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Topic: Pex tubing and compression type fittings

Posted By: klutchdust on 10/18/07 07:23am

Installing basic water system using 1/2 in.ID Pex. It Requires a 5/8 OD fitting. Went to local Hardware stores and purchased compression type fittings as that was all that is available. Well when the water came on the leaks started, twice a line blew off, water everywhere. Now I have used compression type fittings on copper, plastic, you name it but this pex stuff is so rigid it doesn't seem to hold tight no matter how much you tighten the fitting. I went back and re checked all fittings again, tightened them until they wouldn't move but it has me wondering. On the hot side will they loosen up? I plan on changing those. Now these fittings weren't some cheapo junk, the 90* angle ones were 6-7 bucks a piece. Anyone have similar experience?


Posted By: Cliford on 10/18/07 07:34am

The compression type fittings would work if you installed the sleeve in the tubing.
Use Shark Bite


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Posted By: tom_kat on 10/18/07 07:37am

i bought some of the new plex and compression fittings at a rv place and didnt have any problems with leaks on mine.


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Posted By: Economical Handyman on 10/18/07 08:18am

Planning on what type of compression fitting and how much water pressure, you might have to block or nail a 90 or T-fitting from moving. Yes, the hot would be a concern due to expansion/contraction. Some you can damage the sleeve or the pipe, by having them to tight.


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Posted By: RJsfishin on 10/18/07 08:24am

What ? Compression fittings ?? Whats that.

Most all RV and hardware stores carry the "Flair it" fittings for pex tubing. I have used many of them. They can't leak !!! Period !

The commercials use the crimp rings, ..fine, if you have the commercial crimpers to crimp them. But the "flair it" fittings is the standard now, even in all the newer Manufactured Homes,...on all the 1/2" lines.


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Posted By: klutchdust on 10/18/07 08:38am

RJsfishin wrote:

What ? Compression fittings ?? Whats that.

Most all RV and hardware stores carry the "Flair it" fittings for pex tubing. I have used many of them. They can't leak !!! Period !

The commercials use the crimp rings, ..fine, if you have the commercial crimpers to crimp them. But the "flair it" fittings is the standard now, even in all the newer Manufactured Homes,...on all the 1/2" lines.


They didn't have them in the size I needed. I am using half inch inside diameter which is five eights outside.


Posted By: klutchdust on 10/18/07 08:40am

Cliford wrote:

The compression type fittings would work if you installed the sleeve in the tubing.
Use Shark Bite


These came with the sleeve and ring. The pex is so rigid it is hard to work with. I have a small system and very basic.


Posted By: ARIZONA GUIDE on 10/18/07 09:25am

I use pex and wersbo pipe evry day in homes. We use the strech method on them. It takes a peice that is just bigger than the OD of the pipe. You put your stretch tool inside and pump away then you put it over the fitting and it tightens up onto the fitting and the only way to get it off is to cut the fitting out and start over. Shark bite fitting rock. They have made plumbing a breeze. and they will not leak.


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Posted By: dalehelman on 10/18/07 09:25am

I want to second this product Shark Bite These things are a plumbing miracle. They work on poly and copper. You can go from copper to poly with the same fitting. They are reusable, and in most areas certified for use inside walls. I buy mine at Home Depot. No tools required except a tubing cutter. Great for tight spaces where wrenches will not fit. They are not cheep, but I don't think they are over priced. I would use them even if they were twice the price.


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Posted By: Road Runners on 10/18/07 10:11am

Shark Bite is named because it takes a huge bite out of your wallet. I only use the Shark Bite fittings for connecting Pex tubing to Copper tubing. I have never had any trouble with the regular push-on fittings they sell for pex. It is a bit higher priced than the old compression fittings, but it makes up for the slight extra cost in the ease of installation. I have never had one of those Pex push-on fittings leak.


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Posted By: klutchdust on 10/18/07 11:05am

I contacted the manufacturer of the fittings I purchased from Loews and HD.
This is what the tech rep told me. "The installation instructions state the intended use for these fittings. it is up to the distributor to explain to the consumer the intended use for the particular product. we are only required to post their use on the installation instructions".
The installation instructions I found out this morning in small letters state the fittings are for metal tubing only. OK, How many men out there that have used basic fittings would look at the "instructions" needless to say I will be re doing my project but oohh well. learned something. By the way I will NEVER use a product fitting from a company called WATTS based in Andover MA.


Posted By: LAdams on 10/18/07 12:07pm

If your using PEX tubing you also need the proper tools for installing same... In that I have done a fair amount of "re-plumbing" of various water systems in a few of the RV's we have owned I have those tools... See picture below:



Left to right:

Go/No Go Gauge, 1/2" Crimping Tool, Ring Cutting Tool, Tubing Cutter Tool

Either Lowe's or Home Depot has a good supply of fittings or you can order online HERE from "The PEX Connection"...

I have made many, many connections with these tools and fittings and have NEVER had a leak...

Les


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Posted By: klutchdust on 10/18/07 01:52pm

Very nice, thanks for those pictures.


Posted By: bill h on 10/18/07 04:08pm

Road Runners wrote:

I have never had any trouble with the regular push-on fittings they sell for pex. I have never had one of those Pex push-on fittings leak.


May I ask, what, exactly, are those?


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Posted By: Gdetrailer on 10/18/07 04:38pm

Try QEST fittings, see page 25 for compression fittings (no special crimp tools). I bought some of these at Lowes several years ago and they don't leak. The seal set which will connect pex to standard pipe fittings consists of three pieces, a nut, metal ring, a plastic ferrel(this is the sealing surface). Put the nut on the pex end, then the metal ring, then the plastic ferrel. Just thread on and tighten. If it helps here is a part number that is on the seal set bag for 1/2" pex QBBFNCR3.


Posted By: tuckerin on 10/18/07 04:46pm

Don't dispair, an expert is someone from out of town, or has made the same mistake prior...you are now an expert..


Posted By: klutchdust on 10/18/07 04:54pm

Gdetrailer wrote:

Try QEST fittings, see page 25 for compression fittings (no special crimp tools). I bought some of these at Lowes several years ago and they don't leak. The seal set which will connect pex to standard pipe fittings consists of three pieces, a nut, metal ring, a plastic ferrel(this is the sealing surface). Put the nut on the pex end, then the metal ring, then the plastic ferrel. Just thread on and tighten. If it helps here is a part number that is on the seal set bag for 1/2" pex QBBFNCR3.


I saw these at Loews but here is the problem. i have half inch inside diameter tubing which makes the outside 5/8. If you buy half inch pex it will be 3/8 inside and those fittings are more readily available. Me and my big ideas, bigger ain't better.


Posted By: Gdetrailer on 10/18/07 05:12pm

klutchdust,

I have in my hand a ferrel from the PN that I had posted, the measured inside diameter of the ferrel is 5/8" this will slide on to the pex pipe you have (it is a tight fit), there is a flat end on the ferrel, it must face the metal ring and nut.

On edit, I believe that the pex is sold using inside diameter which is 1/2", the outside should measure 5/8". If you bought say 3/4" then the outside diameter should be 7/8". These sizes follow soft copper sizes if I remember correctly.


Posted By: javaseuf on 10/18/07 08:00pm

Pex tubing is sized and designed to work with the matching Pex fittings. Brass compression fittings will not seal. Been there, done that when my local RV dealer was closed. Ended up geting the PEX fittings that need no flaring. You just push the plastic ferrule onto the tube, after you slide the cone-nut on and it seals itself when tightened. No flaring needed. No special tools needed.

I just modified the plumbing system on my 07' TT and used the PEX fittings that the factory used, available at most RV parts supply stores. Again, no tools and the fittings just slide onto the tubing and they clinch and seal when tightened. No leaks the first time used.






Posted By: RJsfishin on 10/18/07 08:13pm

javaseuf wrote:

Pex tubing is sized and designed to work with the matching Pex fittings. Brass compression fittings will not seal. Been there, done that when my local RV dealer was closed. Ended up geting the PEX fittings that need no flaring. You just push the plastic ferrule onto the tube, after you slide the cone-nut on and it seals itself when tightened. No flaring needed. No special tools needed.

I just modified the plumbing system on my 07' TT and used the PEX fittings that the factory used, available at most RV parts supply stores. Again, no tools and the fittings just slide onto the tubing and they clinch and seal when tightened. No leaks the first time used.
http://www.randgsupply.com/Warehouse/Plumbing/flairitfittings.htm

So very simple, every hardware and RV store has them.


Posted By: Road Runners on 10/18/07 08:32pm

bill h wrote:

Road Runners wrote:

I have never had any trouble with the regular push-on fittings they sell for pex. I have never had one of those Pex push-on fittings leak.


May I ask, what, exactly, are those?


The push on fittings are designed much like the shark bite fittings only they are made of plastic. Here is a web address of one of the people who sell these fittings - http://www.nibco.com/cms.do?id=2&pId=283
You can find these fittings at Lowes and, I think, at Home Depot and at most hardware stores.


Posted By: javaseuf on 10/18/07 10:19pm

RJsfishin wrote:

javaseuf wrote:

Pex tubing is sized and designed to work with the matching Pex fittings. Brass compression fittings will not seal. Been there, done that when my local RV dealer was closed. Ended up geting the PEX fittings that need no flaring. You just push the plastic ferrule onto the tube, after you slide the cone-nut on and it seals itself when tightened. No flaring needed. No special tools needed.

I just modified the plumbing system on my 07' TT and used the PEX fittings that the factory used, available at most RV parts supply stores. Again, no tools and the fittings just slide onto the tubing and they clinch and seal when tightened. No leaks the first time used.
http://www.randgsupply.com/Warehouse/Plumbing/flairitfittings.htm

So very simple, every hardware and RV store has them.


Yup. These are the ones I used.


Posted By: klutchdust on 10/22/07 08:43am

I saw these in the stores however it goes back to what I posted before.
The outside diameter is five eights inch ,the inside diameter is one half inch. No store in orange County California has them and if they do someone please tell me which one. The next time you visit the local store look for the larger ones . The reason I did not order them when I ordered the PEX was because I too had seen them in all the stores HOWEVER when I went to purchase them realized they were for the smaller PEX.Pex comes in 2 size diameters, many if not most RV's have the smaller version I would guess.


Posted By: Largestal on 10/22/07 09:27am

Flair-it and Qest user here. No leaks, no problems. Got mine from eBay and saved about 15-20% over my local guys, including shipping.


Posted By: javaseuf on 10/22/07 10:51am

klutchdust wrote:

I saw these in the stores however it goes back to what I posted before.
The outside diameter is five eights inch ,the inside diameter is one half inch. No store in orange County California has them and if they do someone please tell me which one. The next time you visit the local store look for the larger ones . The reason I did not order them when I ordered the PEX was because I too had seen them in all the stores HOWEVER when I went to purchase them realized they were for the smaller PEX.Pex comes in 2 size diameters, many if not most RV's have the smaller version I would guess.


Have you tried a RV repair/parts store? How about Camping World?


Posted By: bill h on 10/22/07 11:01am

klutchdust wrote:

Pex comes in 2 size diameters, many if not most RV's have the smaller version I would guess.


For dry camping, the small might save a little water.


Posted By: RJsfishin on 10/22/07 05:17pm

There is no reason to use 1/2". All the shutoff faucets have a 3/16 hole that the water has to go thru anyway.


Posted By: klutchdust on 10/22/07 05:36pm

RJsfishin wrote:

There is no reason to use 1/2". All the shutoff faucets have a 3/16 hole that the water has to go thru anyway.


Well, I did not know that. All the research I did you would think I would have caught that. Is pex REALLY the way to go? What are my alternatives to water lines? At this point if I go to the smaller hose I can use the big box stores fittings and be done with it. So I have 50 bucks worth of hose I can't use , in the long run I may make out on this deal. Need some 5/8 OD PEX?


Posted By: PSU1999 on 10/24/07 10:15am

I tried to use those compression fittings to make a repair and had the same problem as you. Although it didn't appear to be leaking after a few minutes of pressure it blew off. I just bit the bullet and bought the expensive tool for clamping the rings together for the fittings.


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Posted By: klutchdust on 10/18/07 04:50pm

tuckerin wrote:

Don't dispair, an expert is someone from out of town, or has made the same mistake prior...you are now an expert..


Thats a different approach as the little woman refers to me as 'know it all'


Posted By: klutchdust on 10/24/07 11:12am

PSU1999 wrote:

I tried to use those compression fittings to make a repair and had the same problem as you. Although it didn't appear to be leaking after a few minutes of pressure it blew off. I just bit the bullet and bought the expensive tool for clamping the rings together for the fittings.


I was under the sink on my back when it blew, I had the pump off but burst out laughing as I was at my wits end with the project for the day.


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