OK, I posted about PEX clamping. I made the mistake of stating my
opinion about it, which is not in favor of it. Thus the whole
discussion thread went in that direction and the original point of my
post was lost.
So, I am posting it again, with the intended question.
1. There are two types of PEX Clamping Tools (Crimp Tools) and two
types of crimp bands being sold. One is just a solid metal ring that
somehow (magically) shrinks when the tool is applied. The other looks
more like a common auto hose clamp minus the screw, and requires a
different tool. Which is better?
2. Why cant someone just use a common hose clamp? Hose clamps are a
tad bit more costly for the actual clamp, but the average DIY
homeowner is not going to spend $100 (or even $50) for the tool to do
one job. In the end, hose clamps are cheaper if the cost of the tool
is included. Better yet, hose clamps are easily removed and replaced.
It would seem to me that they would actually be better. I am
surprised they are not just used overall, even by plumbers, with their
only drawback being that stupid homeowners can loosen them and cause
problems. Hose clamps have been used exclusively for underground
plastic black pipe (I cant recall the type of pipe that is) where
people have wells, and they work well.
I'm sure that in time there will be cheap generic crimp tools being
sold that only cost $19.99, but even at that, everyone owns a
screwdriver and with hose clamps being readily available, easy to
install, and much easier to remove than the PEX clamps now being sold,
why not just use hose clamps?
The Pex clamps I used (see links in my other posting) were actually easier
and faster than hose clamps. The point about the tool cost is valid, I paid
about $100 for mine. I know the ratchet style operation will not release
until you get to the correct tension for the clamp, then it will not let you
go further. This calibration makes the use idiotproof, which would be a
boon to many folks working with plumbing (at least Pex).
The one advantage of a pipe clamp might be that you can add one around an
installed conection, with the Pex clamp you need to remember to slide it
onto the tubing before fasterning to the connector. It's surprisingly tough
to pull the Pex off the connector in tight spots.
So if you object to purchasing a tool specially designed for the job, try
pipe clamps. I spent $100 on the tool, it took me 5-6 seconds to do each
clamp connection, and I had zero leaks in maybe 100 connectors throughout
the place. I had to take off some clamps when I plumbed a valve wrong and
also when I retrofitted a water filter. They are extremely easy to remove
with a good set of snips. Just remember to position the crimp to make it
available to get teh snips on. Not all Pex clamps I have seen work the same
way, but these ones were a snap.
IMHO, the tool was worth it for me, maybe not for everybody. The plastic
clamps you described in your other post would give me absolute nightmares.
I never said anything about plastic clamps. I am referring to
stainless steel hose clamps used to connect (for example) a gas line
to a fuel pump or carb in a car.
I will agree that the tool is probably quicker than turning a screw on
a hose clamp, but if it takes me 20 seconds to turn a screw V/S the 5
seconds you spend, that's real minor compared to the cost of the tool.
Lets say you install 50 clamps. That would be 250 seconds with the
tool, (or 4+ minutes), or 1000 seconds (16+ minutes) with screw
clamps. That's 12 minutes difference. I'd have to earn hundreds of
dollars per hour to justify that. Sure, this will pay off for a
plumber, but not a homeowner. Actually, for myself, owning the tool
will actually pay to own because I am always doing some sort of
plumbing for myself or others. But for rthe average homeowner, it
wont pay at all if screw type hose clamps are the other option.
How you can cut them with a snips without cutting into the pipe itself
is beyond me. The problem starts when there are several clamp styles
available. I'd like to see the ones you use. Please post a photo or
web link to one. The ones I originally saw were just solid rings,
like a wedding ring, with nothing sticking out. Now I have seen the
ones with the tabs on the side that look like a hose clamp without the
screw and are probably stainless steel.
Like another poster said, will PEX become another situation like
aluminum wiring? And even if the pipe itself is durable and long
lasting, there is still no standard with the clamps. There are
several types. So even if I do decide to buy the tool, I'll wait till
they come up with a standard, or I may end up using Beta tapes when
everyone is using VHS, and end up with a costly useless tool.
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On Oct 23, 9:13 am, email@example.com wrote:
Check out the expander system......tools can be had reasonably on Ebay
I bought a hand expander w/ 1/2", 3/4" & 1" expander tips.
At first I was worried that the hand expander was going to be too
slow. But even with the hand expander I can easily make a PEX
connection faster than I can clean 1/2 of a copper joint. With the
home run design I had 32 (total) PEX joints for 2 baths, kitchen &
Plumbers use the pneumatic or battery powered expander......they are a
little faster but its mostly for ease of use (read: reliable and
The comparison of crimp rings to screw hose clamps is NOT
speed.................it is reliable and repeatable
PEX is not (at this point) a DIY product unless you know what you're
So if the tools are a barrier to DIY use of PEX maybe that's not a bad
Consider the expander system (WIrsbo PEX), they've been around a long
time & they sell tons of PEX. The expander system has been around for
a long time & the installed base of tools is pretty extensive.
I doubt its going the way of BetaMax
See if you can borrow or even just see it being used. Make up some
joints & play with them. They're strong...just use the brass fittings
not the plastic onesss.
I was skeptical when I first was considering the PEX expander
When I got my suuplies & tools, I made up some joints. I tried to
blow them up with my compressor. I pressured the PEX & even put in
Couldn't get anything to fail. Of course I only went to 110 psi &
probably about 120F.
I was satisfies, PEX is a clean easy system.
About PEX becoming the next "aluminim wiring" problem. I had a
friend (a builder) tell me about PEX ~10 years ago when he was leaving
CA for TX. I haven't heard any horror stories (yet).
I was refering to your original thread about Pex, where you said:
" I wonder how many pounds of pressure those plastic fittings will handle."
Perhaps I misinterpreted what you were talking about?
The links to the clamps :
The slightly raised area becomes compressed and pinches up, making it easy
to snip if removal is required. Rather ingenious actually.
Easy to use ratchet style compression tool. Foolproof.
Another poster refered to the Pex expander tool. AFAIK, this version has a
"beak" that fits inside the plain connector collars and expands them, then
you quickly slip them on over tube/connector where they retract for
compression. I asked about these at the plumbing shop where I got my
materials. The very savvy guy there suggested that system required a lot
more muscle power than the tool I bought. I believe his quote included the
term "Popeye arms" ;-)
To be honest, it sounds like you just don't beleive Pex would ever be as
good as copper. Everybody's entitled to their opinion.
My opinion (based on comparative use) is that it's easy, safe and dependable
with this clamp/tool system.
I was concerned about the muscle power required as well...BEFORE
using the tool.
The Wirsbo hand expander is effortless...a little awkward until you
get the hang of it but really only very minor muscle power needed.
more muscle power than the tool I bought. I believe his quote
term "Popeye arms" ;-) <<<<
I'd be surprised if the crimp tool required less muscle than the
I'll bet your "very savvy" guy
1. has never used the WIrsbo hand expander
2. only supports / stocks crimp type system
3. might have arm strength of Olive Oil not Popeye ( j/k)
In the expander system there is no clamp.
The expander system uses a "doubler" ring (just a plain thick walled
ring) that is slipped over the end of the PEX tube. The tube &
double ring are both expanded using the expansion tool. When in the
expanded state the combo is slipped over the fitting.
The key to system is the "shape memory" of the PEX tube & doubler
ring. They "relax" back onto the fitting creating a tight seal.
Yeah, I was skeptical. I researched & worried. I played with it when
I got it.
Is the OP calling this system the "plastic clamp"?
Anyway the joint can be "undone" using a utility knife. Carefully
shave the ring, once you're through the ring it can be peeled off.
Next shave the PEX tube....if you want to re-use the fitting, DO NOT
scratch or score the fitting. When you shave through more than 1/2
the tube you can, by hand, pry / wrench the tube free of the fitting.
I did it in a couple of locations to "re-wire" my manifold.
If you don't need to re-use the fitting just cut the tube.
Notice that all responses had nothing to do with engineering or anything
scientific such as psi or loads etc.. Why don't all of you brilliant plumbers do
a simple test! Buy a 50 cent piece of pex (you already have some lying around)
and a pex elbow for the correct diameter (probably have one of those al well)
and then attach the elbow using a standard stainless steel hose clamp! Now try
to remove it by force, and you can exert more force by hand than any lateral
sheer force exerted by water flowing through the pex (I've already tried it and
I can't budge the fitting) and you'll not be able to remove! Doubt you've done
as much plumbing work as you say or you'd know that securing fittings in tight
spaces especially in remodel jobs can be hard and pex tools do not help that any
but a screwdriver fits almost anywhere! A ten cent hose clamp from Harbor
Freight Tools will work fine and can be removed in the future without damaging
the pex! Would love to hear from an engineer about the foolishness of the above
On Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:44:02 +0000, aplumbernamedlee
A "ten cent hose clamp from Harbor Frieght" does not clamp uniformly
around the hose, and partucularly on relatively hard PEX I would never
trust one. A more expensive "full circle" clamp as used for fuel
injection hoses MIGHT be acceptable, as it applies the same clamping
pressire all the way around the connection.
firstname.lastname@example.org posted for all of us...
Claire, most people do not know that a screw hose clamp does not clamp
uniformly, hence they use it inappropriately. I always replace OE stuff with
I had a buddy whose daughter crashed the LeBaron *again* Ran it into a curb.
No body damage but half shaft bent. He comes to me and complains the body
shop that did the previous repair used an aluminum bolt on the steering
column and it broke. He was cursing the shop for shoddy work, etc. Until I
explained that bolt was there to mitigate chest injuries and maybe think
that the shop saved the girl from more serious possibly fatal injuries.
On Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:44:02 +0000, aplumbernamedlee
This looks like another of those old posts from years ago, reposted by a
remailer, or whatever that is called. But either way, I have always
wondered why a hose clamp would not work on PEX. They work fine on Poly
pipe which is generally used underground and PEX has a similar 'feel' to
it. I've actually wanted to try using hose clamps just to see if it
Hose clamps would be beneficial as far as making it easy to use in tight
places as well as easy to remove clamps to modify the plumbing....
Of course they must be tightened properly!
However, I am sure this would not meet the code!!!
*If I was to do this, I would NOT use those cheapo HF clamps though. Id
buy the best, all stainless steel ones I could find.
Now that's about the dumbest thing I've ever heard! It's a damned piece of poly
hose! Don't tell anyone what you think...text it for yourselves! Hose clamps
don't provide even pressure, Pex is made for a clamp etc. are about as stupid a
response and anyone can write! Just put a 10 cent hose clamp on a piece of pex
& a elbow fitting and see for yourselves! Any engineer worth a damn will try it
and then write about it instead of spouting some inane response about what they
think! And in case you're wondering...everyone else all over the world uses hose
clamps with pex and has been doing so longer than we've had Pex! Don't forget
when pex was introduced here no self respecting plumber would even consider
using pex and it was badmouthed from here to Boston!
On Fri, 06 Feb 2015 04:44:02 +0000, aplumbernamedlee
An normal hose clamp is barely adequate for a soft hose. A full
circle clamp might be acceptable. Full circle hose clamps are
available at good automotive supply houses labeled as fuel injection
Because you can't get near enough pressure to properly secure the stiff PEX
tubing. One pretty good way to have trouble with something like that is to
not install it properly. The proper clamps and tools are crucial to long
term reliability. A hose clamp will probably work initially.
On Mon, 22 Oct 2007 15:52:02 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
Crimp hold much better, sorry I can't quantify a value.
Easier to install, faster.
Don't prtrude, so it is possible to pull them through rafters and
openings without catching too much.
Hose clamps do not have the holding strength, they are easy to strip,
and don't last as long. They also take longer to install. I've
replaced many on my vehicles, just because they've failed.
On Oct 22, 1:52 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I agree, the questions in your original post got neglected as the
thread drifted "off topic"
Before I made the jump from copper to PEX I had some of the same
questions & concerns that you have.
The tool were really expensive!
I was concerned about using any crimps rings...if the rings corroded
the connection would fail.
I chose to use the expansion system....no crimp rings.
So to answer your Question 1: Which is better? IMO, neither, crimp
rings are not a good choice. I recommend using the expansion tool &
Question 2: >>>Why cant someone just use a common hose clamp? <<<<<
PEX is an engineered complete system its not just the PEX tubing
alone. The PEX mfr supplies the parts. But the system performance
depends on the parts AND the installation. The PEX mfr has
engineered (parts & installation procedure) to perform reliably.
The PEX plumbing system is not a "DIY homeowner" system
Installation with screw type hose clamps would give widely varying
clamping force. Crimped connections give reliable and repeatable
PEX system is more or less permanent, not meant to be removed a
routine basis. It can be reworked (just like any permanent plumbing
system) but the clamping system is designed for reliability of
connection not "remove-ablilty".
If the PEX system mfr allowed or suggested the use of hose clamps,
that would expose themselves and the installers to the possibility of
huge liability. The system as designed works, modify it at your own
This is a great idea, as long as you don't mind leaks in your wall a day, a
year, or 10 years, after you put it together.
Why not just buy your materials from a reliable plumbing supply place that will
rent you the tool for a day. Put everything in place, and then get the tool and
assemble the connectors in a few hours.
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