PEX Fittings and brand

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by CTNic, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. CTNic

    CTNic New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Location:
    Nebraska
    my first experience with PEX plumbing was using the Uponor expansion ring fitting system. I bought the tool to expand rings and did several fittings. I sold the expander after finishing. Locally there is only Watts brand available. They are the crimp rings style. I am starting a new house build I am s and then wondering what system I should try to use. I like using the plastic fittings from Uponor, however I have reservations about the chemical leaking and durability. Uponor also sells brass fittings for 5x the cost as their plastic ep fittings.

    Local watts fittings are brass. my reservation with using brass fittings is the fact that I will be on a private water well system. I am guessing the water will be hard, and that there will be some reaction with brass fittings.

    Would it be more wise to order Uponor fittings and use thier system with plastic fittings when possible? Or will the Watts crimp style be better?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2015
  2. craigpump

    craigpump In the Trades

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    Occupation:
    Self employed water system tech
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Hard water won't damage brass or copper. What damages brass and copper is water with a low ph and that's easily corrected with a neutralizer.
     
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  4. CTNic

    CTNic New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Location:
    Nebraska
    So is private well water normally acidic? Are brass fittings suggested over plastic ep ones?
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    You will want to get a good water test once your well is complete, because you will probably need some water treatment stuff -- even if that is just a softener. http://www.watercheck.com/products.html That is the residential site for http://ntllabs.com Well-check test will cost around $150 with shipping. It is a much better test than would normally be available via a county because the county is usually only worried about safety. If your well is shallower, you might opt for one of the tests that tests for more stuff like organics. This test would be done on untreated well water, and I think after the well has been sanitized.

    From a planning point of view, expect a softener. You may need/want a backwashing filter of some kind, and that would come before the softener. You will want to run untreated water to all or most of your outdoor hose spigots. You might want soft water for car washing if you do that at home. Hard water with iron etc is great for plants. It may also be better for drinking, so many pipe unsoftened water to the kitchen cold, and some put in a third faucet. That kitchen hard water would best be the water that has gone through the backwashing filter, if there is one. Drinking softened water is fine for most. But the hard water may have a more mineral water thing going. I have to go to the basement to get drinking water that has gone through the iron+sulfur filter but has not gone through the softener.

    To get a probable preview for a planned well, ask your well driller. He will know the region. You could also ask a new neighbor. pH would probably be similar. I think most US wells are not acidic. But in some areas, they are.

    Regarding fittings, stainless steel also makes good fittings. Nylon fittings for well stuff are good where they don't have to be very strong. I am not sure if there could be a possible small galvanic problem with brass to stainless connections, but either will be great hooked to plastic.
     
  6. CTNic

    CTNic New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Thanks for the well info. I bought a test kit for future use...and planned on having a local chemistry lab test it too.

    So it sounds like I will want to use the brass pex fittings over those black 'EP' fittings from Uponor?

    My well water outlet is 1 1/4" - I was going to bring that through my foundation wall and use a 1 1/4" to 3/4" reducer... I can only easily work with 3/4" and smaller pex. 1" may be the limit if I buy the expander tool for that size. I don't know why I would need 1" inside the house though? Any comments on this?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2015
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    Fire sprinklers? Hot tub?
     
  8. craigpump

    craigpump In the Trades

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    Apr 12, 2012
    Occupation:
    Self employed water system tech
    Location:
    Connecticut
    There are millions of homes with no water treatment of any kind. Just because the guy across town has one, doesn't mean you need one too, but unscrupulous salesmen will sell you anything you think you need.

    As for water tests, a standard chemical and bacteria will suffice in most cases. Should be about $100.00 or so. Call a local water testing lab.
     
  9. CTNic

    CTNic New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Won't have fire sprinklers I don't think. Hot tub would be just 3/4 if I ever won the lottery.

    Am I better to bring tge black poly or PVC in the basement from the well?
     
  10. craigpump

    craigpump In the Trades

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Occupation:
    Self employed water system tech
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Poly is more forgiving and flexible than pvc
     
  11. CTNic

    CTNic New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I used the watts stainless steel crimp ring today for a trap primer threaded connection that is below slab. I didn't have the wirsbo fitting so it was handy locally. As soon as I crimped, I realized I had some concerns. How do I know it will be a perfect crimp? What if I didn't set the ring the right distance in from the fitting. And what if the fitting was at an angle? I didn't really have those concerns with wirsbo. Are those things I should worry about or is the crimp method pretty fullproof?

    If I get the crimp done, is it meant to be idiot proof? Hopefully I'm not an idiot... but I want a good reliable method every time.
     
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