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Old 05-13-2016, 09:03 PM   #1
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Default Introduction to PEX...

So a lot of cities are now allowing pex around the areas I work (Chicagoland area). I have zero experience running pex for domestic water. The supply house I primarily deal with sells Uponor brand pex.

I have been told that the Uponor system is a poor choice for areas with drastic climate changes, or areas that get really cold.... obviously this fits chicagoland.

Just curious as to thoughts on what is the best system for domestic water...?

Also how do you usually run the pex lines. I see some people build a manifold and run lines to each fixture individually. I also have seen people pipe houses like you would with copper or cpvc... run mains and branch off to fixtures.

Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:57 PM   #2
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In my oppinion Viega and their plastic fittings that comes with the stainless sleve already on the fitting is the top quality brand. At work we use copper rings on plastic fittings ( I don't recall the brand names). My first employer and my current employer both run a main trunk line and branch off of it so that is the method I use.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:30 PM   #3
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We use rehau and aqua something Pex. We still use the brass fittings with copper rings. The company I work for does main and branch Pex which for a small house is ok. I'd rather home run because there is only two joints to worry about.....well unless the drywallers go nuts.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:30 PM   #4
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I run the uponor system.

Also run it like copper

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Old 05-13-2016, 11:50 PM   #5
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We use uponor only. Expansion rings are the way to go. The issue with cold weather may be the expansion ring. In the winter we keep a heat gun handy to help speed the shrinking process.
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Old 05-14-2016, 07:20 AM   #6
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Blackhawk, don't do it, don't go pex! Come back to the big work!
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:34 AM   #7
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Just remember that most pexes will never look as good as copper....if you can get past that hurdle then you are good....

The best system is the wirsbo Uponor pex,, Just go out and buy yourself one of those small hand held Milwaukee expander kits ($300)
and you are good to go....
I have used the same tool for probably 5 years now....
Once you get the hang of it you can fly with that stuff...
You also want to use the black plastic fittings

You have been told wrongly about the climate issues with aquapex..
The wirsbo pex is also probably the most freeze proof on the market. I have seen whole houses done in wirsbo pex that were totally frozen solid and nothing broke..not even the plastic joints..
... the copper stub outs to the water heater did crack open but the wirsbo aquapex was not damaged...I was amazed and very happy

I prefer to run the stuff like copper pipe using straight sticks
but some guys will install those manifolds....which seems like more work... The cost of the pex is dirt cheap I think a 300 foot roll of 1/2 aquapex is about 90 bucks.

http://s3.supplyhouse.com/images/pro.../2432-22-5.jpg


I have never, ever had a failure from a leaking joint using that hand held milwaukee expander....
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Old 05-14-2016, 10:51 AM   #8
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Default new to pex

i have been running pex for about 15 years now
started with the wirsbo aquapex and a manual expander
now I use the m12 cordless expander works great
but before that came out I switched to the zurn style cinch clamp system which I like for the 1 tool fits all the rings
I did not like the idea of a separate tool for each size ring as the copper crimp ring system uses
I have also used the newer style cinch clamps that have an ear on them which prevents them from sliding down the tubing before you crimp them
they all have their advantages dis advantages
you can make pex look good it requires a lot of straps though
when doing new construction I did a lot of hybrid systyems where I ran cpvc trunk lines in the basement used bullet manifolds and ran separate pex lines to each fixture
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:19 AM   #9
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Use the Viega fostapex if you worried about looks. The aluminum keeps things nice and straight. Uponor is good for the fact that you have less restriction through the fittings but it's a pain in the a$$ in the winter with rings closing up. Your" time savings" gets thrown out the window chasing leaks in the cold. I switched to Viega because of that one reason when I was in business. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:19 AM   #10
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I've been using watts and nibco for at least 15 years now. We use the ss cinch clamps and the poly fittings. Living in New England we experience extreme temp changes as well. For residential around here if your not using pex you can't compete
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