped that guy, I
refused to do the crimps in tight places because I did not want the guy
suing me later because some joint came apart and flooded his home. I
helped with all the other parts of the job, but made him do the crimps
himself. I only did a few exposed ones by the water heater. He did a
lot of cussing when he was crimping in tight places, and I could see
But I have heard many times that the PEX pipe holds up better when it
freezes, and I can see where the pipe itself will hold up. Garden hoses
dont normally break when they freeze either. It's all about having room
to expand. Working a farm, I have garden hoses freeze all the time, and
once thawed they are fine. BUT.... What happens to the PEX fittings
and the crimped joints. A brass fitting is not all that much different
than a copper pipe. Dont they split or break? And even if a crimp ring
was properly crimped, dont the ice force the fitting to separate from
the PEX pipe, when the ice expands?
One other thing, how does sunlight affect PEX? I know many of not most
plastics degrade from sunlight exposure. What about PEX?
Sure, most of the time it's inside a basement or a wall, but in my case,
I will be running some of it on the surface of walls. There is no
basement and I'm not going to rip the whole building apart. Much can be
run under cabinets and thru closets, but there will be some exposed.
I worked as a plumber for almost 10 years, back on the 80s. I never set
any fires, and probably installed copper in well over 100 homes. Sure,
wood got slightly charred a few times, but that's normal, and wjy I
always had a spray bottle full of water handy, just to make sure nothing
would ignite. Back then, PEX did not exist in my area, in fact I never
even heard of it. CPVC was not allowed either in the city I woeked in.
But that later changed.
On Monday, March 9, 2015 at 10:47:00 AM UTC-4, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I guess they should have had you on this recent job:
Took out about a square block. IDK what they did or didn't do, but
the results were the worst I've ever seen.
Some decades ago a couple roofers doing a torch down
job had a fire on the roof of the carousel, at
Seabreeze ammusement park in Irondequioit, NY.
They tried a couple extinguishers, and the FD is
literally across the street (volunteer FD). The
fire took down the entire carousel.
Christopher A. Young
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