Wisbro Tubing - Possible Cons?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by WillieK, May 22, 2011.

  1. WillieK

    WillieK New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Wirsbo Tubing - Possible Cons?

    I am fixing to plumb a new construction in South East Texas. Single story with a 50% floored attic that will be used about once a week. The home is going to be completely sealed (walls and underside of roof deck) with spray foam insulation. The attic will be lighted with fluorescent lights.

    I am a total Newbie. I have been researching like crazy - reading every site including this one. I could never explain how much everyone's previous posts have already helped me. However, now it is my turn, as a newbie, to ask 5 questions.

    1) Why does Uponor/Wirsbro have this warning: Do not install Wirsbo PEX between the tub/shoulder valve and tub spout?

    Uponor also warns of the following:

    Do not spray on or allow organic chemicals, pesticides, strong acids or
    strong bases to come into contact with Wirsbo PEX.

    Do not use petroleum or solvent-based paints on Wirsbo PEX.

    2) Based on the above statements, is it safe to run pex in a wall that will be sprayed with foam insulation?

    3) At this point, I plan to run pex as a home run using two Wirsbo Aquacenter manifolds. Since I plan to run the pex through the attic, is it safe to do so (UV wise) since I will have fluorescent lights in the attic that will be used about once a week for several hours at a time?

    4) Wirsbo's Aquacenter manifold valves are replaceable. Why would they need to be replaced and how long can I expect them to last? I realize they have O-Rings but is that something that will not last? Furthermore, would it be better to periodically close and reopen these valves or leave them alone until/unless needed?

    5) Wirsbo Manifolds contain blue or red clips that not only identify hot or cold outlets but seem to also function as clips that hold that particular valve onto the valve body. Without physically seeing a Wisbo manifold in person, the use of small clips, such as pictured/described in their literature, seem to be an accident waiting to happen. Their own literature says, Caution: Failure to install the valve clip could result in the valve
    being blown off when the system is pressurized. For someone who has actually seen one of these manifolds, what do you think is the possibility of a valve being blown off and how hard is it to make sure that the valve clip is properly installed?
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,810
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Welcome to Terry's Forums WillieK,

    You came to the right place.

    There are many Pros on this Forum, to answer your questions.

    I am not a expert on PEX, but just wanted to welcome you aboard.


    Have a Great Day.


    DonL
  3. WillieK

    WillieK New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Thanks! From what I have read in the past, I will have to agree.
  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    Location:
    Maine
    Running pex from the tub shower valve to the diverter can cause restriction at the diverter which sends some water up to the shower head.

    As for chemicals, follow Uponor's installations. some chemicals will degrade the pipe.
  5. WillieK

    WillieK New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Why would pex cause restriction but not copper?
  6. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,046
    Location:
    Maine
    Because it's inner diameter and the restriction through the fitting is greater
  7. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,236
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    There are a lot of situations where if a certain size copper is the proper size for a branch, it would need to be a size larger of you are using PEX. The tubing is smaller and the fittings are much smaller.

    The PEX design handbook is a good read- http://www.plasticpipe.org/publications/pex_handbook.html
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,798
    Location:
    New England
    As stated, the walls of pex are thicker than that of copper. Now, they could have made the ID the same, but the industry chose to make the OD the same. This means that it will fit in the same places, and things like compression fittings (with the proper internal support) will work on pex or copper. In some applications, the flow can't be restricted, so they tell you to not use pex there. Plus, in a situation like a shower arm, or tub spout, because the stuff is flexible, you won't get a nice solid connection - the spout or arm will wobble and likely won't stay nice and plumb. You can use pex up to the valve of a shower, but you should use copper after the valve (or brass), which is rigid, and has a larger ID, so there's no restrictions.

    With many of today's flow restricted fixtures, the smaller ID of pex isn't an issue. But, for things like a hose bib, or maybe a multi-head shower or a big soaking tub, you may want to use the next larger size tubing (i.e., say 3/4" verses 1/2" or even 1" for a big water hog) to maintain highest flow and minimize loss of pressure.
  9. things that you can do to wirsbo....

    I personally have not seen the manifold with the new clips yet..

    I know that most pexes can absorb oils and things like this , so it is wise not to run a main water line into the home under an asphalt driveway...

    .if you have that much toxic oil kind of stuff flying around your home, you are probably not living in a healthy environment in the first place.....
    oils and contanimants wont matter in a normal setting......


    if you are installing this through an attic, it probably would be wise to put rubber ARMAFLEX over it anyway because in a lot of situations, the pipe could SWEAT PROFUSELY ... The armaflex will serve as both an insulator from heat and cold, and also keep the UV light off the pipe.. It will work great...

    I prefer a manifold made of copper with brass outlets that you can tie in your runs to... I would trust that over any new shitty looking plastic stops they are pushing...

    The size of the pipe is almost in-consequential because everything usually reduces down to almost under 3/8 to 1/4 by the time it comes out of the faucets....:cool:


    here is the most simplistic wirsbo manifold you can do... all it really needs is one stop
    instead of fooling with a bunch of plastic iffey stops...the stop is not in the picture

    mark_pex_manifold.jpg







    .
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2011
  10. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    What about that PVC pipe in the house... I thought we agreed that was illegal?

    Or did John Lennon engineer it?

    And you better hope only a few people use fixtures in that house at one time with the small feed line and all those nice elbows.... But I suppose its a good water conserving feature.
  11. are you on drugs or something......??

    what in the hell are you talking about??
    this is a picture of a 100 year old cellar with sch 40pvc drain line in the background....

    have you been drinking with IAN??

    this type of 1 inch copper mainfold has been around for at least 25 years with no complaints..... wirsbo also sells them in 3/4 plastic with as many as 6 1/2 ports comming off them...
    no complaints

    Even if you had 20 mexicans living in the home, I doubt that they would notice any drop in pressure ... unless they all tried to shower at once......in the two bath home ... 10 per shower.:D.

    think.ballvalve......
    they probably would not sell them if they were not already field tested long ago......


  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,226
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    PVC WATER lines in a house are "illegal", NOT drain lines. A 100 year old house did NOT have PVC drains when it was constructed. In any case, being illegal and being used without being inspected are two different things. I would NOT operate those plastic manifold valves except when needed. They have a limited lifetime and turning them on and off will wear them out prematurely. Maybe the biggest "con" to PEX is that "real" plumbers do not use plastic water lines.
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  13. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    I wouldnt worry about the Mexicans, they are quite conservative. You would have an issue if John Lennon had a party there.
  14. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    We use ABS here, so white says water to the Californians.
  15. WillieK

    WillieK New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    What keeps the copper manifold in this picture from flopping around? I don't see anything other than the flexible pex holding it in place?
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