Mixing Zurn PEX A with Uponor PEX B Fittings/Expansion Rings

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Fatty Acid, May 12, 2021.

  1. Fatty Acid

    Fatty Acid New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2021
    Location:
    Texas
    Hello I had my house re-plumbed with Zurn PEX B tubing and Zurn F1960 expansion rings/fittings.

    After verifying all the work, just in one bathroom, instead of Zurn F1960 Polymer/Plastic fittings the plumbers used Uponor F1960 Polymer/Plastic fittings and also mixed in some Uponor PEX A reinforcing rings intermittently (probably got them mixed up in the bucket).

    So as an example, in this bathroom I have a coupling joint where it is Zurn PEX B tube on both sides, but an Uponor F1960 coupling fitting, and the F1960 reinforcing ring on one side is Zurn PEX B and the reinforcing ring on other side is Uponor PEX A.

    There are no leaks and everything seems very tight.

    Obviously, this invalidates the Zurn warranty on these particular joints but I was already knowingly using some non-Zurn expansion fittings throughout the house because Zurn doesn't make certain F1960 items like F1960 stop valves for sinks/toliets and F1960 sillcocks for outdoor faucets. Also, the F1960 brass drop ears the plumbers used for showers aren't Zurn or Uponor but Proflow, which they use on all jobs whether it's Uponor PEX A or Zurn PEX B.

    Given this is all made to the F1960 standard should I be concerned? All the inside diameters of Zurn vs. Uponor PEX tubing, F1960 fittings and reinforcing rings are exactly the same. Zurn PEX A and Uponor PEX B tubing have the exact same outside diameter too. Only the outside diameter of the reinforcing rings is slightly different with the Zurn PEX B rings being slightly larger (0.01") vs. Uponor.

    While the Uponor PEX A reinforcement ring doesn't have the same "memory" as the Zurn PEX B tubing (i.e. Uponor is greater?), I'd think a PEX A reinforcement ring on a PEX B tube would be fine vs. the opposite--the PEX A ring will retract harder than the PEX B reinforcement ring. I'd think the concern would be the reverse--PEX B rings on PEX A tubing, which I don't have.

    The plumber is unwilling to fix this mismatch even for extra $ (claims he's too busy)--and it wasn't spelled out in the contract to use Zurn PEX B vs. Uponor PEX A or to use all the same manufacturer for fittings, it was just a verbal discussion that I wanted Zurn F1960 Expansion PEX B and I just assumed they would use all Zurn fittings except on stop valves and sillcocks.

    It was the lowest bid plumber. You get what you pay for. :)

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  2. breplum

    breplum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumbing and heating contractor
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I am a card carrying certified Uponor PEX installer with many years of experience.
    I empathize with the mixing issue affecting potential warranty if ever there were a failure.
    The Uponor rings are as good as it gets, so I certainly have no qualms.
    All Uponor fittings are made to the same, high, industry standards and Uponor as a company is all-in as far as PEX and a major player in PEX.
    The only real difference between the tubing (aside for the process) is that Zurn has greater UV exposure allowances prior to installation.
     
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  4. Fatty Acid

    Fatty Acid New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2021
    Location:
    Texas
    The UV exposure allowances was important to me because a lot of my re-pipe was done from the outside due to various reasons (e.g. fully tiled walls in the bathrooms) and the PEX Is going to exposed" longer than ideal.

    So you see no technical reason to be concerned with Uponor PEX A rings on Zurn PEX B tubing?
     
  5. JohnCT

    JohnCT Still learning..slowly

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Location:
    Northeast
    By now, most of us know that PEX B is certified for F1960 expansion fittings. In your opinion (say for your own home for instance), would you use PEX B given that is *purportedly* more long-term durable than PEX A? I know the PEX A has some advantages such as flexibility, memory, and kink repair.

    John
     
  6. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    given the shortage of polymers to make fittings and tubing currently I'm not certain anyone is going to have much choice but to mix and match.. we just bought the last of the straight lengths and rolls of tubing at 2 of our suppliers and they said they won't be restocking the straight anymore.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I think that is an overly-broad statement.
     
  8. JohnCT

    JohnCT Still learning..slowly

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Location:
    Northeast
    Maybe, but both Zurn and Sioux Chief did certify their B with F1960 fittings.

    John
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    https://www.siouxchief.com/docs/def...other/supply/tech-bulletin---pex-b-with-f1960 says
    Manual expansion tools may leave weak spots in the tubing wall if used
    improperly due to non-uniform expansion and improper expansion rate.
    A self-rotating power tool avoids both of these common installation
    problems; therefore, Sioux Chief will require these types of tools in its
    system certification for ASTM F1960 using type B tubing.
    It also says

    PowerPEX® tube and fittings carry a 25 year warranty on material and workmanship. PowerPEX® tube and fittings can be mixed with other manufacturers’ compatible tube and fittings systems.
     
  10. JohnCT

    JohnCT Still learning..slowly

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Location:
    Northeast
    Wouldn't that advice be given for PEX A as well? I don't know anyone who would use a manual expander. Even with three arms they're ridiculous to use.

    John
     
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I would and do. Homeowner and limited amount of connections.

    But I agree that it is hard. 3/4 is hard, and I have never yet tried one inch.

    Two arms and a shoulder for one one the handles has sufficed for me so far.
     
    JohnCT likes this.
  12. Fatty Acid

    Fatty Acid New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2021
    Location:
    Texas
    Interesting discussion but can anyone address my original concerns? Specifically Uponor PEX-A rings on Zurn PEX-B. Is there any concern they are incompatible?

    The mixing of fittings doesn't bother me because that was happening anyway (silcocks, angle stops) but is there an issue with Uponor PEX-A rings on Zur PEX-B?
     
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I thought #2 was as good as it will get.
     
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