PEX Brands and Tools

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by mbarylski, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. mbarylski

    mbarylski New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Hi,
    I'm in the process of remodeling my master bathroom and I've decided to go with PEX. I've read some good things about PEX, but I know that there are a lot of different brands out there and many aren't compatible with each other. I mainly shop at Lowe's and Home Depot, so chances are all my fittings will come from one of those two stores. So, I've narrowed down my crimp tool to two options (both do 3/8, ½, 5/8, and ¾):

    http://www.amazon.com/Zurn-Pex-Multi-Head-Tool-Fits-QCRTMH/dp/B000UVOPRS/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=IZVRG9PV4HU8E&colid=2H6VDY0XH4E6C - Zurn
    http://www.pexsupply.com/product_dtl.asp?pID=4967&brand=Watts&cID=694 – Watts

    I prefer the Zurn tool, but I found a fairly damaging story about Zurn fittings failing: http://newsblaze.com/story/2007081013504600001.pz/topstory.html

    So, my questions are:
    What are the best brand of fittings to buy (And, is Zurn a reliable brand)?
    What multi-size PEX crimp tools are compatible with the most PEX brands?

    I've been writing to the tool distributors and they all give me the same old line, "just buy the same brand tool and fittings." Well, it's not always easy to get the same brand fitting every time so I'd like to buy tools and brands that are as compatible as possible.

    Thanks for your help!

    -Mike
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
  3. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    How about something not crimp.
  4. mbarylski

    mbarylski New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Any thoughts on which brands I should use? If not big box/Zurn, what brand should I get?

    Also, is crimping really not the best way to go? If not crimp, what technique should I use?

    Thanks,
    Mike
  5. iminaquagmire

    iminaquagmire DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    207
    The Wirsbro expansion system is regarded as one of the best and most reliable.
  6. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    584
    Location:
    MN, USA
    I picked up the small block pex tool at HD and plan on using two crimp rings per connection.

    As far as the failures it's easy to tell that they are talking about the fittings and not the crimp rings. I found several burrs and ridges in the copper pex ends I bought and hand to file them a bit so that they have a smooth ridge all around the piece.

    There is also one other thing to watch out for when using AL barrier pex in that you have to be careful not to mix barrier pex and brass fittings since you can get a galvanic reaction that will corrode the connection.
  7. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,236
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
  8. Rad777

    Rad777 New Member

    Messages:
    15
    thank you for the link, I too was interested in PEX... I have heard of sharkbite fittings... and wow! look at the price!
  9. thezster

    thezster New Member

    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Wirsbo, Wirsbo, Wirsbo...

    The expansion tools aren't cheap - but easy to use, and effective...

    I did a bathroom addition using these - bought them online - used them, then sold them on E-bay for more than I paid for them a month earlier....

    Wirsbo, Wirsbo, Wirsbo....

    I would have kept them, but the new city I live in does not allow plastic supply lines (neanderthals....)
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