Working with PEX


I posted something a few weeks ago about my girlfriend wanting me to add an outside faucet for the back yard. The problem was that her plumbing used PEX, which I had never used before. Anyway, the job is now done and I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy that stuff is to work with.
I made a relatively moderate investment in tools which is the point of this post. I had originally been advised that I would need a crimper that was really too expensive to purchase (starting at about $125 and going as high as $250 or so). You were supposed to get a go/no go gauge to check your connections with that. Due to the cost of the tool, most people seemed to rent from the Borg for maybe $8 for 4 hours or so. Well, when I visited the rental area at Home Cheapo, they had the crimper but none of the gauges. Boo hiss.
I then visited the internet and discovered there was another type of PEX connector that could be used that had an external tab on it. The Borg did not sell this kind although plumbing supply houses may (I never looked beyond the internet). Even better, crimpers that worked with this type of connector started at about $40. They do not require a go/no go gauge either.
You fit the external tabs into the tool, then squeeze like hell. The tool will not release the tabs until the connection is completely crimped... once you start there's no going back because the tool won't release until it's crimped. Every one of the connections was watertight on the first attempt.
The crimper I bought was made by Pexcaliber, which you can look for with either a google search or by looking on eBay. I don't have any connection to the company other than being a satisfied customer.
Knowing what I know now I wouldn't have hesitated to do this job but I was put off originally by what I thought I was going to have to pay. PEX is really pretty easy to work with.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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On Aug 4, 2:29 am, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote:

Pick up a couple of the Sharkbite fittings. They make a crimper look difficult to use. They're not cheap at ~6-7 bucks a fitting, but they're quick and easy - easy to remove and replace if necessary, too. They're great for making transitions from copper to PEX. I keep a few spares in the box.
R
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On Aug 4, 2:29 am, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote:

Pick up a couple of the Sharkbite fittings. They make a crimper look difficult to use. They're not cheap at ~6-7 bucks a fitting, but they're quick and easy - easy to remove and replace if necessary, too. They're great for making transitions from copper to PEX. I keep a few spares in the box.
R ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I just used a couple of the Sharkbite fittings for the first time over the weekend, they are amazing!
Waldo
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Yes, and they are amazingly expensive also.
s

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On Aug 4, 2:54 pm, "Steve Barker DLT"

Amazingly? Hmmm. In any event, they work well, they speed you up, they can be easily undone, and they connect a variety of pipe materials. I wouldn't do a whole house with them, that's for sure, but for most plumbing puttering it's money well spent.
R
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perhaps.
s
wrote:

Amazingly? Hmmm. In any event, they work well, they speed you up, they can be easily undone, and they connect a variety of pipe materials. I wouldn't do a whole house with them, that's for sure, but for most plumbing puttering it's money well spent.
R
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Ignore the man behind the curtain!
Nah, Pat, the Sharkbite fittings aren't the place to make money - they're a place to save time and aggravation...which I guess is making money!
R
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On Mon, 4 Aug 2008 02:29:58 -0400, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote:>I posted something a few weeks ago about my girlfriend wanting me to add an

I bought my PEX crimpers, as this is the first home owned with pex plumbing and was not certain at the time how reliable pex was.
It would be nice if a single crimper (my brand) would work for 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4 inch lines. One model for 3/8 and one model for 1/2 -- 3/4.
The day I really needed the 1/2 inch crimper was the day they were out of the 1/2 -- 3/4 combination....
Replace a hose bib and pressure breaker, but it is a compression fitting pex>copper.
Pex is easy and reliable.
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Oren wrote:

The Pexcaliber crimper I bought new for $39.95 works with 3/8 through 1" clamps. The clamp itself doesn't get inserted into the tool; only the external tab does. The tab is the same size irregardless of the diameter of the ring. I was really impressed with the tool.
The only negative that I could see was that when the tool's arms are wide open, it takes a lot of strength to get them pressed together initially. Once I got them close enough that I could hold both of them in one hand, my grip easily closed them the rest of the way. But apparently my pectoral muscles aren't nearly as strong as the muscles in my hands.
I was a little sore the next day: in my chest from the initial squeezing of the clamps and in my knees, from being on them without pads. The dirt under the house apparently wasn't as soft as it seemed when I first got under there.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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Thanks for the info. I once had a customer that needed the water line to the meter replaced.
I had looked into PEX since I had never worked with it and never had any feedback on how it was.
Take care,
Andy
Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

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Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

I'll stick with pvc.
--
Blattus Slafaly ? 3 :) 7/8

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I thought that PVC was no longer used on potable water due to leaching of the PVC into the water supply.
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"Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> writes:

There's an alternative to the go/nogo gauge. If you check the data sheets for PEX on the web issued by various manufacturers of PEX, at least one gives the range of allowable diameter for the crimp ring after crimping, in thousandths of an inch. If you have a decent vernier, dial, or digital caliper, you can use it to check your crimps.
    Dave
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On Aug 4, 11:06 pm, snipped-for-privacy@cs.ubc.ca (Dave Martindale) wrote:

My suggestion with PEX is to forget the crimp style connections & use the ProPex fititngs. They work with an expander tool & take advantage f PEX's shape memory......... no gauging required.
cheers Bob
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wrote:

A fast look on DAGS, an expander kit cost (yikes) $684.95.
3/8" ProPEX Expander Head (yikes) $79.95.
I don't feel bad now, with my expensive crimpers. :))
Expanders are nice....
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That's the pneumatic expander. The hand powered expander, with the heads, is around $300.
Cheers, Wayne
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Yeah the expanders are a litttle pricey but the connections are sweet.
Plus you could rent on or buy on ebay & sell it when done.
cheers Bob
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wrote:

Had I only known of the expanders a few years ago (DIY). For a few dollars more I could have gotten the kit; instead of just two crimpers. I need 3/8 > 3/4 inch connections....

Yep, recently I'm seeing all pex in homes. From the street meter, throughout the house. In my area, even landscape irrigation lines (new custom homes) are pex. The expanders are the way.
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When I needed to do a small amount of work with PEX (replacing some older PB), I just rented a crimper from Home Depot. It cost $10-15, not a lot of money. I already had calipers to check the crimp, and it turned out that the rental crimper produced finished crimps that were right in the middle of the allowed diameter range. The brass crimp fittings and copper rings are quite cheap, too.
We also had a professional plumber do a variety of jobs around the house, including replacement of a plastic compression fitting on a PB line. He used PEX with compression rings and a crimper.
So I'd use crimp fittings again.
    Dave
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On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 18:40:04 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@cs.ubc.ca (Dave Martindale) wrote:

I'd use expanders on any underground pex.
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