View Full Version : help with pex

02-17-2007, 06:52 AM
I have a Pex system that does not have shut offs at the manifold. I have a utility sink in the garage that has shut offs at the supply lines but when it gets bitter cold outside they start to freeze, is it possible to install shut offs in the basement before the lines go into the garage, install valves mid line.

Also I have 2 frost free outside faucets, one of them the plumber tapped into the copper to feed the water for my refridgerator and my fridge water freezes in the morning and have to thaw pipe with hot towels. Again can I install shut offs here also.

Is it worth it to purchase the tools and do it myself or should I call plumber.

If I can do it myself what are all the tools I would need?


02-17-2007, 08:41 AM
Had just like this back home where I grew up (MASS). Dad put a shower! and deep sink in the garage, and where the lines tapped off in the basement, there was a shutoff and drain.

( Mom made him put up the shower so in the summer we didn't have to track beach sand into the house. It was great! )

02-21-2007, 01:41 PM
Unless you plan to do alot of work with PEX in the future, you might be best having a pro take care of it. The crimping tool alone can cost a hundred bucks or so.

There's also a learning curve involved with PEX. Not too difficult, but you would have to practice on a few crimps and what not.

You should be able to install the valves to winterize the sink.

What did the plumber do/use when installing the refer water line?

Is it a 1/4" copper line to the refer? Saddle valve connection?

I would prefer a 1/2" line with ball valve and stainless steel flex hose for
attachment to the refer.

Gary Swart
02-21-2007, 02:36 PM
You definitely need a valve and drain. My shop water is supplied from the house basement with copper. It's buried deep, and I keep the shop above freezing in the winter, but I still have the ability to shut the water off in the basement and drain the line. I was careful to slope the line back to the house when I buried it. With PEX, I assume you would have to take extra care in laying the line so as to avoid low spots that wouldn't drain.

02-22-2007, 06:59 AM
EAP, what the plumber did was on the frost free outside valve there is a peice of copper before it turn to PEX, he tapped into that with a self tapping valve and plasctic pipe up to refer.

The reason I was pondering buying the tools is because I will be finishing my basement and putting in a bathroom, I thought I could run the PEX myself.

Thanks for replies,

02-22-2007, 11:26 AM
I don't think your plumber did you any favors with the refer water install (as you describe) and now you have the consequences to show for it!

That said, if you choose to invest in the PEX tools and all that jazz:D redo your refer water supply while you're at it!

You may also want to invest in a Plumbing book or borrow one at the Library that shows you how to use PEX.

If you have a Menard's in your area, Taunton has a For Pros By Pros series on Remodel Plumbing that shows a lot about PEX. Unfortunately, it doesn't show much in basement bath plumbing except for a segment on installing one of those johns that pump up to the raised drain line. If you do that, then it's a good guide for that too. The book is authored by Rex Cauldwell.

02-22-2007, 11:45 AM
Yeah EAP I know the plumber messed up on the refer line, and funny thing is It was on a new construction and could have done a number of things different, and called plumber 2 times and builder also called him 2 times over the past month to install the valves and still have not heard back from plumber that is also why I might purchase tools myself, or use different plumber.

If I purchase tools myself where do you recommend buying from and what all do I need? Are the tools for all brands of PEX or are they brand specific, mine is run with wirsbro?

Thanks again EAP,

02-22-2007, 12:35 PM
For making just a few connections, you can forego the crimping approach and use compression connections.

02-22-2007, 03:38 PM
Wirsbo tends not to use crimp connections - the ones I've seen use an expansion tool with a similar material reinforment ring. If you are going to use their pipe, I think they'd want you to use their fastening system. I think it is more fool-proof. You expand it enough to insert the fitting, then, it contracts back on its own to make the connection. If you use the right tool, you can't over expand it, so there is nothing like a go/no-go crimp test you should do and recalibrate the crimping tool.