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Old 05-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #1
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Getting Started with PEX

I want to assemble a repair kit to carry just in case I spring a leak out in the field. I don't have any of the special tools to crimp or clamp either.

What would you suggest would make a good repair kit and where is a convenient place to purchase the parts to work with PEX. I do have plumbers tape so that's a start.

Right now I have a leak in the just down stream of my water pump. The brass threading fitting is crimped onto a flexible hose but the leak seems to be where its screwed into a gray fitting with plumbers tape. On the other side is a female PEX connector but it doesn't look like its leaking there.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Kelvin
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:40 PM   #2
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I use the stainless steel pex clamps. I got my crimper at Lowes. About 40 bucks. Works for both 3/8" and 1/2". I recommend getting the cutter also since you need a clean, square cut. I use the brass fittings and carry the tools and some fittings in a plastic shoe box. A piece of pex in a storage compartment.
By downstream do you mean the pressure side of the pump? Could be a piece of tubing with clamps to make it quiet and flexible? I put in a new pump and used all pex on the pressure side. I put a big U in it to make it flexible.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:07 PM   #3
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As an option Kelvin, you might consider Sharkbite fittings as opposed to using the crimping tool (many times you run into a tight space where crimping is hard, if not impossible).

These fittings, along with a cutting tool will are also very forgiving. With Sharkbite, you can (with a special inexpensive tool) make small adjustments in your plumbing fit. In other words, Sharkbite fittings can be removed over and over.

There are many Youtube videos out there that demonstrate the synergy of PEX and Sharkbite.

I always carry a couple of simple Sharkbite connectors, along with "T" and a right angle connectors. That pretty much covers most connections you would make
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:45 PM   #4
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Yes use Sharkbites rather than a permanent fitting.

I suggest you practice with one before you are caught in an emergency. The important thing to realize when assembling this type of fitting is you will feel a Stop as you push the fitting on the pipe. That is not the final Stop. It is just the leading edge of the O ring. Push beyond that a bit farther to complete the joint. Now remove the fitting.

A second consideration when using Sharkbite fittings with copper tubing is you want to be working on a straight section of copper tubing. Any bend in the typing will Oval the tubing and the fitting will leak as they are designed to work on a cylindrical tubing.

Cut your tubing long enough to allow for it to bottom out in the fittings at each end. You can always shorten it if need be
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:25 PM   #5
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Those SharkBite fittings work great, and look great.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:12 AM   #6
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Where can I find Sharkbite fittings? Are they also found at the big box retailers?

Yes, the leak is at the end of the flexible loop coming off the water pump. The end of the loop has a brass fitting that is threaded into a gray fitting that has a square shape. I see plumbers tape but the leak is there. On the other side of the gray fitting a screw on finger female fitting is screwed on.

I would need to have a few female fittings as spares.

Kelvin
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:33 AM   #7
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Kelvin, you'll find Sharkbite fittings at Lowes and Home Depot.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:34 AM   #8
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Where can I find Sharkbite fittings? Are they also found at the big box retailers?

Kelvin
Home Depot carries them around here.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:35 AM   #9
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May also be called gator bites. One big box brands them under a different name.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:58 AM   #10
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Shark Bite Fittings

I'm excited to see support and enthusiasm for using shark bite fittings on moving structures like TT's and MH's.

I have a dead end length of pex behind my fridge that I would like to shorten. It is in a hard to reach location and a shark bite fitting would be an easy solution.

My concern has been that the fitting might vibrate loose and create a leak.

Is there enough experience with these fittings in RV's to allay this fear?
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:31 AM   #11
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That is a problem spot.

People ( ok it was me ) tend to over tighten the fittings. The threads get gradually tighter as you go. Brass and plastic are soft and thus are good for making a seal. I have heard 1/4 to 1/2 turn after hand tight. Just enough to make it not leak. Once it has been overtightened....it's done

It was also me............in the kitchen...........with Dinah
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
People ( ok it was me ) tend to over tighten the fittings. The threads get gradually tighter as you go. Brass and plastic are soft and thus are good for making a seal. I have heard 1/4 to 1/2 turn after hand tight. Just enough to make it not leak. Once it has been overtightened....it's done

It was also me............in the kitchen...........with Dinah
Are you sure you're talking about shark bites?
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:01 PM   #13
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I

My concern has been that the fitting might vibrate loose and create a leak.

Is there enough experience with these fittings in RV's to allay this fear?
That is not a possibility. Shark Bites are like a Chinese finger puzzle. When pushed on they anchor to the pipe to prevent them from coming loose. They have a collar that if you pull back on it you can remove the fitting but that can not happen by itself. The O Ring makes the seal and the fingers make it secure to the pipe.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:23 PM   #14
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Put a PVC pipe/tubing cutter in your kit. It makes cutting the pex squarely much easier.

I used the crimp rings on my trailer in the easy to get to spots as the cost is much less than sharkbite connectors. I did use sharkbites in several spots where I could not get a crimping tool. I do keep a compact crimping tool I got at at HD that uses vice grips to close the clamp plus a section of pex and a few sharkbites, just in case. I guess the good news is that in 3 years the only water leak I have had was a screw type hose clamp that attachs to my water pump. No problem with any pex connections.
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