Question about PEX tubing

Hopefully this hasn't been discussed too many times and is in the right group, but here goes....
I'm slowly replacing the 50 year old galvanized pipes in my house with PEX, seems like a much easier task and the materials are cheaper. That said, one problem that I'm running into is that there is SO MANY kinds of PEX on the market. My question is of compatibility - is, for instance, Zurn PEX tubing compabitible with non Zurn fittings? Is PEX tube PEX tube, or does it really matter?
To be honest, I find the Zurn stuff to be just fine, but its impossible to find locally and I can't seem to locate an online dealer - not to mention the lack of fittings.
Is this a problem because PEX is new, or because I'm not a contractor and just not experienced enough?
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Eigenvector wrote:

PEX is really not that new here. I know that some Lowe's and HD now sell PEX. It comes in blue, white, red, etc. It takes a special tool to crimp the rings, that is the expensive part. There is also a GO-NO-GO guage to make sure the crimp rings are crimped correctly. Make sure you don't get the polybuterine or irrigation tubing as it's not the same. The fittings for 1/2 PEX are standard regardless of manufacturer. Also the 3/4 and up are the same. Just make sure it's PEX.
J
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Well I have the tools for the Zurn stuff, honestly I find the crimper tool to be a major PIA to use, but that's mostly because the tubing doesn't fit very snugly on the fittings and so it slides around as you try to manuver that crimper head into proper position. You're right about it being expensive, yikes! That said, I mistakenly got some Qest fittings (hand tighten compression fitting style) and no matter how tight I made the connection I couldn't keep the tubing from coming out - one of the reasons why I went for the Zurn fittings and one of the reasons why I thought the fittings were specific to the tubing.
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Eigenvector wrote:

Hi, B4 you slide the tubing onto fitting, dip the fitting in the water. Much easy this way.
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I was just looking at this and wondering about using for a hotwater line to the garage. Looked in Lowes and they had Pex but no crimping stuff like you described. They had fittings where you just pushed in the tube and that was it. I have not used the stuff and that's about all I know about it. Looked in HD here but they do not carry it. I suppose I could go online somewhere and find the stuff. I might as well ask whiel I am into this. Do I want the push fittings? Or do I want to get the crimping stuff. Copper is out of sight now around here. Thanks.
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My very limited experience with it tells me that the crimp kind is relatively expensive but a sure thing. The crimp tool is about 100 bucks at Lowe's (1/2 or 3/4, and 200 bucks for the combination tool!!! <frowny face>) but you can rent them I've heard. I didn't as about 3 or 4 of my friends are going to do the same thing later on. That said, the fittings are super cheap, low profile, and pretty durable. I am having a heck of a time finding a 1/2 shut off valve for a sink line.
I went to the HD and asked about PEX, the guy there said (and I quote) "Yeah, we don't carry that stuff, it's only really used in mobile homes."
Yeah, thanks Home Depot any other slights you can throw my way?
If I could find an online source I'd do it from there, but Lowe's it is.
Here's an example of my first attempt, it's ugly but the PEX is solid as a rock. http://imageevent.com/eigenvector/plumbinginmynewhouse Warning not for the eyes of a skilled plumber!
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On 5/22/2006 7:50 PM or thereabouts, Eigenvector appears, somewhat unbelievably, to have opined:

In new construction in my area they put copper stubouts that attach to the PEX for attaching shutoff valves and the like. Then you're dealing with something most people know how to work with at the fixtures themselves. I've been living in a house with all PEX for 2 years now. No problems whatsoever. As for the mobile home comment, most new construction in my area be they modest or large homes, are plumbed with PEX these days.
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Hmm, that might be the only solution. I guess its not hard to solder copper tubing, I just hate doing it. But, it is the best way to get a nice tight leak free connection to plumbing fixtures.
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