Re-plumbing the house with Uponor Aquapex, have a couple of questions

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by DaveHo, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. DaveHo

    DaveHo Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    SE PA
    House was built in the late 80's & plumbed with PB, yuck! Have had several leaks, time to rip it out! I'm a seasoned DIY'er & will be tackling this myself. I have already purchased all the tubing & fittings, etc along with the Milwaukee M12 expansion tool. I've downloaded & read the Uponor installation guide, have watched a bunch of Youtube videos & have spent some time practicing with the tool & making test connections to get the hang of it.

    For those of you who have used this system or the Milwaukee tool I have a couple of "dumb" questions I hope you can answer.

    1) I started off by simply using the tool on a piece of 1/2" tubing with no Propex ring so that I could compare the marks made inside the tubing against the pictures in the install guide. I expanded until the tubing hit the stop on the M12 then expanded one more time & let the tubing sit to watch it constrict. The tubing did not return 100% to the original size. Normal? I realize a proper connection would have a Propex ring as well, but was expecting the tubing to return to is unexpanded size.

    2) Next I have a question on my technique with the M12 tool. I am expanding the tubing until it butts up against the stop on the M12 head then giving it one more expansion. The Milwaukee manual states to expand 8-9 times for 1/2" tubing. I found that with 4-5 expansions the tubing with a Propex ring could be fully seated onto the fitting. Is there a reason I should expand 8-9 times? Uponor cautions against over expanding the tubing & it seems to me that 8-9 expansions might.

    3) I'm using the EP fittings, colored tubing, & white Propex rings. On my test connections I can see the tubing is firmly contacting the fitting at the main barb but seems to be making lesser contact on other parts of the fitting. Normal? I'm unable to pull the connections apart so that's a good sign.

    Thanks for taking the time to read all this. In case you can't tell I tend to over analyze things a bit, but if you could answer my silly questions I'd appreciate it.

    -Dave
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,280
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You sounds like you are getting good practice in.
    Now just get into gear and start connecting it all up. It's all doing what's is supposed to be doing. And isn't the Milwaukee tool fun? I like the little LED light for working in the dark too.

  3. DaveHo

    DaveHo Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    SE PA
    Thanks for the reassurance! It really is a great tool & a very cool system. Seems so easy, but that sort of thinking can get the novice in trouble which is why I ask. I'm really looking forward to ripping out the old piping. Have had 5 leaks total & 3 in the last 3 months!

    Another dumb question if you don't mind. I'm planning to insulate portions of the pipe. Any reason not to use Armacell polyethylene foam pipe insulation? It's much cheaper than the Armaflex. Are there any products out there which would cause a reaction with the piping?

    Thanks!
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,258
    Location:
    New England
    Either would work...pick the one with the best R-value you can afford.
  5. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    You might have saved 600$ with a SS crimper. So much easier to use and NEVER had a leak in many thousands of crimps. Much easier build up of piping and easy to remove crimp clamp without damaging pipe or shortening it.
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