Why would my house be plumbed in PEX-AL-PEX?

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s10010001

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Whats the deal with PEX-AL-PEX? I have a leak to repair in my kitchen, luckily I was able to remove the outside wall panels and get top it. No real damage since it was just leaking onto out outside desk. Just a drip every 5 mins or so.

It looked like PEX with copper bits going to the valve under the sink. Theres two valves on the hot side, one for the dish washer and one for the sink. However I got out my PEX crimper and box of parts only to find out my houses is using PEX-AL-PEX, not normal PEX. So non of my fittings fit and no one local seems to carry PEX-AL-PEX stuff!

Right now I think my only option is either fix the copper bit that leaking with a sketchy in place re-solder or buy these PEX-AL-PEL compression fitting that convert it to NPT, form there I can convert it to normal PEX and replace everything above it, zero copper.

Thoughts? why would my house be plumed in PEX-AL-PEX? any ideas on how to deal?
 

Reach4

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s10010001

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It is used for heating, and the metal layer keeps out oxygen. Probably because the person had a supply, and did not want to lay out money for the regular stuff.

I don't know if you need special fittings to change over.

https://www.pexuniverse.com/pex-al-pex-tubing-technical-specifications
https://www.pexuniverse.com/pex-tubing-technical-specs

The ID seems to be different.
Yea the OD is definitely bigger per spec than normal pex. So non of the fitting work.

I’m really starting to lean on re-soldering the leaking joint. This is a mess. $50 worth of special fittings to get it to pex I can work with behind my sink. I could leave the wall open few days to watch for leaks.
 

s10010001

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Update on this, I learned there is a tool for striping off the outside and AL layer from Pex-AL-Pex and revealing just the PEX under. From there normal fittings, clamps and sleeves fit just fine.

I ordered the tool ($70 amazon), I’m trying to source a small sample piece of the Pex-al-pex I can test on before I cut into my system.

it’s a slow drip now that I’m air drying actively vs once I cut into it I’m screwed if it doesn’t work.
 

hj

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It ahs been many years since I have seen it, but my impression was that BOTH layers of PEX were thinner, with AL between them, in which case removing one layer and the AL would not work. I doubt that it was used to SAVE money. One benefit of it was that it was more rigid so you could do a neater job with it.
 

Reach4

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You could use a PEX-AL-PEX Compression Male Threaded Adapter, and then get a regular pex threaded adapter.
pap-0500m-3.jpg
 

s10010001

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Welp, I cut into it.. the 3/4” seems to be 3/4” ID. The $70 striping tool worked and the outside is now the right size to fit normal 3/4” pex crimps on.

Lucky the 1/2” bits were just normal pex ID and OD, so the fitting fit. I was able to salvage one of the too big 3/4 x 1/2 x 1/2 Tee to get it back up. It had o-rungs that I replaced with new. So we’ll see how it goes. I left the wall open (hardy board) to monitor for leaks.

here’s a shit of a bit of it too with me to Home Depot. You can see where I started testing the shaver tool. Also see the brass Tee I’m able to reuse to save my butt.
 

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s10010001

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Well it’s all in and holding 55psi. I’m gonna leave it all open for a while before I button it all up.

I’m going to do the cold side the same to get ride of the old copper and setup my cold shutoff valve in the same fashion
 

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