Keep in mind Uponor PEX is not just Wirsbo. RTI was also a Uponor company plus all of the original Kitec was under a license from Uponor. It is likely a lot of none Wirsbo PEX is included in those numbers. When I was certified on PEX-AL-PEX back in the 90s they told us PEX had already been in service for over 30-years at that time. I believe PEX has proven the pipe by design is safe now they need to work on fittings, rings and installers.
I started with Wirsbo and then switched. If they can actually put that little ridge on the sleeves it would make the job go a lot faster imo and I might start using them again. I'm very tempted now because of the price of the plastic fittings over the price for the bronze I'm using now. I could cut my costs in half for fittings.
The speed thing is what killed me with the uponor. Now I can crimp a half dozen viega's together in the time it takes to expand the uponor.
OK, yes, uponor is adding a shoulder on the rings. They are pieces of pex that have been drilled out with the exception of the shoulder. Kind of cool to watch. The shoulder helps alot! They are already out on the market, but the wholesalers are using up old stock first
The plastic fittings they use is an engineered plastic. You can apply something like 400 psi force to a branch connection and it will not snap off.
Do yourself a favor, find a way to attend level 1 training at the Uponor factory. It is well worth the time.
I have used these crimp rings for over a year. We have made thousands of crimps with them and haven't had a single leak or failure yet. The main thing is to always have a sharp poly cutter so the cut is perfectly straight. If you don't position your crimper perfectly on the ring it will buckle the ring when you bite down. This ring has held just fine on air tests of up to 100 PSI.
The only plastic fittings I use are only for plugging the stubouts. I feel the brass are heavier duty and better. If someone thinks else I am all ears as I have no scientific justification to not use the plastic fittings.
Out of curiosity, every once in a while I purposely make a horrible cut so you can't see the pex through the little view hole on some of the plug crimps. Even on those horrible crimps, they all still have held air and water when energized. The only reason I do this is becuase stops will be put on shortly after.
I've had mixed results with the stainless cinch bands. I'm sticking to the copper rings as they are proven. When I start seeing stainless rings on jobs that are more than 10 years old I will consider them. I tried zurn's bands and they leaked like crazy. I think the otiker brand ones are pretty good. I crawled under a mobile home today to clear a drain line and it had pex with a 2000 date stamp on it with otiker clamps. I asked the owner and she said she is the original owner and has had no problems.
I'm using the Viega Pureflow with the stainless steel sleeves, they're not the cinch bands, way different and never a problem with them. I'm also using the bronze viega fittings that go with the pureflow system.
Viega does still offer the Vanguard type with the copper crimp and plastic fittings but you can't use them with the pureflow SS sleeves. I wish they would come out with the plastic fittings, I would buy them in a heartbeat.
Still want to check out the Uponor with the new sleeves mentioned in the above post. It would be cheaper using the plastic Uponor fittings, the Viega is expensive though I don't mind paying more for the quality. Hell, they're both terrific products.
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