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Thread: PEX and fitting compatibility

  1. #1
    Renovation contractor scott_w's Avatar
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    Default PEX and fitting compatibility

    I am switching over to using pex tubing on some of the plumbing that I do. At my local supply house (nobletrade). They gave me the tubing (standard blue pex, plastic only) and some fittings that I needed. Now the fittings that they gave all have O-rings, which I think are kitec K2 fittings (from searching the net). Aren't these for the tubing with the aluminum in it? Are these ok to use on the stardard pex (plastic only) pipe? I was just expecting standard barb fittings. The ones they gave were MUCH more expensive.

    Also any additional advice would be appreciated. I did buy the actual crimpers and deburring tool. I did however forget to buy a set of cutters for the tubing.

    I am using this to replace some old galvanised pipes going from a basement to the 2nd floor bathroom of an older home. I'll be using 1/2", would this be sufficient? The fittings just seem so restricted (I know asked a milion times!) Everything in the basement is already copper.

    Thanks...scott

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    Kitec is yet another type of pex fitting. I know some of the pipes and fittings are OK to mix, like Zurn and Vanguard with some others, but these are a more standard version of the PEX. Wirsbo does not mix with these and Rehau is also different, I don't know about the Kitec. I have seen it, but never worked with it. Kitec pipe does have the aluminum usually, but I don't know about mixing it's fittings with standard PEX. I always try to not mix brands and that is best. PEX is getting very hard to keep up with they need to make a standard for the crimp type and the expansion type and all the manufacturers should have to use it. The expansion PEX and fittings like the Wirsbo is very nice to work with because you can expand the pipe and ring and then put it into a tight place, where as using the crimp tools in a tight place can be difficult at best. You have to be very careful not to put a fitting into a place you can't get the crimper into. I have some compact crimp tools, but they are a pain to use. I hope this doesn't muddy the waters more. If in doubt call the manufacturer of the fitting and the pipe and see what they say, then post and let us know what you find out.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Pex

    Those are for use with IPEX or similar PEX with the aluminum liner, I do not know if they will work with conventional PEX because the question has never come up.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    Go to www.pexinfo.com they have a lot of stuff about mixing different brands. They say most are compatible with each other. I will try something I'm not sure about in open places, but if it is in a bad place to have a leak or problem then I use a tested method. I've never been a fan of the fittings that use o rings because if they go bad you get a leak. Of course nothing lasts forever. The info site says the aluminum composite fittings and pipe are not compatible with the standard PEX crimp style.

    mark
    Last edited by construct30; 06-17-2007 at 07:39 PM.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking mixing brands...

    why in the world would anyone want to

    mix and mingle different brands of PEX???

    What would posess you to do this anyway??

    Do you unerstand that
    All you are asking for is a catastropic disaster
    somewhere down the road and you will have no one to
    blame but yourself....



    Some of the pex stuff on the markets is not all that good anyway,
    now you want to mix and mingle the fitings used for them.......


    what do you think might happen???

    Spend the extra money and keep everything the same...

  6. #6
    Renovation contractor scott_w's Avatar
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    Default pex fittings

    Thanks for all the responses. First off I never asked for these fittings, I just told them how many T's, 90's etc I wanted with the tube. They were actually ALOT more money than the regular barb type pex fittings at ********* (approx $1.50), where these were $4 to $5 each. So it was not a decision that I made to try and save money. I would rather just have the right stuff.

    I did search on the internet first before posting here and at JLC. I did look at the pexinfo site site already, but it doesn't reference the different tubings.

    thanks again for the info, it is greatly appreciated!

    scott

  7. #7
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Default

    I have heard alot about "Sharkbite" and "Tectite" fittings they're code approved in my state...yet to use them, but planning to try them on a baseboard job.
    I have heard - through a third party - the Kitec company was sued for latent leaks in their fittings...again I don't know this firsthand.

    I have done extensive work with Wirsbo, the fittings are cheaper, but the tubing is rediculous compared to Zurn or others, not to mention using the expansion tool is cumbersome.

  8. #8
    Renovation contractor scott_w's Avatar
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    Default done!

    Thanks for the help. I just did the job today. I ended going back and returning all the stuff to the local supply house. HD had all the same stuff for half the cost. They tried selling me a set of plastic pex cutters for $37 when they were $12 for the same ones (with a reamer) at HD.

    Anyways, I am sold on the time savings of PEX it was incredibly easy to install. I will be using it for now on.

    scott

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