PEX: Is it that easy?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Footman_75, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Footman_75

    Footman_75 Renovating

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi folks,

    Just did my first PEX installation. It was a fast process. Each crimp passed the go/no go test, and the water is back on with no leaks.

    I'm still a bit leery that this method actually works. Waiting for the day when a tube pops off the barbs and my house floods at 65 gpm....

    QUESTIONS:

    1) Are there any signs I should look for that reveal a bad crimp (not including the go/no go)?
    2) Do crimps ever start off as water-tight and then eventually come loose? Or, is a crimp either good or bad, meaning a good crimp is and stays water tight, and a bad crimp leaks immediately. (Hope this makes sense)

    Note: I'm using crimp rite crimp rings.

    Thanks again and kind regards,
    Footman
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,183
    Location:
    New England
    If you insert the tubing properly on the barbed fitting, and the crimp ring is applied in the proper location; if it passes the go, no-go test, it's not going anywhere. Well, maybe if you had a couple hundred pounds of pressure, but that would never happen in a domestic, residential setting and the tubing would likely go before the tubing came off the fitting. There are billions of feet of pex installed over the world...installed properly, it works.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,882
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Yes, it IS that easy. Why do you think plumbing companies like it? They do not have to hire "professional" tradesmen since all they need is one person to "layout" the tubing and then any "knucklehead" can crimp the joints closed. And, since many install it like spaghetti, it takes a lot less time to do it, since neatness doesn't count.
  4. Footman_75

    Footman_75 Renovating

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Jim, Thanks. This is my seventh bathroom reno. In my ten years of upgrading and maintaining apartments, I've always used solder....until now.
  5. Footman_75

    Footman_75 Renovating

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    HJ, I've only posted a handful of times here, and you've replied to pretty much all of them. Always appreciate your comments.

    And sarcasm.

    Cheers
    "Knucklehead"
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,882
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Reality is NOT sarcasm, and what I posted also applied to the polybutylene installations in the 70s and 80s, and we know how those went.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,183
    Location:
    New England
    Since pex has been in use around the world way before that pipe came about...if there were going to be widespread problems, I think they would have shown up by now. Not all pex manufacturers make a great product, I'd want to pick one from a company that has been doing it for awhile as there are lessons to be learned. Personally, I like pex-A, but -B, and -C (they're manufacturing techniques that produce slightly different pex properties) are less expensive, and if made properly, work, too. pex-A has the smallest bend before it kinks, and is the only one that can recover from a kink. The others require you to cut out the kink and install a fitting (at least if you follow the manufacturer's instructions!).
  8. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    989
    Location:
    ct
    Unfortunately, it's really hard to compete pricewise against the guys doing Pex and shark bite plumbing work. All the customer cares about is that water comes through the faucets with no leaks anywhere at the cheapest price possible.
  9. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

    Messages:
    406
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    It will be a sad day when you can only get some guy with a roll of pex in his trunk to come out when you have a plumbing problem. At least the price will be low...
  10. MushCreek

    MushCreek New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Travelers Rest SC
    My first experience with PEX was not good. I plumbed a small bathroom in my barn, checked the crimps with the gauge that came with the crimper and- it leaked! Several places, in fact. I'm a very meticulous worker (I'm a tool maker by trade) and was pretty upset. On a whim, I bought another gauge, and, lo and behold, no more leaks! It turns out that the gauge that came with the crimper (Lowes) was too small, and I was over-crimping the joints. I actually measured the two gauges; the one that came with the tool was smaller by a fair margin. I'm going to go ahead and do my house with PEX, fingers crossed that it holds up over time. There's always resistance to new technologies; sometimes justified; sometimes not. I'm sure when copper first came out, there were plenty of naysayers. In our FL home, built in 1981, we've had several leaks develop in the copper from erosion. I don't know if it's the water, the quality of the pipe, or what, but I worry about the pipes buried under the concrete slab.
  11. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,236
    Location:
    Maine
    There have been many many problems with pex in Europe. It's just that their legal system is different than ours and allows for settlements to be kept hidden from the public view. There are many problems here as well that don't get much press and we have a problem that most of Europe doesn't ant that's chlorinated water which degrades pex in pretty short order.
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