Replumbing a house with PEX, couple questions

Page 1 of 2  
Hello,
Let me preface this by saying I have zero experience with plumbing but I want to DIY this project because I am trying to gain that experience. Sorry if some of my questions are dumb.
My friend (who worked with his dad many years in their plumbing business) and I are going to redo the plumbing in my house. The old pipes are filled with crud and need to go. I read in this group quite a bit about PEX and I am sold on it for my house. After some convincing my friend has come around (he was insisting on copper, because that is what he knows) and is going to help me.
I want to go with the Wirsbo system (ProPEX brass fittings), using their hand tool and the expansion fittings. The only place I have found that will sell to me (so far) is this website:
http://www.pexsupply.com /
First question: I would love a local place to buy it (Seattle) but so far I have had no luck. Lowes sells only the compression type fittings (and all plastic too!). Can anyone else recommend a place to buy the Wirsbo stuff? Or has anyone else bought from pexsupply.com?
Second question: While I have a general idea of the procedure for installing the PEX, I was wondering if there was a guide of some sort/manual. I know there is a ring that sits on the outside of the tube for the expansion fitting but I don't understand its purpose. Slip on the ring, use the expander, slip over fitting, is that it? I can't find the stuff locally so I have only read about it and seen pictures on the net.
Third question: When people do a remodel with PEX, are they fishing the tubes through the walls and just letting it sit there unsupported? I see several types of fasteners that will fix it to the studs/joists but I am wondering what the "best practice" is for a remodel.
Last question: My plan is to do home-run system where every appliance comes back to the manifold. The Wirsbo Aquacenter manifold with the on/off valves: http://www.wirsbo.com/main.php?pm=1&mm=4&sm=6&pc=common/showroom/index.php&sroom=1 Seems to only have 1/2 inch ID outputs. Is that the normal size for a home-run style system?
Thanks for any help! I love reading this group.
Justin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I 've bought it straight from Home Depot. They'll even rent you the crimping tool.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Home Depots in Orange County CA do not carry PEX.
Wirsbo AquaPex can be purchased on eBay.
or
http://www.pexsupply.com/index.cfm/action/catalog.browse/category_header/1/id_category/31ae2cf6-06cb-4b48-a1b7-19dc285646f4
I bought a hand expander tool but I haven't used it yet. I like the expander concept better than the crimper.
As near as I can tell the extra plastic ring is to help reinforce the tube at the fitting locations & increase clamping force generted by the "shape memory" of the PEX.
The question I have is:
The fitings used with the crimper must be different form the fitting used with the expander?
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://www.pexsupply.com/index.cfm/action/catalog.browse/category_header/1/i d_category/31ae2cf6-06cb-4b48-a1b7-19dc285646f4
Yep. Different principle.
AND it's not quite what you think when you use the expander tool. Depending on how many joints you make up, your arms are going to be tired using that hand expander.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

fittings are the same ID as the pipe.
I figured if I was just going to do my own house (2 bathrooms, 1 kitchen, washer, dishwasher) that the hand tool is the only one that makes sense... I have been hitting the gym in preparation!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 12 May 2005 08:36:09 -0400, "HeatMan"

I saw on tv a cordless drill that had some attachment that did the expansion.
Nice.
later,
tom @ www.WorkAtHomePlans.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I glad to see this thread generated some interest.
To be honest I'm still a little confused.
I think Wirsbo AquaPex was the fresh water stuff.
Re-checking http://www.pexsupply.com
I cannot tell which fitings get used with the crimp system & which get used w/ the expander system.
I've only seen the stuff on the web never in person.
I looked at the air & the battery powered expander; a little pricey.
I too was concerned about my arms getting tired but I only have about 25 expansions per house. What really sucks it that the expander heads for the air, battery & hand expander are all DIFFERENT!
I have a contractor friend who moved from CA to TX a few years ago & he was just switching to PEX. He loved it.
I'm pretty old school been using copper all my life for new work & have done a fair amount of galv steel repair. A year ago I replaced the street to house galv line with 1" CTS type K just because. that's what I use. If I thought about PEX, had the tools & experience I might have used it but old methods die hard.
I think PEX IS the next copper; anyone with bad PEX experience?
I know the stuff is very sunlight sensitive.
Cheers Bob K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

WIRSBO pex uses the expander. Other types of pex use the crimp system
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Some Snipped

At least a couple of manufacturers make a UV resistant PEX.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob,
Thanks for the info. I think I will buy the tool from ebay and the pipes and fittings from pexsupply. I want to color code the hot and cold water lines (red and blue).
Have you actually ordered from pexsupply? Which manifold are you going to use?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JDS-
Am I the Bob you replied to?
If so, no I have not bought from pexsupply.
I have not worked out which manifolds to use.
I was leaning towards the manifolds from .pexsupply.com but you have to sweat fitting onto them to integrate them into your system
An alternative is www.pexconnection.com but all their stuff appears to be for the crimp system They have PEX & PEX out manifolds which are good for hot water loops. The the manifolds that require sweat fittings can be configured as needed.
If you cannot find the tools to rent locally & don't want to buy on Ebay ( ~$250 for hand expander) . I'd be willing to "rent" you mine for a not much, you could keep for a while. I doubt I'll be getting to my repipe very soon esp since my wife put the house on the market. It might be sold before I repipe but I have some more projects on the list.
btw i'm in SoCal
cheers Bob K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yep! Still trying to work out how to use Google groups to do this correctly. I don't have a standalone news reader.

Well when I take the plunge, I will let you know my experience with them then if you would like.

to
are
I am leaning towards the manfiolds at the top of this page (the valved manfiold kits):
http://www.pexsupply.com/index.cfm/action/catalog.browse/category_header/1/id_category/44596d66-9ef5-4cc5-8169-5c4e7872c06f
When you say the needed to be sweated on to integrate into the system, are you thinking of a part pex/part copper system? I am thinking in terms of a complete overhaul, PEX all the way from the street. I assume in that case I would not need to sweat anything except maybe that first street->pex connection.

the
I appreciate the offer! Might be more of pain than it is worth for you, I am in Seattle, WA. I was going to buy it on ebay and keep it though, otherwise how would one fix any future problems that cropped up?

-Justin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wirsbo uses expansion along with PEX's cross-link memory to seal their connections. That's a world away from crimping. If you crimp Wirsbo PEX, the warranty is void....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I looked at PEX at my H.D. and all they seemed to have was the compression fittings "not intended for in wall installation".
O.P. - If you find a supplier in seattle, let me know where. I would check the plumbing supply houses first, myself.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I talked to someone at H.D. He said the PEX they carry is all the "old style" stuff for people repairing installations. This store does not carry any in-wall connection stuff.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I guess it varies with area. Here they sell the pieces or the whole 250' rolls, all the fittings and rent the tools.
Here is in Canada, btw.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My plumber adds a $50 surcharge if he has to touch a pex connection.
I would avoid it like the plague.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why is that? Thousands of houses are now piped with it. Maybe the plumber needs a little education? Or he does not want to invest in the tools?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I'm guessing the same reason the phone company says they don't support touchtone service, and surcharge you for using it.
Cause they can, and it makes them more money.
:)
later,
tom @ www.CarFleaMarket.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I am not a plumber (obviously) but it seems to me like PEX is going to be the next "copper". The only argument I have read against it goes something like:
"Copper is metal and metal is stronger. I wouldn't trust plastic."
I am totally ready and willing to be convinced that there is a huge downside to PEX, but I haven't been able to find it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.