PEX certification?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by MN-E, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. MN-E

    MN-E New Member

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    Has anyone had any experience with getting PEX certification as a non-professional?

    I'm replacing copper lines with pex (I am the home-owner). My local code states that the pex has to be installed by a factory-trained installer; apparently I need some type of training & certification.
    My inspector had thought that the retailers were obligated to offer this training but I posed the question to a few of the local retailers and got that wonderful blank-look I've come to know so well from them...

    I'm really surprised that I need this training for Pex when, apparently, I wouldn't need it for copper installation. But, I've got the code in front of me right now & the requirement seems very clear.

    I'm going to keep researching this locally to see if I can find an answer, but I thought I'd throw it out here to see if anyone else has had any experience with this.

    thanks!
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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  3. MN-E

    MN-E New Member

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    Thanks for the reply!

    A couple of follow-up questions:
    1) As a non-professional, am I eligible for this type of training?

    2) Is certification issued based on a manufacturer-specific basis? Or is there training available for general pex installation?
    (I guess what I'm getting at with this last question is, as a professional, are you certified to use all pex manufacturers' products or do you only use one manufacturer because that's the one you're certified with?)

    ...aside from my current project, this is just interesting stuff to learn. Trudging through this project makes me think I should've chosen a different path in life & become an "actual" plumber. (Too soon old, too late smart.)

    thanks again!
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    I believe Viega also has certification classes.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Pex

    Being "eligible" for certification, and finding a source to get it could be two different things. The majority of certifcation classes are given by each material's representatives at wholesaler sites. These sites deal with licensed contractors and thus may not wish to be put in the position of training the very people who the contractor would be selling their services to, thus undercutting them.
  6. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    Whatever state or city you are from has just become my hero.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    What you are caught up in is a trade protecting code. And a supposedly DIY forum populated by some very adamant trade protecting plumbers. ;)

    It has nothing to do with the material being used for potable water systems as long as your PEX is stamped NSF Standard 61; it is approved. BTW, most PEX manufacturers do not require that so the code is questionable IMO because it supports one brand of PEX over all the others without the training or requirement.

    The manufacturer requiring only approved trained by them installers is a CYA thing on their part and more trade protection while being the only one able to meet your state's code.

    As you say, there is no training type code for installing copper (or PVC, CPVC, galvanized, or PE pipe), so if it were me, I would install the PEX with the manufacturer's fittings etc., or buy a different brand, and tell the inspector that if he can't find something wrong with the system leaking or being supported properly (like every 3-4') etc. to approve it or not, and I'd get on with my life. And I'd fight if need be because of that frog in a pan of ever increasing hot water thingy.
  8. MN-E

    MN-E New Member

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    Yeah... getting an attitude with my inspector seems like a good way to burn bridges and make things more difficult for me.

    The code is written the way it's written, and I just want to do a good job. Much like the law: I might not agree with it, but I'm going to obey it.

    Now, I am kind of irked at the retailers for not even knowing about this when they sold it to me, but it is what it is.
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    That is correct!
    However the code is what it is and it must be obeyed.
    I would check the code and see if indeed the inspector is citing it correctly.
    If he is the only thing to do is lobby for change.

    [​IMG]

    I would call it a DIY Forum populated by plumbers who believe if the job is not going to be done right, a plumber should be hired to do it right.
    Also some of us believe there are jobs that are best left to be done by a plumber. Particularly those that are ones that done incorrectly might turn a house into a smoldering pile of splinters in a heartbeat, or, cause an entire family not to wake up in the morning...

    Gary, Do you have a problem with that?

    I applaud you!

    The law may also weed out PEX of lessor brands.
    Kitec, Zurn have had clasa action lawsuits and a few others are heading for one. (Dura-PEX)
    None of these brands have certification classes...
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  10. MN-E

    MN-E New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Heh... there's the grind I'm running into right now.

    I started working on the project before I found out about this "certification" requirement (dumb, rookie mistake on my part). Basically, I've got the majority of my PEX rough-in done at this point, but I just found out that I need this certification.
    AND... guess what kind of PEX they sold me at the Home Depot?

    Yep. Zurn/QestPex.

    Crud. I just found out about the class-action against them while I was researching the certification today. Now, do I tear out what I've done because this stuff might be junk? To add to the problem, the other easily-obtained PEX in my area is Nibco. Now did I hear correctly that they've got a suit pending against them, too?

    By the way, Zurn DOES offer a certification program... I just need to go to Erie, PA to take the class. Not a casual trip from here in Minnesota.


    Criminy, this ain't easy. If my wife doesn't leave me over this whole drawn-out mess, it'll be a miracle.
  11. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    You Will Obey

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  12. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Well the tubing isn't the problem it's the fittings...

    You could always get certified in a better brand and use the fittings from that brand...
  13. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

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    rotflmao.:d
  14. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

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    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    Gary:

    What's the big deal about taking a quick certification course? Why get worked-up fighting city hall? Watts had me take a 10 minute certification course and the other supply house wouldn't sell me the worsbo tools unless I had the certification ... no big deal. I decided to use pureflow (viega) and that didn't need a course. I see no problem insisting that someone become educated before installing their product.
  15. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

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    There is training its called an apprenticeship, 5 years to be exact along with 4 to 5 years of schooling.. Here in Illinois you must be a licensed plumber to do any plumbing remodeling and major repairs. The code does allow for a non-license individual to do minor repairs. And this definition is from the Illinois Plumbing code book.

    "Minor Repairs": Repairs that do not require changes in the piping to or from plumbing fixtures or involve the removal, replacement, installation or reinstallation of any pipe or plumbing fixture.
  16. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    Wirsbo certification: Insert tool, squeeze handles, turn a little and repeat. Here's your card. Have a nice day.

    Let's face it, the certification for all this stuff is all pomp. Same as with track pipe. 10 minutes of some factory moron showing you how to use the tool and an hour of the same shill trying to sell you the product.
  17. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

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    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I had a job where they spec'd track pipe for gas piping. To even be able to buy the pipe and fittings you need to have a certified installers card. Then when an inspector shows up he wants to see the card as well. If you do not have the card for him he will make you tear out everything and either make you hire a certified installer or you can find a place to get certified.
  18. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    I remember when I took the wirsbo course...
    Yea it was sales bs mostly...
    They did offer the tool at a good discount at the class.
  19. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    cut back and remove about 2" of the outer shield
    cut trac-pipe to length using care not to distort or damage the pipe
    Put big nut on, righ way around please
    Put 2 1/2 clips on first ring of pipe
    Tighten fitting

    Congratulations, here's your card

    DUH
  20. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Wait, wait... I got another. This one's for pouring a lead joint. Stick with me now, this ones gonna take a couple pages. :D
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