Sioux Chief Pex

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by seaneys, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. seaneys

    seaneys New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Chicago Suburbs
    I was surprised to find today that the M*ds in my area are switching from Sioux Cheif to Watts for their PEX fittings.

    The salesman assured me that fittings, rings, and tools are interchangable....

    I wasn't crazy about Sioux Chief anyway (seems a little flimsy). I think it is time that I switch to Wirsbo before I really get into the meat of the project.

    Steve
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I use Watts Waterpex with the cinch clamp rings. I would go with Wirsbo if I was in construction plumbing as I do feel it is better but, in repair you have to be ready for everything and this allowed me maximum versatility with as little tooling and inventory possible.
  3. Just another law suit waiting to happen

    seaneys states that .....

    The guy at Men---- assured me that the fittings
    are interchangeable........LOL...

    now how in the world would he know, he has had
    how much experience with this stuff.....
    did he just get transferred from flooring to plumbing last week?????


    It is really getting scarey out there......I think
    in about 5 -10 years we are all are going to be going
    out of pex disasters everywhere..


    Kitech in nevada put a couple of large plumbers out of business
    and moved to canada to stay afloat..

    Zurn is probably going to go belly up pretty soon
    with about 40 million defective fittings out there in the
    mid-west...., or move to Mexico or canada

    then the next one will be Souix Cheif..........

    then Watts will have to walk the plank too when
    those "interchangeable fittings" from China start
    to break apart ...

    .


    But then I suppose re-pipeing whole houses is good money.
    it will keep us all busy......



    But, I really dont understand what is going on..
    Quality has been totally thrown out the window.
    for some cheap untested junk.........
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2008
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,253
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pex

    Quality has been totally thrown out the window.
    for some cheap untested junk.........



    I guess you would feel better it it were "cheap, TESTED, junk"?
  5. yes HJ I would.....

    Well, yes HJ I would feel much better if at least
    it had been installed somewhere for a few years first....


    This is nothing different today that what went on
    back in the 80s with the POLYBUTELINE fiasco......
    and the hot water lines comming apart.

    its about the same thing, just re-packaged.....

    ZURN Used some peoples new million dollar homes all over Minnesota
    to test out their cheap brass fittings from China ........this was not smart....

    being the guennie pig for untested products cannot be fun for those involved...
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2008
  6. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    My brother installed some 3/4" copper elbows a week ago that leaked at the coner, two of them from the same bag. Bought at a supply house, not a box store, not made in the USA though. Even the copper is going down hill. You'll have lots of work if you don't get nailed by some defective product lawsuit, not just PEX.

  7. All the plumbing forums across the internet are testament to the pressing issues of fast and easy.


    I bought a huge lot of materials on an online auction and I"m pretty sure I have 100's of these brass fittings.

    To the scrap barrel you go! Including all those plastic fittings to boot!
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    At this time there are 2 and only 2 lawsuits involving PEX. In fact they do not involve the tubing itself but in both cases involve "Chinese" brass fittings used with the PEX.

    The Kitec Lawsuit is based on an improper grade of brass used in the fitting and possible dissimilar metals that result in "Dezincification" of the brass fitting. This process is accelerated under aggressive water conditions. Where interestingly enough copper would be a bad material choice. http://www.corrosionsource.com/technicallibrary/corrdoctors/Modules/Forms/dezinc.htm

    [​IMG]

    The Zurn Lawsuit is also involves the brass fittings as being incorrectly designed and manufactured. The fittings IMHO (I am not a machining and metals expert) are defective as a result of being too thin after machining with too small a radius built into the machined ridges of the barb resulting in a weakness.

    [​IMG]

    Pex tubing is a great material that is made by many manufacturers. It is resistant to corrosion & chemicals, scale buildup, freeze damage, water hammer & other noises, & erosion from high velocity. It is very inert so water purity is not an issue & it retains heat in hot water applications. It is inexpensive compared to copper both in material cost and labor to install. The material lends itself to repiping very well as it is tubing that can be threaded through smaller/fewer openings in walls and ceilings than rigid pipes. The material has a proven track record extending back to its development in the late 1960's with years of usage and billions of feet installed.

    You are judging an entire product catagory by the results of an "Cheap" brand sold in big box stores! This is the equivelent in saying all gas tank type water heaters are junk based on the experience of installing a Whirlpool Flamegard/Flamelok water heater sold by Lowes or, saying all large dia, flush valve toilets are junk based on an experience of installing an Am. Std. Champion toilet also a top seller at big box. When plastic tubing came out in the late 70's- 80's there were 2 choices PEX and Polybutylene. We picked the wrong one and went with Polybutylene while in Europe they went with PEX. Now stung by our experience with Polybutylene we are resisting the idea of using PEX, based on our experience with Polybutylene. Add to this the 2 defects of "Cheap Stuff" we have plenty of ammo for those who are resistant to the idea of using PEX. Does this completely negate the successful history of PEX use here and in Europe? Should we base our opinion of every other PEX manufacturer based on what has happened with Kitec & Zurn?

    I say if you do you will find your self hanging out with the dinosaurs! When you go and bid jobs in Copper and CPVC against PEX you will find yourself losing the bid! The material and labor costs will kill your bid its that simple.
  9. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    The rep from zurn says the problem with their fittings are because of the water, not the product, what else would he say. PEX is being used a lot in areas where the water kills the copper which causes the problem. Zurn is working hard to make a corrosion resistant fitting to go along with their pipe. I had a lot of their fittings for doing repair work in manufactured homes, I returned them. I almost got talked into doing a new house with it, glad I stuck with copper now.

    Rugged is correct for now, the brass fittings for PEX are better used and worth more as scrap.

    I have always been a big fan of the manifold systems because of how well they work, but for now I will stick with copper on any new work and only use PEX for repair in manufactured homes.
  10. raymondvinzantplumbprof

    raymondvinzantplumbprof New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Wyoming Minnesota
    raymondvinzantplumbprof

    No matter what type of piping you use, they will eventually degrade depending on the type of water condition. We have an area in Minnesota where they can't use copper because the water simply eats holes in the piping. Pex is affected by UV and the brass fittings are affected by dezincification. The key is to use the right type of piping for the right water condition. This is where professional plumbers need to reeducate themselves and think of the long term. You can no longer simply install whatever is cheap or available. You have to know which pipe is right for the situation.
  11. pbaker

    pbaker New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I just had my fourth brass or copper Pex fitting crack and burst open. This time, it was in my attic and leaked for about 10 minutes before being cut off. It flooded bedroom, laundry, & started into kitchen when realized. To put it mildly... It is a nightmare.

    My house is 9 years old and I have had a different leak starting the 4th year almost every other year now. The fittings seem to be corroded all over the outside and inside... then they just fail. I thought they were ZurnPex & mailed them the fittings, but they sent them back to me saying they were NIBCO. NIBCO refered me to Chubb Insurance where the kind lady there told me that this was not going to be covered by them. I just sent her another email, but she has not responded.

    If anyone has better direction as to whom I can contact for some help, I would certainly appreciate it. I know my mother had a house piped with polybutl. & Dow came and took care of the problem. Does anyone have information on this company stepping up and doing the right thing for their fitting failures?

    I would love to upload the photographs. They truly tell the story.

    Paul Baker
    South Alabama
  12. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Red, that's not entirely true. Uponor also has a lawsuit filed against them and so does Nibco. Uponor's is against the old style crimp system they once had and sold off and Nibco's is the pipe itself which has a nasty habit of separating down it's length.
  13. pbaker

    pbaker New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Much Appreciated direction, Yank.

    Stamp on the side says CPI Pex - NSF or something. It is very corroded on ones I have been able to access so far and replace. Could not even read the sides on the first few that failed. Are these stamps Uponor?

    Paul
  14. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    515
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    NSF is National Sanitation Foundation, testing agency/code approval stuff.
  15. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    In the world of defective PEX products, and ambulance chasers many things can change in the 2 years since I made that post...
  16. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Your failed PEX is CPI DuraPEX which became orphaned in a move where CPI went out of business and ceased to exist while selling the rights to make their product to Nibco.

    There is another thread on this forum with several others that have had problems with CPI DuraPEX, Nibco and Chubb I would suggest using the forum search to find the thread and contact the others regarding what is going on there. Last I heard they didn't have anything going on.

    Your problem is slightly different as the failure involved the fitting failing and not the tube itself. Their problem was the tubing splitting.
  17. pbaker

    pbaker New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Yea. It seems like they are trying to do that. Sucks. I have tried the new plastic fittings. I am hoping they work better. I am sure it will not be long again until the next ones fail. Guess, I am one of those suckers they screwed. Will have to deal with the issues as they happen.

    I will follow up as I learn more or as more learn me.

    Thank you,

    Paul
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