1. peltaz

    peltaz New Member

    Messages:
    29
    After Wirsbo Aquapex and propex fittings what is the consensus on the next best brands? I am pondering a galvanized repipe in a crawlspace under the house and am shopping around for ideas. I live in Arizona with only a couple of freezes a year. Thanks.
  2. I use Viega mostly and occasionally Watts.
  3. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Why not tell us what you have your mind set on and we will give you our opinions¿
  4. peltaz

    peltaz New Member

    Messages:
    29
    I am set on using top quality pex and top quality fittings, the best I can find. Quality of connections and the system that will be most suited for installation from a crawlspace beneath the house. Both in terms of ease of installation, number and type of fittings available and its resistance to the occasional dip below 32 degrees in southern Arizona. From this forum I have seen that a lot of folks prefer Wirsbo. I am interested in plumbers with good/bad experiences with Wirsbo in particular and pex in general. Thanks.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    The biggest differences in pex are the means of connection. Uphonor is the only one that uses the expansion/contraction qualities of pex (memory) to make the seal. Every other one uses a crimp of some sort. The tool used to crimp usually needs to be either calibrated, or you need to use a go/no-go tool to verify it is crimped properly. This also means in cramped places, you need to access the joint multiple times, first to insert the tubing into the fitting, then to crimp, and then to verify the crimp is proper.

    With a crimped connection, the ridges on the fitting can't be too high or you'd never get the tubing onto it, which means the crimp is what's squeezing things to keep the seal. It also means fewer ridges on the fitting that actually make the seal since you crimp between the ridges so the tubing is compressed against them. This also means placement of the crimp is critical as well as how tight it is.

    On the expansion/contraction Uphonor fitting, the ridges are higher and there's at least an extra one since after inserting the expanded tubing to fit over the ridges, it collapses on them and creates the seal.
    With the Uphonor system, you use the (moderately expensive) tool to expand the tubing and reinforment ring, then just slide it over the fitting and you're done. Placement isn't an issue...you just push the tubing up to the fitting stop and hold for a moment, then it's finished.

    If you use the manual tool, you'll develop some strong arms. If you use the powered one, you'll lighten your wallet. You may be able to rent, or buy, then re-sell the tool to save money from others that have done the same thing.

    SPeedwise, I'm not sure which ends up being faster, but I think Uphonor would be...I think it would be close.

    In tight quarters, trying to crimp and gauge the crimp could be a real pain.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Hands down Crimping is fastest!

    You should try using the expansion tool in tight quarters...:eek:
  7. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Just remember that because PEX is always trying to get back to its original size, a crimped fitting will always be trying to expand away from the fitting where an expanded joint will always be trying to compress itself around the fitting.
  8. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Can I get an "Amen¿"
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Say Hallelujah! Say Amen! :D
  10. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Flow rate is another concern. I have two 5 gallon containers, one with 1/2" wirsbo and the other with 1/2" Viega pex coming off the bottom. When we pull the plugs at the same time, the Wirsbo side empties in almost 1/2 the time that the Viega side does. Both sides have exactly 6' of pipe with 2 90 degree elbows attached. Watts is even slower. The same set up versus copper, copper wins against them all but not by much over the Wirsbo. Essentially, to get the same flow rates out of 1/2" Viega, Watts or any crimp typed pex, you need to go to 3/4"
  11. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    [​IMG]

    Wirsbo installers...
  12. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Or just...

    [​IMG]

    Have a pleasant debate NH Master I'll be sending IronRanger an invite to join this forum... LOL
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Proving that PEX should be run homerun (one continuous piece) from a manifold to the fixture rather than in branch and tee as copper must be.

    That reduces the ID needed because there are only 2 fittings needed; one on each end.

    I assume that the above test is not just of the brand of PEX, that it includes the manufacturers' fittings. If you wanted to test just the tubing you would use QEST or Sharkbite compression fittings on both brands of tubing. And minimize or actually remove elbows or it looks as if there may be a bias toward copper against PEX or one brand of PEX is favored over others. And if you look at friction loss chart, PEX beats the same size copper.
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    Because Wirsbo (Uphonor) expands the tubing to make the connection, the ID of the fitting can be larger than one where you just insert the fitting into the 'normal' diameter of the tubing. The ID of the fitting IS larger with Wirsbo than any others that rely on a crimp.
  15. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Friction loss yes, flow rates no. The ID of 1/2" pex is considerably smaller than 1/2" copper. yes I am testing pipe and fittings. One brand of 1/2" pex pipe to another makes no difference on flow.

    Home run systems do alleviate some of the problem but are expensive and take miles more pipe negating the cost and speed advantage of pex.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It sounds as if you are biased toward copper. The labor savings alone makes PEX the least expensive of any material and with the price of copper today, PEX is overall less expensive.

    PEX and other plastics are better for water quality because unlike copper nothing in water can harm plastic and plastics are inert, they don't add anything to water, again, unlike copper does.
  17. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    They also make hot water recirculation impossible.

    My preferance is a combination of the 2 systems using properly sized lines to feed mini manifolds near the point of use. Recirculation is easy with that type of system. It also saves about a mile of tubing per house...:eek:
  18. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Imagine that, someone calling me biased:D

    Not really though. I do like to explore all sides of an argument and a product though. Many see PEX as the greatest thing to happen to piping since copper replaced galvanized. Make no mistake, I am not against pex. My company installs miles and miles of it for both domestic water supply and radiant heat. However, I do like to keep an ear to the ground so to speak and I do like to research the crap out of something before I decide to use it. After all the research I have done, i have decided that Uponor has the best warranty, the best flow rate and the best fitting and connection system.

    How's that for biased?:eek:
  19. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut

    I do agree that 1/2 copper tubing is very similar to the performance of 3/4 PEX. I especially had an issue when at a customer's house and the outside hose bibb used 1/2 PEX ... talk about wimpy flow and pressure...
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