Pex connection question

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Old 11-20-13, 04:15 AM
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Pex connection question

I'm back with another question.

I'm modifying a portion of my FWH system (adding a loop). The system is plumbed using Pex (gray, 5/8", WIRSBO hePex) and expansion connections. I'm going to need to change some of those connections.

I don't have the expansion tool (though I'm sure I can rent it). However, a friend has a Pex crimping tool. I also see there's something called Sharkbite that works with pex.

Can one of these other methods be used to create connections for a FWH system using this type of pex?
 
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Old 11-20-13, 04:37 AM
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Both will work if it truly is Pex, not if it's Quest unless you use the Quest to Pex adaptors.
I've never seen gray Pex tubing.
Sure it's not Quest?
If it is I'd replace all of it.
There was a huge class action suite against them because of fitting and tubing failures years ago.
 
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Old 11-20-13, 04:44 AM
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How would I know if it's Quest? The print on the side says WIRSBO hePex...
 
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Old 11-20-13, 04:45 AM
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If the pipe is gray I suspect it is Quest tubing as JoeCaption1 pointed out. Even though you may see the letter PEX somewhere in the name the gray color was pretty universal to the Quest system. I am currently going through my rental properties removing Quest whenever we find it. Over the past 10 years I can not count the number of leaks I've had from Quest. Mostly from fitting failures.
 
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Old 11-20-13, 04:57 AM
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Old 11-20-13, 06:11 AM
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Thanks for the links, but I don't think this is either PB pipe or Quest Pex. The pipe is clearly labeled "WIRSBO HePEx" which I understand to be an Uponor product. I'll see if I can get some more info off their site (as to why it's gray). But if you've got more information that would contradict this, please let me know.
 
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Old 11-20-13, 07:54 AM
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I would look hard to confirm what it is. I could not find gray on the Uponor website. I have only seen modern PEX in natural (milky white), white, red and blue. Gray was the color for the Quest system and I think all the manufacturers changed the color when they went to PEX to avoid confusion with Quest.

I have never had a problem with Quest tubing. It has always been the fittings. Years ago replacement brass fittings were more available than they are today. Some homes in my town had the fittings replaced but left the tubing. Now I can only find the transition fitting to PEX.
 
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Old 11-20-13, 08:44 AM
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I know -- it's strange. But the printing on the pipe is crystal clear -- it's WIRSBO pipe and the fittings used are expander fittings that Uponor uses.

So my original question stands -- if I have to make connections, am I going to have to use the expansion method, or can this pipe be connected by crimped bands?
 
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Old 11-20-13, 04:37 PM
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am I going to have to use the expansion method, or can this pipe be connected by crimped bands?
I think the best answer is to use the methods that the manufacturer recommends. Most of the PEX manufacturers have PDF files for download at their websites that detail methods to be used for their products.
 
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Old 11-20-13, 04:42 PM
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Thanks -- I'll check their site.
 
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Old 11-20-13, 05:11 PM
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I found this site:

Uponor Professional

(click on the headings to open list of downloads)

But not seeing much for HePex, most all of it is ProPex... not sure if it all applies?

About the SharkBite... you would probably do well to actually CALL both Uponor and SharkBite if you can find the tech support numbers and ask them directly.
 
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Old 11-21-13, 05:35 AM
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Looks like the only connection method they mention is the expansion option -- which seems slick, except that you have to have the $400 expansion tool... which, I've discovered, is not available for rent at any of my local tool rental outlets. Interesting... I'm guessing that Milwaukee (which makes the tool) is connected with Uponor somehow.
 
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Old 11-21-13, 06:47 AM
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I've seen a number of specialized tools in different industries made by Milwaukee, I haven't googled but I suspect that Milwaukee is simply responsive to industry needs and not 'related' to Uponor.
 
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Old 11-21-13, 07:04 AM
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Yeah, I'm just being snarky, since now I have to call a plumber and pay him a couple of hundred to do a job I could do fairly easily (well, as easily as any of my plumbing projects go). But it's still cheaper to do that than to buy a tool I'll use only once.
 
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Old 11-21-13, 10:32 AM
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OK, for anyone who's follow the thread of this so far, I have some answers from the manufacturer:

1) Color -- the pipe was not originally grey. The manufacturer believes that a combination of minerals and/or possible rust inhibitors in the boiler water, combined with heat and age have stained the inside of the pex;

2) Connections -- Both Sharkbite and pex clamps are compatible with this product.
 
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