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Punctured PEX

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One of my customers was setting a toilet flange at his house and drilled a hole through the radiant tubing. I'm having him open up the floor for the repair, but I don't know what kind of PEX it is. If it's PEX A, I can use my expander tool for Uponor-type fittings. From the pictures, even though the manifold is Uponor, the tubing isn't necessarily Uponor. (I don't think the damaged tubing is on the red loop.)

No matter what kind of tubing it is, I guess my main question is how to splice a new piece of tubing between two ends that are set in concrete. Is there such a things as a Uponor repair coupling?




8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab

Comments

  • AMG63
    AMG63 Member Posts: 15
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    Hi Alan. Uponor doesn't make a repair coupling for 1/2" pipe only 5/16". What I would do is use a 1/2" Uponor EP coupling and 2 1/2" rings. If the pipe isn't expandable then use a crimp coupling with two crimp rings and you should be good to go.
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,083
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    @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes . I have used this little gem of a crimp ring for years and with great success.
    Two of these crimp rings with a "crimp" type coupling should make for a good repair.
    It is important to remind you that the crimp rings are different for crimp type and expansion "uponor type."

    You will need to use a crimp type coupling and not a expansion type coupling with these crimp rings.
    There is a difference between
    the two. The crimp type , if memory serves, has more contact barbs on it, and is meant to be used with crimp rings. This one pictured is made by Oetiker and should work well with a crimp coupling.
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    Helps if you can mark out the tubing with a thermal imaging camera. Also depends on how much 'damage' you can do.
    Easiest is to carefully break up enough concrete to free up enough tubing to effect a splice in place.
    If it's thin slab, wet bed, and you have access underneath, and it wouldn't make a mess, I'd probably break enough concrete to bend each end of the loop to make 2 splices under the floor, and finish the ceiling, if need be, with a flush access panel (for future inspection).
    I guess it's a moot point that the tubing was that close to the toilet flange.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,479
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    If it is in a curved section of the pex around the flange, that will be tougher to repair. I think you would need to expose a foot or more.
    Now, at least one of the Pex B manufacturers is promoting expansion fittings on their B pex! So if their homework is correct either A or B is expandable.

    If you do use a metal fitting or ring, it should be heat shrinked in a concrete pour.

    If you can use a couple composite couplings and expander rings, no metal to worry about.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Dan Foley
    Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258
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    Alan,

    this is is a repair we did recently in a gypcrete pour.  
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    Thanks everyone!

    I guess it's a moot point that the tubing was that close to the toilet flange.


    I thought so too until the owner told me he was installing a Toto Unifit part.

    I ordered some Oetiker rings along with the tool.

    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
    edited October 2020
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    That looks like a tough one. I don’t even run the pex between the flange and the back wall.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    ethicalpaulAlan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    edited October 2020
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    I use the crush rings. The ones that the jaw of the tool completly encircles and physically crushed the black copper ring. 

    Those Ottenger (sp?) Stainless rings I call chich rings. I feel they dont put uniform pressure on the tube and the tube is more easily moved on the fitting as well. But they are loads easier to work with. 

    I'm always leery of expanding tube of unknown origin. Either of the crush or chich rings will work on all tubing. I shrink wrap the repairs before filling in with new concrete. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    Alan (California Radiant) ForbesGroundUp
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,511
    edited October 2020
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    Pretty much covered, but this is the way I've done it.

    I think it is probably Pex A. My bane has been carpet layers that put tack strips in and drive a nail thru the tube.

    I carefully chip, with a wood chisel, away the gyp-crete 6" on either side of the leak.
    I cut the tube at the puncture.
    I use a length of shrink tube (heavy duty) that will cover the joint.
    I use a heat gun to the Pex to soften it and raise it up, slip on the shrink tube and Oetiker clamps. I use 1/2" for 1/2" Pex.
    I expand the tubing and slip in a Shark-bit Pex B brass coupling, 1/2". Home Depot or Lowes.
    I get the coupling in place and let the Pex shrink down.
    I push the clamp on to the fitting which is a tight fit and use the tool to clamp it.
    I move the shrink tube over the joint and use the heat gun to shrink it. I use a S-nail on each side of the repair to hold the Pex down to the sub floor.

    The Oetiker clamps are stainless, but the small exposed brass of the coupling between the Pex needs protection from the concrete fill.
    Test for leaks.

    This works for me and I have never had a failure.
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 4,106
    edited October 2020
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    After more searching, we found the tubing ID: ThermaPEX which is a PEX A, but when the tubing was exposed, the leak turned out to be on the red tubing loop; perhaps Mr. PEX. Either way, the barbed fittings will make a good seal.

    I'll be going back next Wednesday to make the repair.



    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    ethicalpaulSTEVEusaPASolid_Fuel_Man
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,607
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    I paid for my Flir One finding electric heat mats for customers who wanted to install that Toto toilet. Both times they drilled within an inch of the wire
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    ethicalpaul
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    Nice, dead center of a 5/8 OD tube. Hard to do ya know!
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    ethicalpaul
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    Thanks to everyone for their comments, especially @Intplm.











    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    Solid_Fuel_Manethicalpaulmikeapolis STEVEusaPA
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,479
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    atta boy!
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,795
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    Is it OK to reduce the ID with those fittings? I'd almost be tempted to put in a (gasp!) Sharkbite coupling--it wouldn't reduce the ID

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,479
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    at the flow rate moving through that tube, I doubt the two couplings will be an issue. No doubt it adds a bit of pressure drop.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    ethicalpaulIntplm.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    Every radiant manifold ive seen uses compression type (universal) pex connections. Those have insert fittings in the pex as well. 1/2" radiant loops generally are only 0.5-0.75 gallons/minute anyway.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,795
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    Thanks for the knowledge!!

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 4,106
    edited October 2020
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    As it turns out, the fittings started to leak and we had to re-do the work with the Uponor method which I should have done in the first place.



    I don't know if I tightened the crimp rings too tight or not tight enough. There's really no feedback when you're squeezing the crimping tool to tell you how far to go.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    MaxMercySolid_Fuel_Man
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 518
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    I was honestly surprised you didn't use the expansion fittings the first time. As far as PEX goes, it's pretty much foolproof.

    John
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,083
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    @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes I gotta say, I have never had a problem with this crimp. Not a one.
    Did you use uponor couplings?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,479
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    I think you void the warranty by using those crimp rings on that tube brand?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 4,106
    edited October 2020
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    I was honestly surprised you didn't use the expansion fittings the first time. As far as PEX goes, it's pretty much foolproof.

    I wasn't sure the tubing was PEX A

    Did you use uponor couplings?

    I used these.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    MaxMercy
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    I too, have seen those cinch clamps leak. I feel it's due to uneven pressure applied to the tube. When you use the cinch clamps the tube is easily moved back and forth on the fitting. Much more so than any other connection method. 

    I wonder if the red pex is Mr.Pex brand. I have used many thousands of feet of it. The oxygen barrier tube is only available in red.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,083
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    I would take another look at the fittings. They don't seem to be crimp couplings but expansion type couplings. The expansion type couplings will not work well with cinch crimp connectors. The couplings must be crimp type .
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    The product description says:

    "EASY TO USE: Fittings Work with Crimp Ring or Clamp Connection Methods"
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 518
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    Intplm. said:

    I would take another look at the fittings. They don't seem to be crimp couplings but expansion type couplings. The expansion type couplings will not work well with cinch crimp connectors. The couplings must be crimp type .

    If they were expansion fittings, they wouldn't have fit in the pipe unless an expansion tool was used first.

    John
    Intplm.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,479
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    I too, have seen those cinch clamps leak. I feel it's due to uneven pressure applied to the tube. When you use the cinch clamps the tube is easily moved back and forth on the fitting. Much more so than any other connection method. 

    I wonder if the red pex is Mr.Pex brand. I have used many thousands of feet of it. The oxygen barrier tube is only available in red.

    I agree, it is a compromise ring connection intended for a one tool solution. It doesn't give 100% compression like the copper rings, especially right under the pinch point. Seems the tube spins freely under those clamps, unlike the copper rings.

    I think the original intent for the Oetiker clamp was rubber type automotive hose, CV boots, beverage hose, a softer hose type.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    There were two reasons I went looking for a non-Uponor system: One was that I wasn't sure that the tubing was PEX A and the other was that I wanted a smaller coupling because I wasn't sure I could bend the tubing far enough to get the last coupling on without kinking it. And I didn't want to be rushed by the few precious seconds you have to insert a fitting after expanding the tubing.

    It was great to have enough tubing exposed to be able re-work the connections with Uponor and I am grateful to @Intplm. to show me what worked for him. It turned out to be a wonderful experience in the school of hard knocks.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,658
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    I've used the Viega PureFlow coupling on these types of repairs for the past 10 years. The press assures a secure connection and the pressjaw fits into small spaces. I wrap the splice with 10mil tape before the patch is made.
    https://www.viega.us/en/products/Catalog/Plastic-pipe-systems/PureFlow-Press/Couplings/Viega-PureFlow-Press-coupling-V5615.html
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,389
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    Hi @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes "A wonderful Experience in the School of Hard Knocks" would make such a nice title for an article! Now all you have to do is write the article and see if Erin wants it as a resource here in the Systems Help Center. o:)

    Yours, Larry
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    Paul: Brilliant! I should have used them. Where were you 10 days ago? : )

    Larry: I'll need a nice place overlooking the ocean to do the writing.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,389
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    OK @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes , Here's a start. ;)


    Yours, Larry
    Alan (California Radiant) ForbesCanuckerErin Holohan Haskell
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,083
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    MaxMercy said:

    Intplm. said:

    I would take another look at the fittings. They don't seem to be crimp couplings but expansion type couplings. The expansion type couplings will not work well with cinch crimp connectors. The couplings must be crimp type .

    If they were expansion fittings, they wouldn't have fit in the pipe unless an expansion tool was used first.

    John
    No, not really @MaxMercy . The I.D. is not at issue. That crimp should have worked there. However. Nothing is infallible so this just happens to be an instance that it leaked.
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 4,106
    edited October 2020
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    If they were expansion fittings, they wouldn't have fit in the pipe unless an expansion tool was used first.

    I had the same thought.

    @Intplm. : When you say expansion fitting, I think Uponor in which case @MaxMercy would be correct. You cannot insert the fitting without expanding the tubing.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    Intplm.
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 2,346
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    Hi @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes "A wonderful Experience in the School of Hard Knocks" would make such a nice title for an article! Now all you have to do is write the article and see if Erin wants it as a resource here in the Systems Help Center. o:)

    Yours, Larry

    Sure! And that's a beautiful view, Larry.

    President
    HeatingHelp.com

    Larry Weingarten