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Thread: Gimme PEX education

  1. #1

    Default Gimme PEX education

    So far I have not run into pex but have seen it installed. I know that sooner than later I'll be called to install or repair something with PEX. I really need to know ALL about the tools required... what I need to buy to be set up for working with pex and installing it. In the house I'm building I plan to use LOTS of PEX... so that will be a very good education for me. You guys know of a site with an online manual or really good educational materials? I just need some really go info. From what I've read it seems that some think you have to have different tools for every different manufacturer...from what I see these tools ain't cheap ... that can be good for plumbers...keeps the DIY's out of the business .... but also, it appears that with PEX there is much less reason to call a plumber for repairs.

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Default

    There is lots to read on it.

    Just do a word search and start reading?

    The tools are a little pricy but you only buy them once.

  3. #3

    Default

    Yep.. thought of that...not much time today to weed thru it. Someone has a book for sale on that internet auction site. With shipping it seemed pricey for what should be available on the internet and probably free in several pamphlets from Wirsbo... figured someone would have a link to it...design considerations and informational materials.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking I was afraid of Wirsbo

    Probably the best you can get is the Wirsbo with the

    plastic rings that squeeze down on the pipe...

    That is the best to get ,

    Now the crimping rings..type Wirsbo scares
    me and reminds me of the old Poly -buteline and I wont use it....


    read that other post I just made.....

    it is very easy to work with. ...and it certainly dont freeze.....

    it saved me a lot of greif that I just repaired yesterday


    just go get the expansion tool kit for 1/2 + 3/4 and then fool around with

    about 15 dollars worth of fittings ......

    as long as you just cut the pipe square, and then put that outer ring
    on the inner with just a slight overlap it never fails.....



    Actually you can get the battery operated wirsbo tool for about 475
    from my supply house right now ...it saves on the fore-arms
    when fighting with the 3/4 and one inch size.

    I was afarid of it at first ....

    but then I realized that if an Aprentice plumber
    (basically a moron) can do it all day long

    it cant be that hard .....
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 12-14-2006 at 01:21 PM.

  5. #5

    Default pex question

    Hi guys. well, i hope it's as easy as you all say. I am remodeling my kitchen and ALL the plumber and I do mean ALL are at least two months out. so, to my question: house built 1947. downstairs all copper (late remodel) before we bought it. upstairs galvanized. When I tear out the plaster i am replacing with pex. What do I need? Thanks.

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Go to a local supply house. They will probably specialize in one brand of PEX and will have the tools and fittings to go with that brand.

    You do need to think about sizing, because PEX is CTS ( OD) but thicker wall, so the ID is much smaller than copper.

  7. #7
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by master plumber mark
    Probably the best you can get is the Wirsbo with the

    plastic rings that squeeze down on the pipe...

    That is the best to get ,

    Now the crimping rings..type Wirsbo scares
    me and reminds me of the old Poly -buteline and I wont use it....
    That expansion tool is what made me so grumpy in the first place!

    I couldn't imagine using it in a tight spot to fix a leak...there are new alternatives (Cass'll like this...) called "Sharkbite", that slip right over the PEX and VOILA!
    BUT...Like Mark just said...these fittings are new...I think of the whole controversy and headache that occured with PB years ago...I'm a wimp, I'll wait and watch what happens...at least for now
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  8. #8

    Default

    Here are some areas that I found info on PEX. Also got a set of crimp tools from here.
    http://cgi.****.com/SALE-new-ZURN-QE...QQcmdZViewItem
    Replace the **** with that name of that auction site on the web.
    Info:
    http://www.zurn.com/operations/pexrh...sApplGuide.pdf

    http://www.toolbase.org/PDF/DesignGu...esignguide.pdf

    I hope these links are OK with Terry.

    Ron

  9. #9

    Default

    The one thing I donít like about PEX is all the different brands need there own tools. The one thing I like is big blue sells one kind and big orange sells the other. All of the supply houses will only sell one of the 2 types where we live.

    For boiler systems there are only 2 types that get used.

    So everyone has to carry 4 different types of tools and the stuff to fix them.

    I do as little PEX as possible and will turn down or my bids are way to high so I donít get the big jobs. For me I charge about the same for copper and non copper work (fro fresh water systems). If itís non copper my labor is higher.

    The only PEX that I have in my house is the feeds off of my out side wood boiler and my back up propane boiler.

    I do wish that the counties would get together and say you can only use this brand for your water and this kind for your heating systems. I do think it would help bring down the cost because you could buy more in bulk and needs less tools.

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Default

    A few questions and observations. Did ya know that PEX has less friction loss than copper? And when its run homerun with no branches that that's why you can run one smaller ID than when using copper?

    How about the word on the street about the guy giving people unGodly high bids so he doesn't get the job instead of simply saying "sorry, I don't do X"? How about the guy turning down certain jobs? How about the guy charging more for labor putting in a Pex homerun/manifold system that is much easier to install than branch'n tee copper which takes much longer?

    IIRC, you said you're in NM, the water quality there, have you ever looked into its effect on copper compared to plastics? How about the negative effects on water quality that copper can cause?

    Tools are tax deductible, so buy all you need for whatever PEX and deduct them off your gross, and increase you income.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  11. #11

    Default

    Thank you Rugged. We needed that.

    Whatís your response Gary?

    I know that Iím starting stuff but I do want to know what you will come up with.

    I have seen many studies on where plastic lets bacteria grow in its pores if itís not made at the right temp. The temp the plastic will hold bacteria will grow into the pores is within speaks for a good batch PVC or PEX. Yes I know that there made different.

    I donít like the manifold setup because if you need to add on then youíre off to snake a new feed. With copper if the installer will think for a few seconds before he installs the piping than adding on is a snap.

    How about having to stand there to let you have hot water at the sink when you just took a shower? That bugs the crap out of me.

    But then anion Gary do you mostly work on high end houses that have all the bells? Most of the work I do have hot water recirculation systems. Would you pleas show me a diagram for doing this in PEX and show me how it is more cost less than copper. And before you ask yes I have done it 3 times now.

  12. #12
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by got_nailed
    Would you pleas show me a diagram for doing this in PEX and show me how it is more cost less than copper. And before you ask yes I have done it 3 times now.
    I've done alot more than that, some AquaPEX but mostly heat with Wirsbo, and thats all I'll use it for.
    It's too nerve-wracking in tight spaces, kinks if you don't have the space to 90 at a very broad sweep so you wind up using fittings where you estimated you wouldn't, the fittings are more expensive...the overall cost (to me) doesn't validate using it for potable. Not up to being a guinea pig here...but time will tell.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by got_nailed
    Most of the work I do have hot water recirculation systems. Would you pleas show me a diagram for doing this in PEX and show me how it is more cost less than copper. And before you ask yes I have done it 3 times now.


    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyPlumber
    I've done alot more than that, some AquaPEX but mostly heat with Wirsbo, and thats all I'll use it for.
    It's too nerve-wracking in tight spaces, kinks if you don't have the space to 90 at a very broad sweep so you wind up using fittings where you estimated you wouldn't, the fittings are more expensive...the overall cost (to me) doesn't validate using it for potable. Not up to being a guinea pig here...but time will tell.

    I think you missed something in the quote you did on my that needs to be there.

  14. #14
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by got_nailed
    I think you missed something in the quote you did on my that needs to be there.

    I think by saying "hot water recirculation system" you meant heat?...as in boilers?
    A hot water recirc. is for hot water heaters that exceed 100 feet from furthest fixture...lets chalk that up to miscommunication.
    I was agreeing with you. I think.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  15. #15

    Default

    Itís cool but I was making a point. And it did have a bit of a question in it to. Miscommunication will happen all of the time so it doesnít matter.

    Have you ever had to install a recirculation system in a PEX home run system? And if so how is it cheaper to install then with copper.

    I have worked on a lot of houses with the utility room on the far side of the house then where the bath rooms and the kitchen are located. The house I was working on last night had 80 foot pipe run to the first T off for one of the bath rooms. I donít know why a lot of houses are set up like this but I see it all the time.

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