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Thread: Pex Fittings

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Cayenne's Avatar
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    Default Pex Fittings

    Can someone tell me which is the better or certified system to use? crimping (SS Surloc rings) or clamping (black copper ring)

    Are both methods certified fo use in Canadian homes? Canadian Plumbing Code or CSA.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    First, its the other way around, the copper rings are crimp and the ss rings are clamps. The copper crimps are by far the most popular method. I can't comment on the ss clamps as I have never used them, but I beleive they are CSA aproved.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The stainless steel ones are "cinch" rings, not clamps.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  4. #4
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    go to pex supply on line and look around. I like the SS cinch clamps, they get into much tighter spaces than others. Never had a leak. Dont need to screw with a go-nogo gauge. Easy to remove, and can build the entire system LOOSE before crimping them.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Just to broaden the horizon...Uphonor has been selling their expansion pex system for decades and it also works well. No crimp rings, larger diameter through the fitting, and the most flexible pex that bends into the smallest diameter and is repairable if you kink it during install without cutting the section out and installing a fitting (how's that for a run-on sentence!). The expander tool is not inexpensive, and unless you get a powered one, your hand and arm will get a good workout (you might be able to rent one or buy it and resell). It's harder to get the tool into small spaces, but you do have a few seconds to insert the fitting before the tubing collapses to make the seal, so usually you can plan ahead and not have problems. Pex has a memory and always wants to return to its original shape. By expanding it, when it tightens onto the fitting, it will always be trying to make it tighter. A crimp system is working against its natural tendency. On a crimp system, the fitting must be small enough to slide into the tubing. On an expansion system, the fitting will not fit in until you've stretched (expanded) the tubing. Then you put the fitting in, and it collapses to make the seal. Really neat, clean, and reliable.

    Pex is manufactuered using three methods -A, -B, and -C and -A tends to be a bit more expensive (and flexible). As with anything, quality control is critical, and there have been issues with any. Pick a good manufacturer and you should be fine with any type.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    The stainless steel ones are "cinch" rings, not clamps.
    http://www.pexinfo.com/

    Every site I can find calls them CLAMPS! But thanks for trying to correct something that didn't need correcting! lol

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You "cinch" the rings so they "clamp" onto the pipe. Typically, what we refer to as "clamps" are the gear type hose clamps. And to complicate it further, Oetiker calls them "crimp clamps".
    Last edited by hj; 01-11-2012 at 04:59 AM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member KStatefan's Avatar
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    If I have Uponor tubing can I use crimp fittings on it?

  9. #9
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Uponor uses expansion and their own rings that slide over and shrink.



    This expandes the pipe and collar.
    Last edited by Terry; 03-27-2013 at 11:33 AM.

  10. #10
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Yes, you can use SS clamps over uphonor, done miles of it. Get the right fittings, obviously. The ss crimps pretty much imitate their silly expansion sytstem [designed so they could patent it and make a fortune] because they have some 'give' built into the high tech clamp. NEVER had a leak.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member KStatefan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Uponor uses expansion and their own rings that slide over and shrink.
    After asking my question I did some research. It looks like both brands are built to ASTM F876 and Tested to ASTM F877. What is the difference in them?

  12. #12
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Personal preference...the Uphonor pipe and fittings should be used as part of a system. Will they work when mixed, probably, but warranty issues might crop up. Uphonor pex is type A. Others may make type A, but it tends to be more expensive than types B or C. Type A is the only type that can be 'dekinked' without cutting out a piece and putting in a fitting. It is also able to provide the smallest bend radius of the other types. Pex has a memory, so on the expansion system, they use a larger diameter fitting than on the crimp systems. With all of the crimp type fittings, the OD of the fitting is about the size of the ID of the pipe so you can insert it. To get that fitting inserted with Uphonor fittings, you have to expand the tubing, then it collapses onto the fitting which provides the seal. Pretty foolproof, and while not huge, the increase in ID is there...a little increase in diameter has a big effect on the area because of the r^2 factor (pi*r*r). increased area means less pressure loss and higher volume available.

    If you think the benefits are worth the difference in price (if it exists depending on your supplier), then go with it. They all work.
    Last edited by jadnashua; 01-25-2012 at 02:55 PM.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #13
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    That is incorrect. The fittings have about the same ID. The brass may even be smaller because its, well, brass.

    The pipe slips over the plastic uphonor fittings by hand without expansion, and the expansion ring gets expanded and slipped over the pipe, giving you just a few moments to get it all right and a good start on arthritis.

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    ProPex fittings, at least if you believe the manufactuer, cannot be inserted without expanding the tubing first. This line is plastic, been around for over 10-years, and meets the CA lead-free requirements. Plus, are less expensive than the brass ones. Was trying to find an engineering diagram, but as noted earlier, because the area of the opening is a function of the radius squared...a little difference in R, makes a big difference in area, or the opening.

    The installations I've seen, there's an obvious bulge at the connector, which implies the tubing has been expanded to fit over the fitting helping to maintain the max diameter.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  15. #15
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    You win. I have'nt used the expander for 10 years or more, and it was such a PITA, I blocked it out.

    From a practical standpoint, the SS clamps get you into tighter spaces, can be removed easily without shortening the tube, and most important, can be slipped together, the whole system inspected, and all crimps made at once. And you don't need a 450$ tool and their overpriced fittings. Only a chimpanzee can use the hand tool all day and not suffer all night.

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