PEX - Using hose clamps

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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?
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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.
Cheers Gary
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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, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

OP-
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 & laundry room.
Plumbers use the pneumatic or battery powered expander......they are a little faster but its mostly for ease of use (read: reliable and repeatable)
The comparison of crimp rings to screw hose clamps is NOT speed.................it is reliable and repeatable results.
PEX is not (at this point) a DIY product unless you know what you're doing.
So if the tools are a barrier to DIY use of PEX maybe that's not a bad thing.
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 system. 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 hot water.
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).
cheers Bob
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wrote in message

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 :
http://www.pexsupply.com/categories.asp?cID91&brandid The slightly raised area becomes compressed and pinches up, making it easy to snip if removal is required. Rather ingenious actually.
The tool:
http://www.pexsupply.com/product_dtl.asp?pID776&brand=Watts&cID91
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.
Cheers Gary
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Gary-
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 included the term "Popeye arms" ;-) <<<<
I'd be surprised if the crimp tool required less muscle than the expander..
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)
cheers Bob
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wrote in message

Tnx
I haven't tried it myself (the Wirsbo tool). The OP had a question about how to remove one if required. Is the clamp a sinple ring-type collar? If so, how would you remove one if necessary?
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Use a Dremel tool (proper blade) to cut a diagonal slice on the ring side. Peel away enough to remove the ring.
-- Oren
"I wouldn't even be here if my support group hadn't beaten me up."
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Gary-
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. Pretty amazing.
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.
check out http://www.uponor-usa.com/Header/Service/For%20Professionals/Products%20and%20Tools/Products%20and%20Materials/Uponor%20PEX%20Tubing.aspx http://www.sheltertech.com/wirsbo_pex_tubing.htm http://www.pexsupply.com/CategoryPre.asp?cID63&brandid cheers Bob
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replying to Mamba, aplumbernamedlee wrote:

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 claims!
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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.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca 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 like parts.
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.
--
Tekkie *Please post a follow-up*

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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 would work.
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.
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snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

Because PEX isn't a hose. It is a permanent plumbing system which frequently is concealed. Crimp connections produce reliable and repeatable results.
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replying to George, aplumbernamedlee wrote:

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!
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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 hose clamps.
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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.
Don Young
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On Mon, 22 Oct 2007 15:52:02 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.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.
samurai.
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On Oct 22, 1:52 pm, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

OP-
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 & compatible fittings.
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 results.

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 risk.
cheers Bob
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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.
Bob
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