Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Whole house replumb-Which PEX brand has the least amount of issues with chlorinated water?

Options
catia1313
catia1313 Member Posts: 49
Needing to replumb house we purchased due to failing c-pvc DIY plumbing throughout. Am going with PEX. Had Homerun manifold in a previous home 20 yrs ago & LOVED IT, however I see many of the brands have had issues due to chlorination & also UV exposure, & fittings due to poor quality brass de-zincing. Am looking for the best way forward, am doing the research now. Wondering about the DZR brass fitting vs poly-pex, and looking to use a brand pex that has best quality control.
Have learned that basically the 'warranty' is not really a warranty after reading the issues in the MANY class action suits.
"The Universe Always Conspires to Help the Dreamer"
-Paulo Coelho

Comments

  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 844
    Options
    One word: Uponor
  • realliveplumber
    realliveplumber Member Posts: 354
    Options
    Viega with pex press bronze fittings.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,256
    Options
    Seems like everyone is going to composite fittings now, so that takes care of the brass concerns.

    A home run systems takes fitting concerns away. I like that concept. Quick hot water, no buried connections.

    Many pros like the expansion Pex type A. I think Rehau has one of the best “systems” and hasn’t had the tube failures that other type A have had.

    A combination of things lead to failure, high chlorine, hot temperature, and constantly recirculating DHW.

    Oddly enough the tube brand with the highest CL rating had the most problems.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • catia1313
    catia1313 Member Posts: 49
    Options
    I've had the home run system in my last house & it just made everything so much easier. This house is set up even better for it, bathrooms stacked on top of each other, utility room is central & right under kitchen.bath-no long runs for HW!!!
    What brand for manifold?
    I've had zero luck getting a local plumber in the area (northern wv).

    We are importing a young apprentice with light behind his eyes. I get so excited now when I see someone from the younger generation choosing to focus on a trade. This kid is a go-getter. He's working making $$$ instead of paying back tens of thousands in student loans for the next 20 years. He's ahead of the game. We need more parents encouraging young people into the trades, they are the backbone of our society.
    "The Universe Always Conspires to Help the Dreamer"
    -Paulo Coelho
    Robomoo
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,256
    edited November 2023
    Options
    I like these copper manifolds with brass valves
    You can get them without adapters, sweat in the brand and size you need
    3/8 pex is plenty for sink faucets and you get hot water faster
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,335
    Options
    Hi, @hot_rod might be thinking about Sioux Chief: https://www.siouxchief.com/search-results?addsearch=manifold. Or, get a REMS tool and make your own! https://remstoolsusa.com/rems-151005-hurrican-h-set/ :p

    Yours, Larry
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,002
    Options
    Uponor or viega PEX-A -
    Odecker Stainless steel cinch pinch clamps or Viega crimp fittings
    Plastic fitting for crimping the pipe to said fittings
    and a beer + or - when completed
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,781
    Options
    From what I found when I tried to research this subject Uponor with expansion "ProPex" fittings seemed to be the best overall.

    However, I couldn't find much bad about Pex B and crimp rings either.

    Personally I ran Uponor in my home primarily with plastic expansion fittings but I have zero experience outside of that.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 514
    Options
    catia1313 said:

    ... however I see many of the brands have had issues due to chlorination & also UV exposure, & fittings due to poor quality brass de-zincing.

    A lot of Uponor A has been failing, and no one knows why (Uponor admitted they don't know why either).

    Could be water issues, or it could be how the PEX was stored before it was installed (was it sitting in the back of a pickup or stored outside for months either at a distributor or contractor?) - maybe it was installed in new construction and it took a long time for the pipes to be covered over.

    Honestly, right now I'd go with PEX B and expand it (there are several Bs which are F1960 expansion certified) or maybe even PE-RT.

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,256
    Options
    I would caution against expanding a B Pex, regardless of what the manufacturers claim.
    Notice when you do expand B you see all these white lines going down the expansion, not a good sign.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Intplm.rick in AlaskaGGross
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,002
    Options
    Not all of pex b is the same. Suechief has brought about a pex-b that seemed to work well.
    I'm not a big fan of the expansion pex system either. Often the expansion collars move and slip down the pipe when expanding them, putting them out of place.
    And how soon can you turn the water on after you make up a joint?
    Compression of any type that I know has zero wait time. Expansion!? Turn it on at the same time as compression (or longer) and see what happens......no thank you.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,781
    Options
    Intplm. said:

    Not all of pex b is the same. Suechief has brought about a pex-b that seemed to work well.
    I'm not a big fan of the expansion pex system either. Often the expansion collars move and slip down the pipe when expanding them, putting them out of place.
    And how soon can you turn the water on after you make up a joint?
    Compression of any type that I know has zero wait time. Expansion!? Turn it on at the same time as compression (or longer) and see what happens......no thank you.

    The Uponor collars have a ridge on them so they can't, or, shouldn't go anywhere.
    Are these the ones you've had ride up, or another brand?

    Allegedly you only have to wait a few minutes and I've never had one leak. Some claim even if they do leak they will usually stop over time.

    One huge benefit the expansion type has is you don't have to try and jam a huge tool in the place you're installing it. You can expand it and then move the tube into place.

    We use the crimp type with both A and B at the shop and personally I find the expansion stuff easier to work with. Both seem to work fine overall though.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Intplm.
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 514
    Options
    hot_rod said:

    I would caution against expanding a B Pex, regardless of what the manufacturers claim.
    Notice when you do expand B you see all these white lines going down the expansion, not a good sign.

    When I read that it was approved for expansion, I expanded some Zurn B that I have in stock and there was no sign of stress on the pipe whatsoever, but this was room temperature - maybe pipe in cold truck might not be so tolerant.

    The only place I've used Zurn B expanded is at my shop to move a water filter for my bubbler, and it worked fine.

  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 514
    edited November 2023
    Options
    Intplm. said:


    I'm not a big fan of the expansion pex system either. Often the expansion collars move and slip down the pipe when expanding them, putting them out of place.


    I haven't had that problem ever. The collars have stops and they don't move at all in my experience.

    Intplm. said:

    And how soon can you turn the water on after you make up a joint?

    Almost immediately. If you're working next to a ball valve, I'd wait two minutes, otherwise, by the time you get to the main shutoff it's water tight. If the pipe is cold, I'd wait 5 minutes.

    What I like is that the expanded pipe is always fighting to get tighter around the fitting, not fighting to push back on the crimp to loosen itself.



  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,002
    Options
    MaxMercy said:

    Intplm. said:


    I'm not a big fan of the expansion pex system either. Often the expansion collars move and slip down the pipe when expanding them, putting them out of place.


    I haven't had that problem ever. The collars have stops and they don't move at all in my experience.

    Intplm. said:

    And how soon can you turn the water on after you make up a joint?

    Almost immediately. If you're working next to a ball valve, I'd wait two minutes, otherwise, by the time you get to the main shutoff it's water tight. If the pipe is cold, I'd wait 5 minutes.

    What I like is that the expanded pipe is always fighting to get tighter around the fitting, not fighting to push back on the crimp to loosen itself.



    I've had this problem and sadly it has shied me away from expansion.

    How many times do you have the tool actuate the expansion?
    How long do you wait till you turn the water on?
    Is this a temperature issue? I suspect that it is. So, how long?
    The collars have a ridge. Yes, so why do they slip down the pipe, while expanding?
    I have had to hold the collar on the pipe in position while using the tool. Not an easy task.

    I do not have to do any of these things when using a crimp method.

    I like the idea but am put off by it. I usually use it on new construction when a turn-on is not happening soon.
    I first used it some thirty years ago when it was first gaining popularity in the USA. Had the problem then too.
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 514
    edited November 2023
    Options
    Intplm. said:


    How many times do you have the tool actuate the expansion?

    Until the expansion head is fully inside the pipe, then two more to allow the head to rotate to mitigate any channels the tool might make inside the pipe.
    Intplm. said:


    How long do you wait till you turn the water on?

    Immediately - let's say a minute in temperatures above 60F
    Intplm. said:


    Is this a temperature issue? I suspect that it is. So, how long?

    If the pipe is cold, I would consider warming it with a heat gun before expansion. If it's cold, it might take 10 minutes to get a seal, but I'm guessing because I've never used it cold. The good thing is that unlike a crimp that might leak if not done properly, a leaky expansion will fix itself with time assuming the fitting or the pipe has no defect. The connection only improves with time.
    Intplm. said:


    The collars have a ridge. Yes, so why do they slip down the pipe, while expanding?

    Unknown, this has never happened to me. Did you use a manual expander or the powered? The manual takes at least three arms and a vocabulary that includes some choice expletives.



    Intplm.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,781
    edited November 2023
    Options
    MaxMercy said:
    How many times do you have the tool actuate the expansion?
    Until the expansion head is fully inside the pipe, then two more to allow the head to rotate to mitigate any channels the tool might make inside the pipe.
    How long do you wait till you turn the water on?
    Immediately - let's say a minute in temperatures above 60F
    Is this a temperature issue? I suspect that it is. So, how long?
    If the pipe is cold, I would consider warming it with a heat gun before expansion. If it's cold, it might take 10 minutes to get a seal, but I'm guessing because I've never used it cold. The good thing is that unlike a crimp that might leak if not done properly, a leaky expansion will fix itself with time assuming the fitting or the pipe has no defect. The connection only improves with time.
    The collars have a ridge. Yes, so why do they slip down the pipe, while expanding?
    Unknown, this has never happened to me. Did you use a manual expander or the powered? The manual takes at least three arms and a vocabulary that includes some choice expletives.
    All I use is a manual expander and I've never had the collars move.

    I don't think they had the stops on them years ago so maybe that's the issue.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,335
    Options
    Hi, I've used Wirsbo/Uponor since the early 90s. The only times I have had the problem of slipping collars is when the pipe is wet. For me it hasn't been all that hard to reposition the collar and keep on going. I prefer Uponor in part because the fittings have larger IDs than insert fittings, so I know I'm not adding significant pressure drop using this system.

    Yours, Larry
    rick in Alaska
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,256
    Options
    The 1960 is the expansion fitting intrgerity repipe you tube
    works on the A Pex and some B Pex. I know Zurn B Pex needs their specific expander head, according to them. If you expand other brands of B Pex, see if they require a specific expander.

    Integrity Repipe plumbing has a lot to say on You Tube about the various Pex failures he has seen. Claims to have replied over 30,000 homes, the very first Wirsbo installer in the US, so he has some tube installation experience.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M657U-C7_Rc&t=1s
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • catia1313
    catia1313 Member Posts: 49
    edited November 2023
    Options
    Well, here is where I am on a psychological level with this project. The kid (mid 20's lol)is an apprentice with light behind his eyes-you know the kind-the one's you know who "get it" from the onset-they have the critical thinking skills, are conscientious & care about their work. We got the basics out of the way, Uponor pex A, no cheap fittings, proper manifold, all home runs so there are only 2 possible points for failure. He's going to be doing some things he has not done before. I'm gonna let him fly, because he has access to his coworkers & instructors & will ask questions if he is not sure. He will probably have some difficulties along the way, even oops moments, but that is how he learns. The company he works for keeps him on the job, when others are layed off, & in my current city-that almost never happens with apprentices. They see what I see. Gonna do my best to NOT micro-manage him, outside of brand names lol, because I have faith he is gonna get the job done properly. I'm hoping actually to keep him, so that when I finally transition to hot water heating he will do the plumbing for that also, because I will need to import someone. I don't live in the house yet, & it's an hour or so away, outside of my current city, & he is fine with travelling for side work, even though he is in school & also working full time. Gave him the $$ for materials, am gonna prep the areas out, remove insulation & whatever else so he has plenty of access & room & set him loose.
    "The Universe Always Conspires to Help the Dreamer"
    -Paulo Coelho
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    Options
    I piped my own home with copper. I used ⅜ soft copper for sink applications. All soldered connections. No press, no sharkbite etc. Proven to last decades. 

    I used PEX-A for my radiant slab, as it's been proven since tye 1960s in that application. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
    Options
    The early expansion rings did not have a collar on them, and as Larry said, if they were wet, they would slip down the pipe when expanding. I just had to make sure everything was dry. The new fittings with the collar solved that issue.
    As far as turning the water back on after expanding, I would use my propane torch held back a bit to heat the joint up and never had an issue with it. Just make sure you don't get too close and burn it.
    I have always like the expansion pipe just because I don't like putting restrictions in, even though I know it is minimal. Just a quirk of mine. Also, I have a problem with tubing that I can bend a few times and break in half. It just doesn't seem right.
    I have always used Uponor or Rehau and have had good luck with them.
    Rick
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,002
    Options
    @MaxMercy
    Both manual and powered expansion tools.
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 514
    Options
    Intplm. said:

    @MaxMercy
    Both manual and powered expansion tools.

    I think Rick in Alaska might have the answer - early expansion rings didn't have the stops. That was before I got into Uponor but all the rings I have in my stock have stops.
    Intplm.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,781
    edited November 2023
    Options
    MaxMercy said:
    @MaxMercy Both manual and powered expansion tools.
    I think Rick in Alaska might have the answer - early expansion rings didn't have the stops. That was before I got into Uponor but all the rings I have in my stock have stops.
    I posted that on the 18th.
    I wasn't positive but was fairly sure.  

    I also seem to recall guys making their own from tubing.  I'm actually curious if this is still considered acceptable if you're out of rings / collars.   
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    MaxMercy
  • catia1313
    catia1313 Member Posts: 49
    Options
    Here I am, and I need some assistance. Our water is on, so there's that. We are having some real issues with the apprentice.
    Hubby & I are very pro-trade, we've had plenty of apprentices in various trades, hubby trains apprentices in a different trade, so rookie mistakes were expected. This is NOT that, this is just short of a nightmare.

    This kid doesn't listen, then he cries to his dad that we are the problem. We are trying HARD to not have drama that will interfere with hubby's work. The dad said to 'let him have it', but he was breaking down, cracking voice near crying when I called him out on the basics. 1st he showed up a day late, & 4 hours later on that day, left the house a total mess, used my cherry cabinets as a saw horse, wrappers & all the old plumbing strewn everywhere, did not install what I specified, couldn't make things work, tried to cover it up or hope we wouldn't notice-- with things leaking, & pex hammered to my subfloor & walls.

    One thing I was clear on & that is that I did not want some piece of crap manifold from homedepot, I wanted a good one that was compatible with the upinor aquapex. I told him no materials from Home depot. He said he was ordering from Ferguson & that wasn't a problem. He said there would be no home depot crap. He installed an Apollo, from Home depot...though the aquaxpex & everything else is from Ferguson. He said he has receipts. I want to see the receipts. Hubby wants to let it go, saying we will just never use him again.

    Sometime around easter we are going to have him finish, to make things right. One big point is the manifold. He said there is nothing compatible for manifolds except Apollo. I am pretty sure there are compatible manifolds. BEFORE I allow him to "make things right", I want to know what my options are for manifolds. Looks like Sioux Chief & Upinor have manifolds. My main supply is 3/4", & the pipe from the manifold to the fixtures is 1/2", all Upinor Aquapex A.

    The apprentice is 1/2 paid, plus materials, we are holding back the rest until he finishes. The ONLY reason he is even 1/2 paid is because hubby works with his dad & we trusted the kid based on that relationship...Our house is rural, so he has a 1.5 hour drive. We trusted him enough to work in the house alone. He left materials & tools at the house. I feel like he was purposefully trying to rip us off. Hubby says we have to let him attempt to make it right. So I am trying to find compatible manifold-premade-at this point, I do not think the apprentice is experienced enough to build one.

    I will have to take pics when I am down there this weekend (we are not moved in yet). I made a nice mounting platform & primed it & mounted to the wall, but for some reason he nailed a spaghetti factory to the adjoining wall instead of going up & using the open joist space then coming down. Our electrician was in in Monday & gave it a weird look. I immediately said "that's not my work- I'd never do that, it was an apprentice & he's going to fix it". Electrician said "I'm not impressed"



    "The Universe Always Conspires to Help the Dreamer"
    -Paulo Coelho