Can't get Cresline CE Blue 200 3/4" to stop leaking at new splice

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by erkme73, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. erkme73

    erkme73 Member

    Sep 28, 2017
    First post here. Did quite a bit of searching, and read several threads dealing with poly and brass fittings - and all of the suggestions/fixes have been attempted (through trial and error) and I'm still unable to stop a very slight leak (1 drip every 5 seconds or so).

    The 3/4" blue poly line runs about 400' from my well to the house. At about the mid-point, I dug down, exposed, and cut the line to add new tie-in for a garage that will be built in the coming weeks.

    I used a 3/4" brass tee with barbs on the straight run and a 3/4" NPT male (for a 3/4" sharkbite adapter) on the branch.

    Since my original hole didn't provide much lateral movement of the two cut portions, getting the brass tee in line was a challenge. The barb push in with about 5 pounds of force (not much) but once in, do not want to come out with out wrestling it like it's a live gator. The hardware store that sold the line originally, provided the fittings - so I'm pretty sure they are the correct ones.

    After installing the tee, and using two clamps per barb (each clamp in opposite orientation of the other), the leak was pretty bad on both sides of the tee (the sharkbite never leaked). Attributing the leaks to the awkward angle I used to wedge the fitting into the pipe, I dug a much large hole, pulled out the tee, and saw that the white interior of the poly hose was scored pretty bad. I cut all that off, picked up a straight barb coupler and reattempted.

    This time, I had much easier access, and made sure all the (now four) barbs slipped straight in. I clamped all barbs with two new clamps and pressurized. Leaking was much slower (down to the 1 drip every 5 seconds), but still happening at all barbs.

    Running out of daylight, I let it be, went inside and ordered a heat gun (I'm in BFE).

    The heat gun arrived today. I practiced on some scrap tubing to get a feel for how long to hold the heat to the surface before it became pliable. I then climbed into the hole and tried to recreate the same scenario. I never removed the hose clamps or the brass fittings.

    I could see that blue coating was getting shiny and the cut edge was starting to pull back like it had done in my testing. I then tightened the clamps up a bit more (maybe 1/2 turns each). I let it a few minutes, and pressurized. Same effing leak rate.

    My next attempt (daylight and weather permitting) is to cut off the ends, and start completely over - applying heat to the open ends of the tubes before slipping the brass fittings inside.

    After this long-winded (TL;DR) book report/novel, here's the ultimate question(s):

    Given what I've tried, does it seem reasonable to expect disassembly, heating, and reassembly will solve my problem? Or, am I wasting time/effort, and I'm barking up the wrong tree?

  2. erkme73

    erkme73 Member

    Sep 28, 2017
    Well, for anyone who happens to stumble across this after searching for the cresline ploytube, here's what I've learned after speaking Cresline:
    1. Do not use heat. It will cause the poly to be de-rated, and will the softened plastic is no more likely to seal.
    2. If all SS clamps are stripping out before enough pressure is put on the barb, either the clamps are cheap (not all SS) or clamps will not be sufficient.
    3. Clamps must be on the barb, not ahead or behind them - since some fittings are not barbed to the shoulder.
    4. The barbs may be damaged (scored) from removing line previously installed (tool marks on the barbs will cause them to no longer seal).
    5. Barb fittings should not just lip into the pipe - it should require a good bit of force (a rubber mallet was suggested).
    6. Pipe that has been under pressure for years, or has been exposed to sunlight for a long time may have expanded to the point where cutting and inserting the proper barb fitting may no longer provide an adequate seal.
    7. If barb+clamp fittings are not adequate, the only thing that they know will work are A.Y.McDonald Mac-Pac style clamp/compression fittings. They're expensive, but work 100% of the time.
    In my case, the SIDR 7 (3/4-inch) Cresline CE Blue pipe requires this fitting:


    The A.Y. part has been verified as the correct size and type for the pipe I have. I have just received some high-end all stainless clamps that I will try one more time - but if that doesn't work, will order two of these, essentially converting the Cresline to 3/4" NPT between the ends - at which point I'll convert to a 3/4" sharkbite tee... I've never had an issue with 3/4" or 1/2" PEX and sharkbites.
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