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View Full Version : Buying Uponor ProPEX tool for DIY'er



CountryBumkin
10-04-2009, 11:51 AM
I have been pondering the expense of purchasing the Wirsbo PEX system/tool, and decided to bite the bullet and get it. I'll probably get a lot of use even though it will be used in just my own home.
I am starting out with a 20 year old house with PB pipe - which will probably need to be replumbed at some point, but currently I'm in the middle of a bathroom remodel so I need to start working with something soon. Either copper or PEX. I think the PEX is more fool-proof (especially the Wirsbo system). Besides, I've never worked with copper and not sure how good my soldering skills are.

First question; How do I transistion from the PB to PEX? I see that Uponor makes a PB to PEX fitting but do I need a PB crimper to use this fitting? If so, I may need to hire a plumber just to make two crimps for my shower valve connection. I've seen compression type connections but I don't like the idea of a compression type fitting inside the wall where I can't check on it - but if you pros recommend it, that's what I'll do.

Second: Where the PEX comes out of wall to sink and toilet connections, how do I attach the PEX to a wall stud so the shutoff vavles are not flopping around (like my PB currently does)? Should I use a PEX to copper transition fitting then attach the copper to a stud with a U-clamp then connect that to T-valve, or is there something better and easier?

Last question: What is better the copper PEX fittings or the plastic? I would assume copper is better since it costs a little more.

Thanks.
Mike

CountryBumkin
10-04-2009, 12:15 PM
Sorry, one more question.

Should I use the 3/4" PEX for everything? My inlet pipe from the well is 1" PVC. Is there any reason to use the 1/2"? I would think the bigger the better (inside walls/attic) then reduce down to whatever size the fixture (sink/toilet/etc) needs. This should give me the maximum water flow at my shower head - right?

Since I'm on a slab, everything is currently underground. But to repipe, I'll have to run all the new PEX through the attic. I've read that I should insulate my cold water piping or I will never have cold water at the tap (Florida house). Sounds right.

Thanks.

CountryBumkin
10-05-2009, 02:16 AM
Is the ProPEX expander tool in the green box basically the same as the one in the blue box? It looks like the green box is an older model. I see both on E-bay for sale. Do these tools wear out?

davesnothome
10-05-2009, 04:59 AM
Second: Where the PEX comes out of wall to sink and toilet connections, how do I attach the PEX to a wall stud so the shutoff vavles are not flopping around (like my PB currently does)? Should I use a PEX to copper transition fitting then attach the copper to a stud with a U-clamp then connect that to T-valve, or is there something better and easier?



Thanks.
Mike

I found a unique way, rather than having any connections inside the wall. What I did was I bought some 90 degree PVC elbows, then I ran the pex through the PVC elbow which holds the pex nicely and I clamped the PVC to the wall studs. So my PVC is flush with the drywall and the pex shoots straight out of the wall. Trim it short, install the small round chrome fixture cover over the PEX and make your connection....looks graet, and held in a 90 inside wall with no connectors.

CountryBumkin
10-05-2009, 09:13 AM
Can someone tell me if there is a difference between the old Uponor PEX Expansion Tool that is stored in the green box and the newer one that comes in the blue box? There are some older style tools for sale on E-bay.

I don't want to put a bid in (E-bay) on a used tool that is not going to work with the ProPEX tubing/fittings currently being sold.

Thanks

Salesdog
10-05-2009, 10:48 PM
Both tools will work fine, I still use my green tool, and used it just last week. As for coming out of the wall, they make two "nice" options for this, they work similar to what davesnothome suggested except one, you snap the pex into the bend, and slide it through a flange, the flange gets nailed / screwed to backing or studs to make it solid. i usually drill a hole through backing and then push the 90 bend through my hole and screw the flange to the backing. The other option is similar except the flange, bend and pipe sticking out of the wall is copper, you adapt to this fitting in the wall.

the fittings im talking about are very similar to this
http://www.uponor-usa.com/~/media/Files/News%20Documents/UP0844%20KBIS%20NR4%20OOTW.aspx?sc_lang=en

As far as using 3/4, Yes ! I always go 3/4 to showers. I always go 3/4 to my last two fixtures where i will branch off with two 1/2 lines, its personal preference, I feel it's the way to go. The material is cheap enough, why not. 3/4 wirsbo can be used for up to 17 fixture units, so size it accordingly, I would go 1 inch until your hot water ties in, again just my personal preference, i'm sure others might have different opinions

Salesdog
10-05-2009, 10:52 PM
Last question: What is better the copper PEX fittings or the plastic? I would assume copper is better since it costs a little more.


Here the only reason to use the brass fittings is for fire rating, the plastic ones have no fire rating, the pipe itself has its fire rating, so without the fire rating fittings you cannot use it in commercial applications. Might be different in other locations.

Save yourself a buck and use the plastic fittings...