Just found out that I have going to need to replace a couple of short pipe
runs. The destruction involved using conventional materials makes fishable
pex look like the better choice.
Those sharbites are easy but expensive so I started looking at various
methods of connecting the pipe. The crimp or clamp/cinch method using brass
barbs seem to be about the most practical. All connections will be in
Those of you who have it or have are done it, what are your thoughts?
I picked up the unit called "pocket crimper" which I bought on line,
but have also seen at Lowe's. It crimps several sizes of the solid
rings and is made to get into tight places. It is basically 2
pieces of metal that fit together like a hinge. You use a pair of
locking jaw pliers, Vise Grips, to apply the pressure. It takes
several squeeze to lock, and then unlock and tighten cycles to
finally crimp the ring. Also, there is a kind of pinch ring, with a
one-size-fits-all tool that I once saw at Lowe's. But the last time
I looked (not very hard) they didn't have them. Also, there is a
compression fitting system also.
Both you and Al have said crimped. The current crimp is done with a copper
ring with a brass barbed insert. Is that what you guys mean? It may have
changed from brass to copper over the years.
The second style is a stainless steel clinch ring that is sealed around the
tubing over the brass barb. Like a one time use hose clamp. The end result
seems to be the same. The second method is marginally cheaper for tools and
not much difference in materials.
There are at least 3 other methods but those two are the easiest to use
after the sharkbites.
The ones used in my almost 2 year old house and the ones I've used,
with the pocket crimper, look like copper covered with some sort of
black coating. The crimper just squeezes them smaller and smaller
until they compress the Pex onto the brass barbed fitting ... I'm
guessing that is what you meant??? The pocket crimper is fine for
an occasional house project, but you wouldn't want to do anything
major. As I said before, it was designed for hard to reach places.
But the nice thing is that, contrary to normal expensive tool, it
does several sizes. And for $36 (shipping included) it worked for
me. Here's a link:
BTW they were more expensive at Lowe's, even without sales tax.
As for the stainless steel rings, maybe your are talking about the
ring with a little bump sticking out. This bump is then grabbed
with the tool and squeezed, which pulls the rest of the ring
tighter. Here are 2 links:
I used the copper rings, because, somehow in my electrical
engineering brain, they looked more reliable. But, from what I
read, both are just as good.
I went to find some pictures to post but you have already done a great job
of that. Thanks! Those are the exact two systems that I am talking about.
They pocket crimper you show in link one is a good inexpensive version of
the crimper. The ease (?) of use and prices go way up from there. There
are dedicated tools, combo tools and all in one tools.
I am currently inclined towards the product in link 3 because it just seems
like a more simple style. One tool for all, no adjustments, no measuring
after the fact. I installed an underground water line for grandparents in
1969 using poly pipe, barbed couplers and screwdriver tighted SS clamps that
is still in use today. So if it don't leak when you turn it on and it
doesn't get damaged any of them should last a long time.
One thing I have become convinced of in the last month or so, the chemical
soup being delivered by the water companies does not like galvanized pipe.
Referring to the chemical soup, we have used well water for 40+ years,
converted to Lake MIchigan water 5 years ago, still have original
galvanized piping, hoping for no leaks for another 20 years when we
won't care any longer.
There used to be a place that rented small tools if you bought the
materials from them. Put down a deposit and bring it back in a couple
of says and its free, keep it a couple of weeks and you've bought it.
Anything in between was prorated.
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