PEX connection question

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by JustAHomeOwner, May 25, 2014.

  1. JustAHomeOwner

    JustAHomeOwner Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    NY
    I put together a air test rig to make sure that some runs of Upnor pex with the expanding fittings and rings are holding tight before closing up the walls. I don't know which type PEX Sharkbite is (i'm waiting for a reply from them) but I think it's B or maybe C. Anyway, I used a poly coupling to join a small length of 3/4" Upnor PEX to a length of 3/4" Sharkbite PEX, then a poly elbow followed by a brass fitting that's capped. All of those fitting are 3/4" Upnor with the rings. It's been holding 90 PSI for 20 hours and survived sharp smacks to the fittings. I was under the impression that the Upnor fittings and rings would fail with other then PEX-A but so far, it looks fine. Is that a valid torture test?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2014
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,814
    Location:
    New England
    All PEX has memory, it's just that the production method that produces type-A is the most flexible, and returns to the original shape maybe quicker. The higher the cross-linking, the stronger overall it is. Types B and C came about because they are faster and cheaper to produce, but at a cost of some of that flexibility (minimum bend radius, ability to restore a kink without cutting it out and using a fitting, etc.).

    If the manufacturer allows the use of an expansion fitting, you should be okay...if they don't, you might be at risk.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2014
  3. SHR

    SHR Member

    Messages:
    86
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Sharkbite brand PEX is PEX-B and WILL NOT WORK WITH UPONER EXPANSION FITTINGS. Rip out any Sharkbite-brand PEX you used with the Uponer fittings and replace with PEX-A tubing. Uponer makes the most popular PEX-A.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2014
  4. JustAHomeOwner

    JustAHomeOwner Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    NY
    It's been holding 90 PSI since yesterday, seems like it's working fine.
  5. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,060
    Location:
    Maine
    PEX and PEX fittings have to match the manufacturers recommendations. Use of different fittings on different pipe voids the warranty. I have seen soldered copper fittings hold 100lbs. Of pressure for months before deciding to let go.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2014
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,814
    Location:
    New England
    Sharkbite PEX lists two acceptable connection methods: Sharkbite Push-fit fittings or their barb connections. In their "DO's and DON'T" section they specifically say to not use any other connection method. So, as I said, if they allow it, okay, but further investigation says they do not. Now, whether it will fail, hard to say, but if it did, you'd have no warranty, and technically, by not following the manufacturer's instructions, the installation has no code approval. IOW, they have not tested it with any other fittings, and cannot guarantee it will work, and if they have, their warning is more compelling. http://www.cleanwaterstore.com/technical/water-treatment-manuals/SB_PEX_Install_Instructions.pdf page 9 is the key to your answer.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2014
  7. JustAHomeOwner

    JustAHomeOwner Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    NY
    Thank you for digging out that information on the Sharkbite site.

    I'm past the age where I'm looking to do plumbing for anyone else and wouldn't if I did, use Pex with any other then the recommended fittings. Any warranty or liability concerns for what I'm trying to find out is strictly on me. All plumbing I do is in my own home and I only answer to the wife. Possibly I should have pointed that out in in my OP. The short section of pex I set-up as a test with the "wrong" fittings and rings has held that 90 psi since Sat. afternoon. BTW, and just a point of information from a casual observer, both the Upnor PEX-a and the Sharkbite PEX by themselves with no ring, expanded with a Mikwaukee 12v expander and each retained the same shape and size. With the Upnor ring on a Upnor fitting they each grabbed tight in the same amount of time, under 10 seconds. I'm putting that test aside as I have real work to get done. Maybe I'll do a pull out test to see what shakes out. Not that it would make a difference to anyone else for warranty concerns which I do agree with but I am curious.

    Thank you all and be well.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2014
  8. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Here's the deal. You can indeed pretty much do whatever you want in your own home but, should one of those pipes come apart while you are away and several thousand dollars of water damage occur to the property, what do you suppose your homeowners insurance is going to do ? It's all about the liability these days. I know darn well that whole lots of things can be done and most probably will be fine but on the off chance something goes wrong, the sharks smell blood. Best of luck.
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,775
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I saw a dishwasher connection pop off under a kitchen cabinet on the second floor.
    I think the insurance bill came to $100,000

    All the drywall had come off on the lowest floor, and of course, the kitchen had to be redone.

    I use Uponor a lot. But I use non-Uponor connections when I go between the different brands of pipe.
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  10. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    That transition between different PEX is a real pain to do because neither manufacturers will approve the other guys stuff.
  11. JustAHomeOwner

    JustAHomeOwner Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    NY
    I'm asking this to gain a point of information. With all of the clamping tools available from different manufactures and with the various types of clamps, in a code compliance setting, does a inspector know or care if the pex being looked at... is say Rifeng Pex for instance and is clamped with a Rifeng brand tool with Rifeng rings and Rifeng brand fittings? Does the brand name on the PEX determine all that and nothing else will do? Or is Refing brand pex, pex-b and any approved clamping method and fittings for pex-b allowed?
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  12. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    The inspector is the least of your problems. The lawyer for the insurance company is the guy you have to worry about.

    No pex manufacturer approves the other guys attachment method. IOW the only legal way to transition is by use of male and female couplings or.......sigh..............sharkbite fittings, or john guest fittings and similar.
  13. JustAHomeOwner

    JustAHomeOwner Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    NY
    You keep bringing up the insurance company. OK. I'm duly terrified though I've owned a home for 40 years with my share of losses of many types so I do sort of know how those shake out. Transitions? Didn't ask about those in my last post but I am curious to know for instance if any brand pex-b can be used with any brand of approved pex-b fittings and rings? Is pex-b from brand A not the same as pex-b from brand B?? Looking at the specs for the different types of pex, A, B and C, I don't see brands mentioned.

    I can't force an answer to my specific question but I am asking because I don't know. For further instance. Sharkbit brand pex conforms to the pex-b standard as does Refing. Is Sharkbite brand fittings, rings and crimper never used with pex-b from say.. Refing? Realizing it's not in their interest for Sharkbite to approve of any other termination type but their own, isn't it all about the pex type and not who's name is on it?
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  14. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Nope, its about name is on it. Pex A and B refer to the different methods used to manufacture the product. That said, if you have say Watts PEX, you have to use Watts fittings. If its Uponor, you use Uponor fittings regardless of the "type" of Pex it is.

    I bring up insurance companies and their lawyers because I have been called as an expert witness many times for both sides of the argument and believe me, what you may think is common sense or not important often becomes the argument that wins or loses.
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  15. JustAHomeOwner

    JustAHomeOwner Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    NY
    Thank you Sir. A union member in good standing the entire time I worked I can appreciate why things might be that way. Maybe not. No matter, either way I'm done with this topic and TY again.
  16. MikeQ

    MikeQ New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Washington
    Therefore in order to transition from Brand A to Brand B PEX while remaining in compliance it is necessary to transition to copper in between A and B?
  17. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,060
    Location:
    Maine
    No you could use a male and female or another connection approved for use with any pex, like a shark bite
  18. JustAHomeOwner

    JustAHomeOwner Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    NY
    I'd imagine they are from your last post but are those compression type Sharkbite fittings code compliant in open and concealed locations?
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,814
    Location:
    New England
    Yes...they can be behind walls, and they do not need access covers.
  20. JustAHomeOwner

    JustAHomeOwner Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    NY
    In my own home doing plumbing I've used copper sweat for 30 plus years and now getting used to pex is a bit of a leap for me. I imagine the answer might be YMMV but are those Sharkbite compression fittings used much by the trade?
Similar Threads: connection question
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Push-Fit Connections and Deburring - a minor but important question Jul 2, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & PEX connection question for shutoff valve in finished basement Nov 15, 2013
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & another pvc to abs connection question (sorry) Oct 22, 2012
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Sewer connection questions? Jun 27, 2011
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & a leaky connection solder + thread question Mar 24, 2011

Share This Page